Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.

Along with my AFI Top 100 Film project, I've decided that I am going to try to get through all the books on my bookshelf. See, for years I have been loading my shelves with books I was interested in reading. And then, I'd check books out of the library and never get around to the ones on my shelves - or only get through a small fraction of them. I'm a slower reader than a lot of other people I know who love to read. That makes this habit even more absurd. So I have compiled the following list of books that occupy space on my shelves but which I have not read. I am putting them in the order I would like to read them, but that's according to my current mood so it may change.

The Chelsea Whistle – Michelle Tea (I started this a few months ago, but then set it aside temporarily so this makes first priority).

Franny & Zooey – J.D Salinger

On The Road - Jack Kerouac (finished February 2010)

Rescuing Patty Hearst – Virginia Holman

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

The Whole World Was Watching – Romaine Patterson

Girlbomb – Janice Erlbaum

The Year of Pleasures - Elizabeth Berg

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares  (finished February 28, 2010)

Everybody Into The Pool – Beth Lisick

Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion

Reservation Blues – Sherman Alexie

Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins

The February House – Sherill Tippins

House of Spirits – I. Allende

The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama

Tess of D'urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

The Widows of Eastwick – John Updike

Junky – William Burroughs

Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Still Life With Woodpecker – Tom Robbins

Across The Wire – Luis Alberto Urrea

Lullaby – Chuck Palahniuk

Rough Magic - Paul Alexander

Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

The Devil's Highway – Luis Alberto Urrea

Sylvia Plath: A Biography - Linda Wagner-Martin

Three Lives & Tender Buttons - Gertrude Stein

The Morning After – Katie Roiphe

Savage Beauty – Nancy Milford

The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

Her Husband – Diane Middlebrook

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit -Jeanette Winterson

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Johnny Panic & The Bible of Dreams- Sylvia Plath

Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte

Angle of Repose – Wallace Stegner

The Unruly Life of Woody Allen – Marion Meade

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life

Heidi – Joanna Spyri

The Ihop Papers – Ali Liebegott

The Messenger – Lois Lowry

The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker

Ted Hughes: The Life of A Poet – Elaine Feinstein

I actually have, over the years, tried to get rid of some books that I was thinking I'd never get to or that, if I did eventually get to them, I would be happy just grabbing a library copy. Like I said, I'm a slow reader, so I was trying to be realistic. But there were those I just really wanted to believe I'd read and that I had high hopes for - these are them.

I should also say that I really own a lot of books and I actually have read most of them.

* * *
On a semi-related note, I have been on a quest to help my girlfriend find more books and authors she will enjoy reading. But she's got somewhat different taste in literature than I do and it's been difficult. Here's what I know: She has enjoyed the works of Carl Hiassen, Christopher Moore, Joe Hill and Stephen King - but she has read pretty much all of their books. She has also read a great deal of Dean Koontz and David Sedaris, but even she doesn't remember which ones of Koontz's books she's read and as for Sedaris, she hasn't been in the mood for memoir lately. She reads the occasional YA novels, like I do, and has recently enjoyed Susan Beth Pfieffer's Life As We Knew It and Lauren McLaughlin's Cycler and Recycler. I think the only lesbian novels she's loved (that I know of) are Annie On My Mind and Fingersmith, though she has read other Sarah Waters and Nancy Garden books (and Emma Donoghue, Michelle Tea, etc.) - but she's usually up for giving them a shot. She likes humor, she likes ghosts, she likes natural disasters - but she reads more fiction than nonfiction or, rather, has been in more of a fiction mood lately. I tend to check out piles of books for her at a time - if she really gets going, she can read one or two books a week depending on their length. But often it's just hit and miss and I end up returning the majority of those books because they don't interest her. I keep looking, though, because I kind of enjoy it. I am a bit of a sucker for turning people on to new music, movies or books. As John Travolta says in A Love Song For Bobby Long, "I really, really do enjoy fostering inspiration." Er...or something like that. So if you can think of any books that might be good for her, please feel free to toss a list my way.


  1. Instead of Woody Allen, may I suggest my new biography,"Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney," published Mar. 11.
    Marion Meade

  2. Yay! You've got a couple of my favorite books on here.

    One Hundred Years of Solitude is my absolute favorite out of, what, four books that I adored. The others being Leaves of Grass by Whitman, Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It's really funny that two of those are nonfiction as I really have no interest in it.

    I think I will always recommend those mystical realism books, not that I know of any, like Isabel Allende's House of the Spirits. That was a required reading, in high school maybe, and I had to reread that.

    Aside from those regular books I've had the most fun with three series about vampires. They are like watching cheesy tv or some other guilty pleasure. I am just too amused and entertained!! Anyway they are The Undead Series by MaryJanice Davidson(my most favorite), Dead End Dating series by Kimberly Raye and The Jane Jameson Series by Molly Harper.

    I should note that they are all part romance so you get a bit of "his big whatsit...filling me up...blah blah blah". Having read a real romance novel, it is tolerable, real and just raunchy, not flowery. Those pages can be skipped though. I just love the characters even if some are partly shallow/stupid. Purely for entertainment, great entertainment!!

  3. I guess I could always go check. :)

  4. @Charity - Ha, "his big whatsit" cracked me up. Kathy has been in a mood for mostly women authors lately, though she makes exceptions for writers like Christopher Moore, Carl Hiassen, Stephen King and Joe Hill because they're some of her favorites. *I* actually recommend Christopher Moore for you, too...if you haven't read his already, I think you might like them. They're really bizarre and funny. I couldn't stop cracking up reading "A Dirty Job."

    Do you have a Goodreads account? And if so, have you added me? Heh...I can't seem to recall.