I’m currently in the middle of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, a novel I’ve heard much about but never had a particular desire to read. Not for any good reason, it just didn’t sound like something that would appeal to me. Recently, though, I learned that a friend of mine has read this novel at least a dozen times, that she absolutely adores it, and my opinions on these matters usually coincide with hers, so I thought it was time to give it a try. And I do like it, so far. I’m very curious to see how it will end. I’ve also started a collection of short stories that I bought at Powell’s Books in Portland called Crimes In Southern Indiana by Frank Bill that I am also really enjoying. But, as usual, I’m already looking ahead to what comes next and I thought I’d share with you the list of books currently waiting for me to get to them:
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice -this book comes highly recommended to me from a friend whose opinions on literature I greatly value. I read Interview With A Vampire more than a decade ago and liked it but never got around to reading any others among Rice’s extensive body of work. I’m seriously not into vampires these days (Twilight has killed the concept for me) so witches will be a refreshing break!
Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell -I read Outliers a few months ago and felt inspired and amazed by Galdwell’s ability to weave together the intricacies that lead people to the lives they eventually live. Blink addresses the decision-making abilities we have, or think we have. Using both neuroscience and psychology, he discusses how the difference between making good choices and bad has nothing to do with the amount of information we can process quickly, but with the few particular details on which we focus. Supposedly, it’ll help me make better decisions. And hey, I’ll take all the help I can get!
Villette by Charlotte Bronte -After devouring Jane Eyre (and loving every word of it), I decided to download Villette onto my Kindle. I’ve also recently read Wuthering Heights for the first time and have now officially become a fan of the darkly intricate minds of the Bronte sisters.
Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi -I first read about this collection of short stories a couple of years ago and decided to buy it with an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas. The stories are science fiction and cover everything from genetic engineering to a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. It is Bacigalupi’s first published collection and has already been hailed by critics for its social, political and environmental relevance.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky -I read The Idiot a couple of years ago and while I did really like it, I must admit it was a tough read. Written in Russian in 1869, I thought perhaps some things were lost in translation. The heart of the story and its characters made it worth the trouble but I often had to re-read passages to gain a complete understanding of what exactly happened and to whom. (The names alone confused me.) So, you can see why I’ve put off reading another of his books. But The Brothers Karamazov is largely considered one of Dostoyevsky’s best and I’m sure will be worth the time and effort it might take to get through it.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath -You know I’m a sucker for the classics and I’m sorry to say I’ve never read any of Sylvia Plath’s work. After reading The Awakening a few years ago and marveling at the way I immediately connected with the lead character, a character created in the mind of a woman who lived 100 years before I came into existence, I added The Bell Jar to my list of “must reads.” Hailed as an early feminist work and found on every list of essential readings for women, I may have to bump it up to the next spot on my list.
Just Kids by Patti Smith -Winner of the National Book Award in nonfiction, Kids tells the story of musician and artist Patti Smith (before she became famous) and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe during the 60s and 70s. I almost never read memoirs but who can resist the story of a bohemian budding artist in New York City in the 70s? Not me.
What are you reading?