I love love love to read. I devour books. Sometimes, I have to tell myself to slow down and savor every word, because, if it’s a good book, it’s over too soon. When I find a book I love, I become a book pusher. “Here, read this book. I think you’d really like it. Do you want to borrow it?” And then the very annoying, “Have you started it, what do you think???” I am often lending books. I am such a nerd, one of my favorite gifts for Christmas last year was a library system. A good friend knew how upset I was when a (signed!) copy of a book never made it’s way home. Now, I have a personal library system (just like the one I designed when I was 10!)! With a stamp and everything.
A few of my all-time favorite books, in no particular order:
- The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)–first book that made me cry. Used to re-read it once a year–I think it’s about time for a re-reading. Remind me later to tell you a great story about my favorite and why she is my favorite.
- The Pokey Little Puppy–the old version where they go “roly poly pel mel tumble bumble” down the hill. I think that’s why I liked it as a little kid, and when I read it to children, that’s what I always say, regardless of what is printed.
- The Giving Tree (Silverstein)
- Old Turtle–just great for kids and adults. STOP! Enough fighting, and listen!
- The Little Prince (Expury)
- The Time Travelers Wife (Niffenegger)– It’s impossible for me to say the title of this book without sighing. When I see someone just starting the book, I am a little jealous. You don’t know what’s in store for you. You haven’t met Claire and Henry yet. Maybe that should be another post, too.
- Room (Donaghue)–just read it in fall of 2010, but I think it’s on the list. One of the best stories of redemption and overcoming obstacles, making the best of a bad situation I have ever read. Amazing characters. Ma & Jack are invited for dinner when Claire & Henry come.
- The Little House series. (Ingalls Wider) A classic.
- Solar Storms (Hogan)–4 generations of women on a canoe trip to recapture their heritage.
- Why Do I Love These People? and What Should I do With My Life?(both by Po Bronson). I want his job–going around the country, interviewing people to find out their story. These books are about why families stick together and what we learn from family, and how people find a vocation through not such a straight path.
I would love to go back and tell you all the books I read in 2010–but I’ll say I loved Room, The Help, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, and leave it at that. This blog is about looking forward, right?
Books I’ve read in 2011:
- The Meaning of Matthew (Judy Shepherd). Interesting to learn a bit more about Matthew Shepherd’s upbringing, and some circumstances surrounding his death and funeral that I did not know. Judy shows such strength, clarity, and level-headedness. I wish there was more at the end about what lessons she wishes others took from his death, because she does some amazing work as an advocate now.
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford)–sweet love story of a Chinese American boy and Japanese American girl during World War II. A little like a patriarchal Joy Luck Club.
- The Imperfectionists (Rachman) –many intersecting stories, which sometimes I like, but this didn’t draw me in.
- Left Neglected (Lisa Genova)–easy read about a high-powered executive who gets in an accident and loses the knowledge of everything on her left side
- Still Alice (Lisa Genova) Story of a woman with early-onset Alzheimers told from her point of view. Captivating.
- We Need to Talk about Kevin (Lionel Shriver)– not the story about a school shooting I was expecting (bullied boy) but agonizing story of a mom raising a possible sociopath. Terrifying.
- Kitchen Confidential (Bourdain) If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen or wondered what it was like, this is a pretty honest description.
- Water for Elephants (Gruen)-interesting story, but not the kind of book I’ll be remembering for years. Very disappointed that Robert Pattinson (of Twilight) will be playing the lead in the movie.
- The Shack (Young) – touching story of a man’s relationship with God (Papa). How different the world would be if we all had a glimpse of this feeling.
- Marriage Bureau for Rich People (Zama) cute love story about interconnectedness
- The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb). My least favorite of his three, which is like saying chocolate is my least favorite ice cream flavor. Still amazing.
- Modoc–True story of an elephant in the circus
- Sea Glass (Shreve) Shreve is usually good “beach reading” but this was one of my least favorite of hers. Which is saying that I wish I would have read something else.
- Success as a Foster Parent-NFPA
- Connected Child-Purvis. Wish there were more tips for foster parents who can’t say things like, “I will never leave you.”
- Twenty Things Adopted Children Want you to Know
- The Glass Castle-Jeannette Walls-interesting story of kids thriving from a disfunctional family
- Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot-so much I did not know about HeLa cells
- Hunger Games–loving this YA series. Can’t wait for the movie
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close–what an interesting story about a boy searching for connection with his father, who died in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn–ways my liberal education failed me and I’m making up now. I really liked this family.
- Measure of a Man (Sidney Poitier)–makes me want to have a Poitier movie marathon
Books I want to read:
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
- Confessions of the Other Mother–wait, I was just told She Looks Just Like You is even better
- Open Adoption Experience
- Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother
- finally finish People’s History of U.S. (Zinn)
- Let Your Life Speak