Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mentioning Books (Again...Finally...)

It’s been so long since I’ve reviewed or even mentioned a book on this blog, I should be stripped of the “Books” in BooksEtc.

To remedy this, I’ve made a list of some of the books I’ve read in the past little while. How do I define past little while? Not quite sure but I read on average (at least) two books a week. Some people read more, some less. If you’re in the less category, don’t think I lounge on the sofa all day consuming bon-bons and racy novels. I read quickly, voraciously and watch very little television.

My list includes only those books I enjoyed. I’m excluding any stinkers for the following reasons:

a) if it stunk, I usually don’t finish it (life is too short)
b) I have too much respect for any author who managed to write a book to pan their work

Here goes:

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (a memoir) - Dave Eggers
(late to the party on this one – loved it)

The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman
(strange but wonderful – kind of like me...)

Ten Thousand Lovers – Edeet Ravel
(fascinating – and, no, it was not the title that inspired me to read it)

Libra – Don Delillo
(recommended by Cip – excellent and disturbing and it gave me a bad dream)

Shadow of Power – Steve Martini
(I have a weakness for legal thrillers – this one delivered)

Capturing Paris – Katherine Davis
(thank you, Bee, for recommending this one – it was all you said it was)

February Flowers – Fan Wu
(recommended by Seraphine – fascinating – loved it and learned from it)

Red Plaid Shirt - Diane Schoemperlen
(a wonderful book of short stories I carried with me for waiting times in offices, etc. - one should never be without a book…)

Handle With Care – Jodi Picoult
(loved it – enjoy all her novels)

The Road – Cormac McCarthy
(again, late to the party on this one – my recommendation for Book Club – I loved it – others found it depressing or disturbing – made for excellent conversation despite or because of the differing opinions. Mine, of course, was right…)

A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick
(gives new meaning to the word “reliable” – one of those “must get back to it asap books” – gave me a glimpse into an unfamiliar and intriguing world)

Mouthing The Words – Camilla Gibb
(described by The National Post as “…a powerful but darkly comic novel.” It was. Loved it.)

There are more but I’ve either given them away and can’t remember the titles at the moment (the perils of reading too much) or I’m too lazy to get up and find the others.

Perhaps these recommendations might assist you in preparing a summer reading list? I’m off to the used book store today with my current “Must Read” list. I get twitchy when there are only two books left in my “To Read” pile.


Deidra said...

This is a great list! Thanks. I'm almost done reading Broken For You, and have committed myself to read Jane Eyre next (never read it - imagine that). I will return to your list to learn which book will follow Jane.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

You must read fast! Thanks for some of the suggestions. I don't have much fiction in my pile. I just started Lewis DeSoto's A Blade of Grass but I can see it's going to be slow going. Now I've got to check out the library with some of yours.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Great list! I haven't read one of them because blogs. *hangs head* I actually just finished A Year of Fog, which was pretty good.

Bee said...

I haven't read the Dave Eggers ("even later to the party"), either. I just got around to read The Lovely Bones and The Road, too.

I have seen it mentioned so many times in the past week or two that I am taking that for a SIGN.

However, I have a formidable book stack (as always) -- including all of Amanda Craig's books, because I just read her Hearts and Minds and LOVED it. (I'm reviewing it next week, in fact.)

I like it when you talk about books . . . or anything at all, in fact. I also don't watch TV, but keep my mouth shut when my walking buddies tell me that they "don't have time to read" in between descriptions of various crap TV programs.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I used to read Steve Martini's novel but the characters became sort of bland and predictable. As for The Road -- well written, yet not much of a plot.

I'll have to check some of those other titles out.

laughingwolf said...

sound like some i'd be interested in, thx beth...

oreneta said...

I have bookmarked this post...TPL here I come...going to go on line about a week before I get there and request a whole bunch of books, so they are ready and waiting for me when I return!

Zhu said...

I'm on the waiting list for "handle with care" at the library. I believe I read one of her book long long time ago (maybe even in French) and I remember I liked her writing.

I'm adding a few of these books to my must-read!

What kind of stuff do you mostly read? Maybe I can recommend some books. I'm that freak who read a book a day :D

Seraphine said...

awww you read it!
with books, i'm always "late to the party" too. even if i buy a book hot off the presses, it sits next to my bed for a few months before i finally crack its spine.
i love the smell of new books.
when i get on a reading frenzy, i'll have books in almost every room of the house, in the car and in a drawer at work. but good books are timeless, i don't worry so much if they are old or if they are new.

Gary said...

Thanks for the list Beth. Some good tips there and I have not read most of them.

A couple from me if you haven't read them yet:

Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishaguro
The Flying Troutmans by Myriam Toews

I love to read.

Beth said...

This post worked out very well for me - via some of the comments I now have other titles to check out - although some of them I have already read. ;)
Happy reading!

Mary-Laure said...

Wonderful list, I haven't read a single one of those so your suggestions are great.

Barrie said...

Thanks. I always love recommendations. I'm jealous that you've pared your TBR pile down to two books. Mine is threatening to take over the house!

sherry lee said...

I love the books you read!! :)

And I couldn't agree more...though I respect authors for the time and the creative imagination that allows them to entertain us with their thoughts, not every book is a "keeper" with me. If I'm not hooked by a certain point I have to move on. Case in point...I just didn't get or enjoy "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"...tried it a few years ago and gave it away.

patricia said...

Wow! What a list! And yeah, I know what you mean about, um, feeling like one should strip the 'book' part from one's blog – but then I'd just be 'Lust', and well, who knows what kind of commenters I'd get!

Me, I've been on a serious Ian McEwan kick – love, love, love his writing. And the mystery author Fred Vargas. Best mystery writing I have ever read. Translated from French, the author is from Paris (she's originally an anthropologist and historian. I hate people who are so damn talented). Wish I could read it in the original language – I'm sure the writing is even more amazing.

Also really enjoying the memoirs and writing of Diana Athill. She was an editor for the publishing company André Deutsch. Her latest book, about being an old lady (she's over 90 now) is called 'Somewhere Towards The End'. Lovely.

Oh, and wait, one more recommendation – The Elegance of the Hedgehog – also translated from French. Beautiful, beautiful book.

See what you've started? And really, I should be talking about this on my own blog, darn it!

Yolanda said...

Have missed reading your blog but glad I found it again.