Friday, December 5, 2014

Call Me Ishmael

You magnificent bastards.

I asked for 40 books and you gave me 60 (and counting!)  True, many of you gave me multiple books, but each pick counted. Some of you sent me private messages, warning me about content, or sharing why you want me to read a particular book. Others wrote me lovely letters. One of you even got me a copy of the book, personally inscribed by both the author and the person about whom the book was written. That person gets a double gold star.

Out of the 60 books on the list, I already own 22. Out of those 22, I have only read 16. One book showed up via Amazon (thanks beloved BIL). One showed up mysteriously in the back of my car and three need to be returned to their owner when I’m done. Thanks to a wicked pre-Christmas sale, another 17 are on their way via Better World Books, an online used book store that donates one book for every book bought. (I haven’t told my husband about that box yet. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t notice it among all the other deliveries this time of year. In my defense, each book was only $2.50.) I’ll pick up the rest as the months roll along.   

Many of you worried that I was too well read to have missed your favorite tome, but I assure you that the breadth and depth of my reading have been greatly exaggerated. I don’t read half as much as I’d like to nor half as much as you would expect me to. All of that is about to change.

I have to applaud you all on your choices. I will be reading Russian lit for the first time, after successfully avoiding it my entire life. I will be enjoying the history of the flu epidemic, after which I will need a chemical bath and a treatise on bee keeping, after which I’ll need some tea with honey.  I will get to learn about, in depth and in great detail, the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Ozzy Osborne, and Anthony Kiedis, an odd mix of individuals I wouldn’t think to invite to a dinner party. I’ll delve into fiction, non-fiction, history and self-help, children’s books and comic books, sci-fi and fantasy, and go both into thin air and into the wild. I’m almost dizzy with the thought of all the places I’ll go and all the people I’ll meet.

I am, however, a bit concerned about all the Cormac McCarthy I’m going to read. I’m also concerned that life growing up in the Pine Barrens was a whole lot darker than I ever imagined based on the book choices of those who grew up there.  

Anyway, join me on this journey through the reading lives of my friends and family. I’ll post a new blog every Friday with an update on what I have read, what I have thought, and what I plan to read next. Maybe you’ll read along, returning to lost loves or finding new ones along the way. Maybe you’ll ignore me entirely, going on about your own life, reading your own books. That’s fine too.

Either way, I’m pretty sure I’m going to need a bigger bookshelf. 

Here is a copy of the list as it currently stands.

  1. The Boy Who Said No - Patti Sheehy
  2. The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
  3. Verbal Judo by George Thompson
  4. A Book of Bees - Sue Hubbell
  5. The Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout.
  6. American Wife – Curtis Sittenfeld
  7. The Bridges of Madison County – Robert James Waller
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  9. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendek
  10. Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult
  11. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  12. House of Sand and Fog – Andre Dubos
  13. The Little Prince – Autoine de Saint-Exupery
  14. The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams
  15. The Family – Mario Puzo
  16. I am Ozzy – Ozzy Osbourne
  17. Object Lessons by Anna Quindlen-
  18. Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa
  19. Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
  20. Time Traveler's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  21. A Question of Attraction  - David Nichols
  22. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  23. The Book Thief  - Marcus Zusak
  24. A Prayer for Owen Meaney
  25. A Dirty Job – Christopher Moore
  26. Lamb – Christopher Moore
  27. Running Man – Richard Bachman          
  28. The Walking Dead – R Kirkman
  29. Dragon’s of Autumn’s Twilight – Weis/Hickman
  30. American Pastoral – Phillip Roth
  31. The Charm School – Nelson DeMille
  32. A Widow for One Year – John Irving
  33. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle
  34. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  35. Dune – Frank Herbert
  36. Angels of Repose – Wallace Stagner
  37. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakaour
  38. The Stand – Stephen King
  39. The Big Influenza – John M. Barry
  40. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  41. The Most Beautiful Woman in Town – Charles Bukowski
  42. My Dark Places
  43. After Camelot – J. Randy Taraborrelli
  44. What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
  45. Wifey – Judy Blume
  46. Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis
  47. High Fidelity – Nick Hornsby
  48. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
  49. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
  50. The Post-Birthday World
  51. Despair – Vladimir Nobokov
  52. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  53. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  54. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  55. No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
  56. The Plot Against America – Phillip Roth
  57. Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
  58. Founding Brothers – Joseph Ellis
  59. What is the What – Dave Eggers
  60. The Boys of Winter – Wayne Coffey
  61. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  62. Guardians of the West – David Eddings 
  63. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  64. Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
  65. Blindside - Robin Cook 

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