Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reading List

Parker and I read every night before she goes to bed.  It started with her trying to win the reading contest at school - while she didn't win, it was a great motivator to actually read books.  I love to read and I love our time spent together every evening.  Here's a list of a few of my favorites from the last few months:

The first book I read by Dave Eggers started my collection of his writing.  I can't get enough of him!  After I finish a Dave Eggers book, and before I go on to another, I make myself read two other authors so I don't blow through all of his books in a week…For me, reading Dave Eggers has been the language I've been searching for but could never articulate myself.  You Shall Know Our Velocity has become my favorite book.  It trumped The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  I read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (my second favorite book) two books after I finished You Shall Know Our Velocity and then I broke my rule and read Zeitoun right after that.  I'm currently reading The Wild Things.

My in between Dave Eggers books have mostly been good as well.  I read Winged Obsession - a book about the world's most notorious butterfly smuggler (for real, there's a notorious butterfly smuggler!).  While I felt the writing was a little elementary, the story was good…worth reading. 

Revolution, by Deb Olin Unferth is great.  Funny and right on.  I felt like it captured the spirit of my own young, naively informed but very important to who I am now revolutionary aspirations of my early 20's (though, without the whole part about living in Nicaragua).   

Enough About Love, by Herve Le Teller is good.  It's a beach read (though I read it in Pittsburgh).  Your life will not be changed, but you may enjoy the stories.  Love stories.  Not grocery store romance stuff…nicely developed characters, interacting, along with (or without) love.

White Tiger has been my in between to all my other in between books for the last 2 years.  It's been beside my bed for that long!  I always have a book or two that I am in the process of reading for when I'm in between other books…I finished it 2 weeks ago.  It's a great book.  I picked it up because it won The Booker Prize - and the last book I had read that won the Booker Prize, I read several years ago while I was in Italy and loved…The Life of Pi.  White Tiger is gruesome in parts….I don't have a steel stomach when it comes to gruesomeness…so it took me a little longer to read.  Gruesome is the wrong word…it was vivid in parts.  Eloquent, political, social, funny, scary and important.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a beautiful book.  It has taken me 100 years to read.  It is always by my bed.  I read a few pages a week.  I am not finished with it yet. 

I'm currently also reading The House on Mango Street.  I started it yesterday afternoon and have almost finished it.  The introduction to this edition, written by Cisneros and dedicated to her mother, reminded me of my very dear friend who recently lost his mum.  It set a very special tone of reading for me.  The book is perfect.  I picked it up thinking I would have Parker read it…but, I think I may wait a few years.  I don't want her to be ready for it yet. 

Oh! And, As Always Julia!  I've just read a few pages of's been my sitting on the front porch with a cocktail reading.  Perhaps one day I will correspond with friends in the eloquent manner in which Avis and Julia did.  I just received a lovely handwritten letter from a friend in the mail (a sweet thank you for a cocktail party we had a few months ago) and it reminded me of how nice it is to get real an envelope...with a stamp on it...delivered by the mail carrier.

What have you been reading?  Do you often have several books going at once?  I'm always looking for my next good read.


  1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only multi-reader, I can't seem to ever read just one book at a time! I've been recently reading Freakonomics, and Superfreakonimics, both very interesting. And I'm entrenched in the Game of Thrones series - I usually don't read fantasy, but they were recommended by so many people, that I had to try them. Still not my thing, but very good.

    I love Dave Eggers, as well, and The White Tiger. Have you read Jonathan Lethem? Or Jonathan Safran Foer? Two of my very favorites.

    Thanks for posting these, I always love getting suggestions - I've added a few to my to-read list!

  2. The House on Mango Street is one of my all time faves! I'm reading Just Kids by Patti Smith at the moment, and love it. I recently finished The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy-great collection of short stories. You've mentioned You Shall Know Our Velocity before, and I'm intrigued. I liked a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius...Thanks for sharing your list, Happy Reading!


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