Saturday, June 6, 2009

3 Way Weekend: Good reads

I know it’s not been all that long since we did our desert island book 3 way, but that post was specifically asking what three books would you take with you to a desert island if you were only allowed to take three -- the question arising out of a need to pair down book holdings for a household move.

And it’s been almost a year since Ellie’s summer reading post, which provided us with some great book recommendations last summer, so I figure it’s okay to propose a similar question for this week’s 3 way, and for this summer. So...

What great books have you been reading? Or even, what books do you have piled on your night stand that you can’t wait to crack open?

Jacquie recently lent me “The Book Thief,” a book that took me a while to get into, but which I ended up thoroughly enjoying. It’s a big fat book written from an original point of view, and I highly recommend it.

I also really enjoyed “Run” by Ann Patchett, and “People of the Book: A Novel” by Geraldine Brooks.

Luckily I have a growing pile of yet un-read books by my bed; two that I’m looking forward to reading are “The Reader” by Bernhard Schlink and “The Double Bind” by Chris Bohjalian.

I've read all of those, Beth - great books. Recently on facebook, Ellie's been requesting that we list "15 books." The meme is: without thinking too much about it list 15 books that you've read that will stick with you. These lists, from friends and family around the world, have been really awesome. But that wasn't your question!

Books on my nightstand:

I have several nonfiction books that I am determined to get to: The Last Lecture, Three Cups of Tea, and that Eckhard Tolle one. I'm all for self actualization and all that shit.

I'm currently reading Belong to Me, sequel to Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos. It's music to my eyes.

Next up? I don't know! Ellie promises to make a master list of everyone's 15 books, and I know I'll find a boatload that I am desperate to devour. Yum, books.

My to-read list is a mile long, due in part to a blog I stumbled across a month or so ago, with 112 comments of book suggestions -- lots of repetition, lots of stuff I've already read, but lots and lots of new ideas, too.

And because of the 15 books lists. It has, in fact, been a fascinating exercise. My friend Patti wrote: "It struck me as so fitting that many of the books people remember are the ones we read as children." It's true -- lots of stuff on peoples' 15 books lists are books they read as kids, and a lot of those books overlap on separate 15 books lists. But a lot of books show up on completely disparate lists, and that I love. Both Tom in Hailey, Idaho and Paul in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (soon to return to our American shores) listed The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. So that's now on my list (I loved his In the Lake of the Woods). And both Tami in Norwalk CT and Owen in New London CT listed Moneyball by Michael Lewis. So that's on my to-read list now too. (And Michael Lewis has a new book out that was reviewed in the NYTimes this week. So that one's on my list now too.)

Okay, but the first part of your question, Beth. My three most recent reads, all of which I liked, all recommended by strangers on a stranger's blog:

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
The Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Right now I'm reading The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies and Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, and both have become more relevant in just the last few days, because of all the D-Day stuff going on (Uncle Charlie!).

And finally, my current to-read stack of library books:

I am compiling a master list, of all the 15 books lists, and I will distribute when I get a few more. Beth? Anybody else?


needs to read in Central PA said...

I had no idea Belong To Me was a I need to get the first book since I enjoyed the sequel.

I also need to get back to reading something other than the morning paper, this blog, and Sports Illustrated. (not that they are not all worth my time and energy)

With that said, the last book I read happened to be one that I enjoyed so much, I bought and mailed it to several people.
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.
I would prefer that no one else I know get a cancer diagnosis but Kelly gives a great voice to her experience. There was also a page that took my breath away and put into word the exact feelings I have carried with me about my mother's death. It's a rare find when someone's talent with words can offer validation for some unspoken feeling in your heart.

Now I will pick from your helpful lists and add "reading a good book" to my summer 'to do' list!

KathyR said...

There are at least two scenes in The Things They Carried that will be forever lodged in my head.

Those comments you pointed to are really diverse. Sparkling gems and utter crap in pretty equal measure. Your pointer to This House of Sky is definitely in the "gem" category.

Tami said...

Really liked Peace Like a River and the Welsh Girl...thanks for the suggestions to add to my list. Now reading Outlander by Gil Adamson and Enough by John Bogle.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Yes, Ellie, pretty, pretty please put me on the 15 books distribution list.

And I am so happy to report that I got "The Middle Place" as a birthday gift today. That's next up, right after I finish "My Horizontal Life," which I am enjoying, thankyouverymuch, Jacquie :-)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Tami, I think it was your mom who recommended The Welsh Girl to me, actually.

And Kathy R, clearly, that Tim O'Brien book is going to be next. Well, after I read everything on my shelf, and what the library is already holding for me...

(Jacquie, it's free to request/hold a book here; isn't that grand?)


Springer Kneeblood said...

I'd like to be on your book list. I need to either get a new prescription for my eyeglasses or a Kindle or both, but would love to be able to read all this good stuff.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Beth! I meant I need your 15 books list!

And of course I'll send you the master list, too.

I'm going to put a shout out for more lists right this very moment....