Thursday, February 19, 2009
The To Be Read pile on my bedside table is the size of Mount Vesuvius -- an apt metaphor, as I believe it may be about to blow. It is 33 books high. I need to find a better way to stack it before I get brained in the night.
Here's my own variation on a meme I saw at The Longstockings the other day:
THREE BOOKS I RECENTLY FINISHED READING
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Loved it and could not put it down. I'm a Katniss fangirl.
2. A Dictionary of the English Language, by Samuel Johnson (published in 1755). Okay, if my claim here makes you a little skeptical, I can't blame you. No, I didn't read the entire dictionary. I don't even have access to one at the moment. But I did read the Preface and then take a concentrated look at a few different modern compilations. I did this for work reasons, btw, not because I'm crazy, and the truth is, it was very unsatisfying. What I need are his definitions of ordinary words, like light and bread, but what the compilers tend to focus on are the weird, obsolete words, like ponk and ninnyhammer. Curses! Why, oh why, has no one published an affordable modern version of the entire dictionary with tiny print and tissue paper pages?
3. Dairy Queen; The Off Season; and Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Yes, my third book is technically three books. :o) This is the D.J. Schwenk trilogy, the first two books of which I mentioned the other day. The difference is that since then, I've gotten to take a sneak peak at the third book, Front and Center, and am now in a position to tell you that it's wonderful, hysterical, an inspiring and satisfying conclusion to the D.J. saga! (D.J., in case you haven't met her, is a high school gal who'd much rather spend Friday night playing linebacker than painting her toenails and going to a dance.) F&C comes out in the fall.
THREE BOOKS I'M CURRENTLY READING
1. Gone to Soldiers, by Marge Piercy. 800-page-long World War II epic with ten alternating protagonists. Magnificent, but not for the faint of heart. This book has somewhat taken over my life. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself when I get to the end. There will be no reason to keep living.
2. Elephant House: or, the Home of Edward Gorey, photographs and text by Kevin McDermott. A week after artist Edward Gorey's sudden death at the age of 75, his friend Kevin McDermott photographed his house on Cape Cod, memorializing the living space of a strange and gentle genius. First I went through this book, looking at all the pictures. Now I'm going through again and reading the words. He loved cats and all other animals; he had an incomparable imagination; I would go crazy living in the clutter he lived in, but I have to admit, he did good things with his clutter. It is oddly beautiful clutter. :o) I love this chance to peek into his world.
3. Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. First a friend told me, "You would adore this book," and I was like, "Eh, whatever. Have you seen my volcanic TBR pile?" Then another friend told me, "I'm reading this book and it keeps bringing you to mind," and I was like, "Huh. Creepy." Then a third friend told me, "Have you heard of this book? It's made of light!" and finally I was like, "Fine! I'll read the freaking book!" It's a memoir about one woman's pilgrimage to Italy, India, and Indonesia following a devastating divorce. So far, my friends are right. I love it and am always either laughing or sniffling. Gilbert has just gotten to Rome, and I'm so happy, because Rome is my favorite place in the world. (I have not been everywhere in the world, but still, I know in my soul that this is true.)
THREE BOOKS NEXT IN LINE
1. The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner
2. The Smile, by Donna Jo Napoli
3. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
Now your turn!