Sunday, January 13, 2008

Books, Books and More Books

I’m in a book group that a high school/college friend of mine started over 5 years ago. We are all good friends and love getting together once a month and some of us read the book and sometimes the discussions are longer than others. The book group is great because I have really enjoyed some books that I would have NEVER thought to read in the past and I’ve found new “fluffy” authors to fill my time in between book group readings.

That aside, I have always LOVED to read and usually can read a book pretty quickly – I think that love for reading goes back to when I was a baby and my mom read to me alot…and it probably doesn’t hurt that much of my family are big readers. But I love nothing more than to have a relaxing weekend, with no responsibilities and a good book or two to enjoy in between naps all day.

So, I thought I would mention some of my new favorites (authors and titles) that I learned about or further explored in 2007, by way of book group readings.

1. The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls --- Although this book will be my choice reading for the group in 2008, I read it in the fall of 2007 to test it out. A friend at work passed this title along from her book group and it is FANTASTIC. After reading it (which I could NOT put it down), I proceeded to purchase it for my mom and mother-in-law because it was so fascinating. If you haven’t read it, READ IT! If you have read it, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a true story and as you read it, you can’t believe what this woman goes through in her life.

2. Jane Green --- This is a new author that book group turned me on to and her books are great. After reading one for our December book group, I have continued to check out her other books from the library. She is a “fluff” author, but the books are great and very timely for many of us 20 or 30 somethings.

3. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards --- This is just a great book. I hate to spoil books for people...so just read it!

4. Diane Mott Davidson --- The food author!!! The mystery author!!! All in one! For those of you who love a good mystery and love a good new recipe and hearing about food, this is your girl. Katie, the book group girl who selected this author, made the recipes from the book for our meal at book group that month. Awesome!!

5. Jodi Picoult --- Well, actually, I found her years ago and we have read some of her books over the years in book group, but Mandy and I went to a talk that she gave this spring about her new book Nineteen Minutes and that was just great. She was really interesting to listen to and to hear how long she works on her books, the research, why there is only 1 per year (her next one I think should be out this spring) and more. I highly recommend ALL of her books and if you ever get a chance to hear an author you love speak - DO IT! It's a great experience.

So, if you enjoy reading or need some new thoughts on books here are some of my favorites in the last year. I'm also going to try to post those that I read as I finish them this year.

So far, I've been reading Midwives for my February book group choice. It's good so far and I'm only about 50 pages into it.

1 comment:

Edward said...

i have decided, in order to offset the effect these books that you are reading are having on your unborn child, i am going to set up a reading list for your child, or at least books that i am going to read to the baby once it is born, to help vanquish the Oprah book club influence on your child. seriously, what you are doing is the literary equivalent to smoking a pack a day and guzzling a box of boone's farm. uncle ted's list is as follows (in no specific order):

- my jack kerouac trifecta: "on the road," "dharma bums," and "big sur"
- ayn rand: atlas shrugged
- bret easton ellis: "american psycho" and "the informers"
- j.d. salinger: "the catcher in the rye"
- friedrich nietzsche: "beyond good and evil," "the genealogy of morals," and "thus spoke zarathustra"
- ralph waldo emerson: "essential writings"
- james joyce: "dubliners"
- hubert selby jr.: "last exit to brooklyn"
- george orwell: "1984"
- kurt vonnegut: "galapagos" and (maybe) "the slaughter house five"
- aldous huxley: "brave new world"
- f. scott fitzgerald: "this side of paradise"
- marcus aurelius: "meditations"
- william james: "the varieties of religious experience"
- krishnamurti: "freedom from the known"
- the tibetan book of the dead

i think that is a great mixture of beat-era literature, philosophy, transcendentalism, and post-modern novels. just so you know, when you ask me to baby sit, this is what i will be inundating your child with. that, and i am going to take the kid to some shows at the empty bottle. some neo-psychedelic drone. by the time the kid hits kindergarten, he/she will be light years ahead of everyone else!