Saturday, August 7

Wha'cha Reading Good?

Title borrowed (ok, outright stolen) from a blog post by the same name from Jenny B. Jones.

It's summatime. And while we are still as busy as ever (why? why do we have things to do? it's SUMMER), some days just call for lazing around with a good book. I've read several books this summer, and only one I'd cal "meh."

Here are a few of my summer 2010 reads:

Devil in the White City, by Erik Larsen.
DitWC is this month's book pick for my new and fabulous book club, the LRTweadup. This was not a fast read, but it was incredibly engrossing. And, kinda gross at times. The name checking of people involved in the 1893 World's Fair Exposition was astounding. Edison, Tesla, Disney, and some guy who invented some big round thing, to name a few. It is dense with details at points, but I really loved it, and can't wait to hear my tweeps' thoughts about it when we discuss at our next meeting.





Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult
This is my second Picoult book, and will probably be my last. She's a good-ish writer, in my most humble opinion, but can be a little cheese-tastic with her words. I was disappointed in this book, because a little under half-way through, I had figured *most* of it out. I read her Nineteen Minutes and liked it better, but still, she's not going to top my  Most Fave list. (Also, this was a rec from my mother, who it seems has less and less of my taste in books)







 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers
I absolutely loved this book. It is full of ridiculous, and Monsieur Eggers is a world-class crazyperson and a dang fine writer. Which probably accounts for why I liked it so well. It is the (mostly true) story of a boy and his brother, making life work for them after their parents died. Eggers makes no excuses for his self-deprecation, his self-exaggeration, and his self-esteem. He knows he's nuts. But he tells a good story.












Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott
I read this when my second daughter was a few months old. Lamott is easily one of my favorite writers, but I love her more for her nonfic work than for her novels. Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies are two of my most loved books. After a tweet earlier this summer by my friend Kyran (see below) and then a conversation with my friend Sarabeth Jones, I knew I wanted to reread this treasure. It was really Sarabeth's words, ones that knocked at my heart, that made me go to my Favorite Books shelf in the living room to find the book again. She said she reacted to Anne Lamott in a very deep and connected way. Sarabeth said while reading Lamott, she read herself. She saw her own crazy there in black and white. I felt the very same way when I first read Operating Instructions. Here is a broken woman, doing her best not to break her child, and she managed to chronicle the whole thing. Now, I don't know if Sarabeth is truly crazy, or if Anne Lamott is for that matter, but this is a book that resounded and echoed through my head.




Just Between You and Me, by Jenny B. Jones
I really liked this book. Jones is a Christian Fiction writer, and she does her job skillfully. Some Christian fic books tend to be heavy on the preaching and light on any kind of plot. Jenny B. (I can call her that. We've emailed. We're totally buddies.) weaves a story about a woman holding onto everything but the Lord, and then learning how to... in essence... Let go and let God.



I also read a still-not-titled, as-yet-unpublished book by my friend Audreya. It certainly tops my "favorite prepublished works of fiction" list. Her writing is snort-out-loud-funny and warm and witty, much like her real life self. I can't say enough good things about the book she wrote and I can't wait for her to get up the guts to send it out to agents. (DO IT.)(Like, NOW.) 



I'm sure I've forgotten a few. I've actually managed to read more books than I thought I did this summer. And yet, I still have a huge TBR stack.
Here are some of the spines just waiting to be cracked; some of the pages ready to be sniffed. (Yes, I'm a book sniffer. A Kindle will never be good enough for me.)



With the exception of two, all of these are currently stacked on my desk.



I'm gonna need another summer.








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13 comments:

  1. Please tell me you've read other Sedaris stuff before. If not, read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Just, don't try to drink a beverage and do it at the same time because liquid might come out your nose or go down the wrong pipe.

    I've been slacking on reading lately. I think I'm just enjoying being a pre-grad-school slob.

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  2. I disagree. Pick up and read Running with Scissors THIS MINUTE! Hilarious and true.

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  3. Great to meet ya last night! I am a book sniffer too but my hubby just got an iPad and I must admit I read two books yesterday on it. Not having to wait for the library copy is a GOOD thing!

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  4. (and I hated Running with Scissors.)

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  5. Thank you so much for the shout-out... and mostly the support! Still don't know what I'll call the book or do with it, but I promise to at least get some editing underway soon! Maggie and I both appreciate your encouragement!!! :-)

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  6. Um, yes I am. Completely certifiable.

    I'm going to copy this list because you have some good ones left to read; makes me want to try the rest. Love Sedaris, but I never know which booked because B and I love to listen to him read them together. So so very funny.

    Beautiful boy is heartbreaking. And Liar's Club! Hafta know what you think of that one...

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  7. Thanks for the book shout out. I have had a Sedaris book on my TBR pile for at least a year and have yet to touch it. Have you read A Girl Named Zippy? It's also memoirish and nonfiction, something I stay away from, but it's one of the best books I've ever read. So funny and beautifully written.

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  8. I usually give Operating Instructions as a gift to new mothers, and I swap out David Sedaris' books by my bed - I saw him in Little Rock last year and my stomach ached. I wanted to have him sign my book, but the line was so long that I just stood against the wall and stared at him - he might have thought me a stalker.
    I am reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, historical fiction about Brigham Young's 19th wife combined with a modern murder mystery. Can't put it down.

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  9. I have reader envy. Having never been a huge reader (2-5 books/year) those of you who read a lot inspire me and save me a lot of time (by telling me what really sucks and what is really worth the time).
    Great post!

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  10. I usually give Operating Instructions as a gift to new mothers, and I swap out David Sedaris' books by my bed - I saw him in Little Rock last year and my stomach ached. I wanted to have him sign my book, but the line was so long that I just stood against the wall and stared at him - he might have thought me a stalker.
    I am reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, historical fiction about Brigham Young's 19th wife combined with a modern murder mystery. Can't put it down.

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  11. Thanks for the book shout out. I have had a Sedaris book on my TBR pile for at least a year and have yet to touch it. Have you read A Girl Named Zippy? It's also memoirish and nonfiction, something I stay away from, but it's one of the best books I've ever read. So funny and beautifully written.

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  12. Great to meet ya last night! I am a book sniffer too but my hubby just got an iPad and I must admit I read two books yesterday on it. Not having to wait for the library copy is a GOOD thing!

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  13. Um, yes I am. Completely certifiable.

    I'm going to copy this list because you have some good ones left to read; makes me want to try the rest. Love Sedaris, but I never know which booked because B and I love to listen to him read them together. So so very funny.

    Beautiful boy is heartbreaking. And Liar's Club! Hafta know what you think of that one...

    ReplyDelete

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