Monday, June 18, 2007

Book Club anyone?

I was just down here working out (I know! I know! Kevin and I are trying again... I felt so good after three weeks of working and I feel SO bad now - I would so much prefer to feel good then bad so I am on a mission now. Giving it my all - even the eating part of things. I decided to give up a lot of bad habits I have formed over the course of two years - have you heard this before? yeah I know so I am going to shut about it because phooey if I do not accomplish my goals. Plus I want to get in shape for me and if/when we decide to have another baby I want to be ready this time...) I digress. I was looking at my book shelf and I (un)conscientiously put four of my favorite books together. Three of them I read during the past two years and one is years old.

The first is the oldest - Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. It is an excellent book - it made a HUGE impression on me. Maybe because I can remember my mom's tales of WW II and also her odd hatred/fascination with all things German. It just gave me a whole new way of looking at Germany during WW II as told by a little person.

The second is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. One word - WOW. I just - yes words escape me... I thought this was one of the best reads and everyone should read it so that at the end you can tell me what you think happened on his "journey".

The third is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Again, I am not sure words can quite describe this book for me - I sobbed at the end. Again, it gave me an interesting insight into Middle East and it was also set in partly in Northern CA (San Jose, Hayward, etc...) I just felt so connected to the main character I could hardly put it down. I cannot wait to read A Thousand Splendid Suns (I love this man - I listened to the entire interview he had on NPR weeks ago - he is down to earth and amazing. The thing that floors me every time is that there are many people out there with his story - I actually recently placed a physician who escaped from her country when she was child but was tortured prior to the escape - I was told this later by the hospital administrator - I already held her in high regard but now even more so... It is just that we all have a story - though some our stories are more dramatic then others...)

The final book is The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I picked this one up on a whim at Target (as I have mentioned before Target draws me in and spits me out $100s of dollars poorer EVERY TIME...) I have always been fascinated by stories that have to do with this era - slavery and the civil war and all that goes along with that era. I am not sure why - sort of this morbid fascination over something that I cannot possibly imagine yet has shaped the US into what it is today.

I have runner's up of course - Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, Wicked, Memoirs of Geisha, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, East of Eden/Cannery Row/The Grapes of Wrath, The Devil in the White City, The Red Tent, A Map of the World, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (which ultimately lead me down the path at a very young age of being a vegetarian in some form or another over the years since I read that book) as well Fast Food Nation, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Tipping Point, anything by Barbara Kingsolver (read anything but certainly I would highly recommend The Poisonwood Bible & The Bean Trees), and anything by Sue Miller (whose books left me raw - they really cut to the meat of my feelings at the time I that I read them...)

There are so many more but these are some of my top favs. I have a million books I want to read - only look at my Amazon wish list and you will see (plus there are at least ten books sitting on/in bed stand that I have not even had a chance to get to. I am STILL trying to finish Bel Canto which I had to start over with...) What about you? Are you as much of a dorky book worm as I am? What are your favorites?


jennifer said...

My word this is like looking at my own book shelf but we have ALWAYS had that in common - remember our bike rides to the library to raid the Stephen King section? I loved Life of Pi & Kite Runner. Cried dramatically through both of them WHILE pregnant and on public transportation. I watched the Book Expo on CSPAN this weekend with Stephen Colbert as the MC & Kite Runner dude was there - so very good. My other recent favorites have been this series from Jasper Fforde - you need to read them! Shadow of the Wind is most excellent - European Lit. Mystery (mystery about lit. not mystery genre) & I started picking up these quick actual mystery books by Alexander McCall Smith - the lady detective series.

Welcome to our World said...

I will definitely try these out - I added some to my wish list on Amazon - basically my way of keeping track of what I want to read... Dying to read Water for Elephants and The Dept of Lost & Found. I forgot to add the Alienist by Caleb Carr. That book - OMG so good... His other stuff, not so great in my book. I need to spend more time at B&N... I used to do that all the time before we had a baby - now mostly when I get there it is to take Matthew to the kiddie section and I hardly get to run my fingers over the books in the big kid section (same goes for the library!)