Wednesday, September 30

Reading is good

In case you've been wondering, I haven't fallen victim to some tragic illness rendering my hands paralyzed and unable to create or write about our creating. Rather, I've fallen victim to reading. Books. I'm an addict. It actually started last winter, but my addiction has become more severe recently causing my interest in using my hands for any purpose other than flipping pages to wane.
I'm not reading every minute of the day. In fact, some books have remained bedside for several weeks as I've found only a few minutes of the evening available for reading (that brief time between crawling into bed and finding the book on your face). Nevertheless, as soon as I find time to finish one, I'm on to the next.
I commented some months ago (here) that I would never post a list of books I'd read during the year on my blog as I'd find it too embarrassing. I'm revising that. I found it so enjoyable getting comments from you on which books you've loved that I'm doing it. I'm posting my list.
Some of the books I've read were at your suggestion. Others happened to find their way from a friend's hand to mine. Some happened to be on a shelf near the bed in which I slept at my parents' house. And some I sought out after enjoying other books by the same author. I'm still planning on following up on some of your previous recommendations, but I'd love to hear an update on what you're reading and loving. And when do you read? During a sneaky trip to the bathroom? While waiting for the oatmeal to finish it's go-round in the microwave? While sitting on the bench during gymnastics class? When you should be doing your own homework or preparing to teach on a topic completely unrelated?

My 2009 reading list
Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir by Marina Nemat
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell, which includes Mr. Harrison's Confessions, Cranford, and My Lady Ludlow
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A Girl From Yamhill: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary (I just realized, after wishing this story would have continued beyond her high school graduation, that she does continue her story in My Own Two Feet: A Memoir. Guess what's going on my To Read list?)
James Herriot's Cat Stories by James Herriot (If you've never read his All Creatures Great and Small series, you should!)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Currently working on Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

To Read:
John Adams by David McCullough
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis
Something by Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food or The Omnivore's Challenge)
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (Somehow I've made it this far without reading Dickens and I feel I should remedy that).
My Own Two Feet: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary

So there you have it. My pleasure reads.


Amber said...

I loved the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! I didn't want it to end, likewise I really liked The Secret Life of Bees. Have you read the Devil in the White City? That's a good one too, and so interesting because it's about Chicago. I think you should give a rating to the books you've read.... stars? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Littlemummy said...

A thousand splendid sun is one of two of the best books I've read this year, the other - Snowflower and the Secret Fan which moved me to tears.

Susie said...

Mmmmmm, yummy!

Happily, I am a reader too. And also very happily, we have a robust public library system around here. Yes! I love the books but I hardly ever buy them. Sorry, all you authors out there. Lately this policy has proven wise, as we've figured out that both our kids are allergic to dust & I would love to do other things (like read) than getting rid of dust all day.

How did you like Life of Pi? What do you think? Was it actually a psychological thriller, except the psychological part only comes apparent at the end? I started to try & sort that one out but got kind of mixed up...

And I love Alexander McCall Smith's No 1 series, Sunday Philosophy club series and Scotland series. But his Irregular Verbs series kind of passes me by. I'm sure it's very funny, but I just don't get it. ! If you haven't looked at them, he also has a lovely little series for children. Perhaps a little old for your whole troupe, but your oldest might dig 'em.

Yay for books and what they do for us. Keep 'em coming!

Amy said...

John Adams is fantastic. Can't wait to talk to you about that one once you get started. Of course, I think you should read McCullough's TRUMAN as well, and also UNDAUNTED COURAGE by Steven Ambrose.

Rhina said...

If you're going to read Dickens, I'd honestly suggest something a bit more palatable and can be digested with some ease - A Christmas Carol is my absolute favorite. You get the flavour of him without overwhelming yourself with tons of symbolise and a treatsie on Victorian London social life. *g* But then I read A Christmas Carol aloud to 2nd graders so I might be biased... There are a couple on your list I'm going to have to read!

Sweet Em said...

Can I suggest listening to John Adams on CD as read by David McCullough? It is abridged somewhat and thats a bummer - but it is read so so well. Its nice to have a grandpa read to you.

moomer said...

As someone has said, "So many books, so little time." You know that I read my faves multiple times & need to try new authors. In reference to the comment by Susie, I've already got some of Alexander McCall Smith's kids' books on the wish list for when the Heeps are ready for them!

Sara said...

I have also loved The Secret Life of Bees and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Like another of your comments, I also liked Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Can I suggest that you might like Monique and the Mango Rains? It was one of the best books I read last year.

Southern Gal said...

Love, love, love reading. I usually read late at night or sitting outside while my 7yo plays.

I had a mission to read the 'classics' a few years back. I made a partial list, but wish I had recorded them all. Sometimes I actually forget which titles I've read and don't realize it until the story starts to sound very familiar...although I find you'll get that feeling with all Charles Dickins' books.

Latest read: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on recommendation from another blogger. Loved it. Now onto Beverly Cleary's books. Thanks.

Jolanthe said...

Love the No. 1 Ladies series.

I tried the Cranford book....just couldn't do it. I had such a hard time following it. :)

Hedgetoad said...

I definitely agree with choosing A Christmas Carol to start with... and I enjoyed Nickolas Nickleby much better, but that's just me.

Sarah / Bee House Hives said...

Thank you for sharing your book list! I have been so lazy with reading. I have started a list for winter (long here in Montana) and now have some more to add to it after this post :)

KellyH said...

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books are some of my favorites. Also really enjoy Potato Peel Pie Society.... just finished that one and it was one of those that I look forward to reading when I went to bed every night!!

Cameron Blazer said...

I love both of your lists--I haven't read all the books on either, but I have read several on each, and I think we must have similar tastes. Maybe you should start an online book club?

Jennifer DeDonato said...

I read the Secret Life Of Bees this Summer in two days! Your right reading is good.

Annette said...

It is so true, there is not enough time to read all we want. Thanks for the recommendations. Try a small lovely book called The Professor and the Housekeeper. For something a bit longer (actually quite a bit longer) the Sunne In Splendour, a novel of Richard III. Last year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer a good friend gave it to me. My treatment is finished, the book is not. I pick it up occasionally when I am in the mood and enjoy it's epic quality.

Thanks for recommendations and the comments. Lot's of good suggestions!

Jackie said...

I feel much the same way you do about posting my list. I don't have a blog, so mine is posted as a list on my facebook page and for a while, I was keeping certain books off due to embarrassment, but then I figured, what the heck.

I spent THE ENTIRE WEEKEND reading...specifically, reading the entire Twilight series. Even this is slightly embarrassing. I resisted it for so long, but once I gave in and read the first book, it was all over from there.

I too tend to seek out other books by authors I've enjoyed, sometimes with great results and sometimes disappointing. For instance, since I adored The Secret Life of Bees, I read The Mermaid Chair by the same author, and that one left a bad taste in my mouth.

Happy Reading!

Karen said...

Thank you so much for the book list!! Have you signed up with Goodreads ( I love this mainly for the "To-Read" feature and now whenever I hear about a good book I add it there and not on some random scrap of paper only to be lost later. You can also have "friends" that you follow and see what they're reading and add to your lists that way too. I'd love to compare lists with you.

Right now I'm knee deep in The Pillars of the Earth and finishing it is now just something I must do. If I can make it 557 pages, I can make the whole 900!!

sewperstitious said...

I read "A thousand splendid suns" and "Life of Pi" too, and loved them. At the moment I'm reading "The time traveller's wife" by A. Niffenger and until now, I find it really fascinating.

I normally read on my way to work in the subway but i like to read in bed too.

Thank you very much for this list. I always like to know what other people read.

Nance said...

Thanks for your lists. I just added a bunch of books to my goodreads "to read" list.

Autumn said...

I really liked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's good on audiobook if you listen to those, though I'm not sure how abridged it is.

Pink & Green Mama said...

Your book list is on my bedside table, well...most of them anyway and my books I've read and books I'm meaning to read are very similar to yours. I love reading and am a book addict. I've asked friends and family to only give me books for christmas this year. I recommend "the time traveler's wife" by audrey niffenegger it's my favorite book (animal vegetable miracle is my second favorite)
Happy reading! : ) I'm giving your hand print embroidery project a whirl for some xmas gifts this year

Scrappycook said...

I love reading! It is the last thing I do before slipping into dreamland each night. I also read while feeding a baby (I run a daycare).

I have a couple to add to your list - favorites of mine this last year. The Book Thief, The Help, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Snowflower and the Secret Fan and The Hunger Games. I've read most of the ones on your list and I am going to add the rest to goodreads.

I could not get through The Life of Pi.

Jessica said...

Ah reading is always my downfall too. I'm addicted as well and every year I seem to get a little worse, trying to devour books like chocolate and building up a completely unmanageable to read list in the process. It seems that for every book I read I find another 5 that I can't wait to start. Because of general Christmas present panic I'm trying to cut down my reading until that is all done, but all I want to do is curl up with a book and a cup of tea.

Sarah said...

Oh, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pi Society and The Life of Pie are among my most favorite books of all time! *sigh*

sophia said...

i also love reading especially when i am in a bad mood.reading is really a good way in which we can find something out of reality and we can release ourself in it.

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