Monday, March 28, 2011

In which I am totally cutting edge in 2007. Also, what are you reading?

So tonight when Nick gets home I am going to be the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle.

Yay! Naked backflips down the hall! OK, I exaggerate on that one. But I am pretty excited.

Now, I am one of these people who loves books, and loves turning pages and I definitely judge, and occasionally buy, books by their covers. I( do this with wine as well and it's not the best approach, shockingly enough.)

Anyway I just did not feel the need to invest the money in a Kindle.

But then I got to the point where I was like, you know, I have been spending a lot of time waiting around in doctor's offices, and there's only so much People Magazine I can read, and when I'm on public transport, I'm now super-paranoid about my iPhone...and how awesome would it be to always have a book or 500 in your purse?

Also, I realize that with the Kindle and other e-readers (that's the term, right?), there are a lot of free books that are classics. This is an idea I kind of love. Free! And edifying!

Have you done this? What have you downloaded?

Also, I've been making my way through suggestions from old posts of mine soliciting suggestions. Thanks to your suggestions I've read the Hunger Games, the Twilights, The Book Thief, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Graveyard Book (and subsequently Coraline, and I have another one lined up to borrow), and I can't think of what-all else.

But seriously, when I am looking for books, I refer back to these posts.

Sometimes suggestions do not strike me in the moment - like The Book Thief, which I wasn't in the mood for when it was first suggested, but read recently and absolutely loved. (Nina - I don't know if you still read LG, but it was such a wonderful suggestion.)

But I always LOVE hearing about what you're reading, because you all have clever, entertaining, interesting taste in books.

So, what are you reading?


  1. I adore my Kindle. Currently reading Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. Totally amazing book -- cannot recommend highly enough.

  2. A fascinating memoir about a drag queen (I read it in a day and a half it was so interesting):
    I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir (P.S.)
    Josh Kilmer-Purcell

    Same guy gives up dressing in drag and then becomes a farmer (haven't read it yet, it's on my bookshelf):
    The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir
    Josh Kilmer-Purcell

  3. Currently reading "Freedom" which is a slog at ~560 pages but before that I read "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" which was quite charming and I'd recommend.

  4. Have I told you about Jasper Fforde? I think I must have. But I love all of his books.

    Also, I read "The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan, which I liked a lot. Very different from Mr. Fforde, though...

  5. I'm reading a book on hypnobirthing. It's as thrilling as it sounds.

  6. I'm reading The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. It's a bit long, but so good!

  7. Currently its a thriller called 'Bad Things' something intense after the fluffy I just finished reading. I tend to alternate genres because too much of one thing becomes too predictable for me. The paradox of choice was an interesting read in a brain numbing way.
    I couldnt have a kindle as I would never do any work I would just read all day. Thats the reason I never bring books to work because I keep trying to sneak a read all the time. I have been known to sit up until the small hours reading if its a good book but that doesnt help with work the next day when I am all tired and cranky and just want to go hoe and finish my book lol.

  8. Right now I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces," "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," and "The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club."

    Also reading "Husband Coached Childbirth." Yay.

  9. I'm reading The Happiness Project. Which sounds all hokey and self-help-ish, but it's very rational and interesting.

  10. Just finished "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood, which is a follow-up (though concurrent in storyline) to Oryx & Crake, which is in my top 5 best books ever. It was incredible.

  11. Hi Lisa!

    How nice to see my name in your post, and to know you liked my suggestion! Of course I still read your blog, I just have not been commenting much any more. I'm glad you liked "the book thief" - it's so sad and tragic and lovely and thrilling all at once.

    A book I also recommend, although the title might scare you off (don't let it!!) is "The history of love" by Nicole Krauss.

    I am currently reading 1Q84, which is quite interesting, and I like Murakami, I just wish I had more time to read! It's a big book :)

    Alles Liebe!

  12. I can't get past the first few pages of the Book Thief! The way it's written is sooo annoying...

    I recently read "The Room" And I assume you have already read "Water for Elephant"? And "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? (It takes a while for you to get into it, but worth it!) How about "The Help"?

  13. lisa i LOVE my kindle and you will too. i resisted getting one for awhile, but after receiving it for christmas i am officially in love. i've been averaging one book every week or two since getting it, which is an all time high for me.

    recent favorites:
    undress me in the temple of heaven by susan jane gilman
    room by emma donaghue
    middlesex by jeffry eugenides (JUST FINISHED - HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)
    a widow for one year by john irving (ok so i've read this and the world according to garp 3 times each, i'm kind of an irving junkie)

  14. Crazy - I just got an e-notice from the library that The Hunger Games is in for me, I'd had it on the waiting list, probably from when you posted about it!

    I just finished "The Woman Who Fell From The Sky", a memoir about an American journalist spending a year in Yemen, it was great.

  15. Here's a link to Amazon's page on how to get books for the Kindle from many of the free online book collections:

    Have fun. :-)

  16. I just finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which was recommended by an LG reader so thank you!

    Tonight I'm starting A year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

  17. Listen to Nina -- The History of Love is a wonderful, wonderful book. It's my all time favorite.

    Since having the baby, I haven't read as much, sadly. My recent favorites have pretty much all been mentioned.

    One book that a lot of people seem to like is The Help. I thought it was pretty good, but didn't love, love, love it. But others seem to.

  18. Wendy - I know you love the Kindle - everyone I know who has one feels like it's totally improved their lives. Very excited about it. And will look at Cutting for Stone - I saw multiple recs for it on your FB page.

    Tia - OK, you totally have some random and interesting reading lined up! I have to say, the guy sounds very intriguing!

    lacochran - I myself am never up for a long slog unless it's one of the best things one has ever read. Major Pettigrew, however, sounds utterly charming.

    Jessica - You have, and I've read a couple of his books and find him so clever and charming. I just lent the Eyre Affair to a friend of mine.

    I hadn't heard of the Lover's Dictionary but from the review it sounds like something I'd like.

    Hillary - OK, at the count of ten, you're going to dilate. One...two...three...

    Um, maybe hypnobirthing humor isn't that funny. Sorry.

    moosie - I know nothing about this book! I like the title, though.

    Go-Betty - I hadn't ever thought about alternating genres - good idea!

    As for the danger of the Kindle...I will most likely want to read all day but work will prevent me. Sigh. Work gets in the way of all kinds of fun activities.

    Miss Dallas - The only one of those I've read is Kavlier and Klay, and that's another one of my all time faves.

    Lisa - I wonder if I would like that book? I should take a peek and see.

    Amanda - I love Margaret Atwood and I've read neither of those books! Must investigate!

    Nina - Oh, hi! I'm so glad you're still here! The Book Thief grabbed me from the beginning and held me all the way through, and I cried and cried. It was great.

    As for The History of Love - oh, it is such an amazing book! One of my favorites! I honestly think it's one of those books that makes the world a little more beautiful. Hugs to you!

    Carla - Oh, too bad! I felt like it was charming, and I loved the main characters and the whole story. But if the style annoys you, there's really no way to get past that.

    And no no no - I've read none of those. I know, I'm the only human around who hasn't yet read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the rest. I've meant to, and just haven't gotten to them.

    carly - I feel like this will really up my book reading, since it'll just be so easy to have good reads with me. I spend so much "in between" time just dicking around.

    So, I don't know the first two, but loved loved Middlesex, and Widow for One Year and Garp, and Jonathan Irving in general.

    frugalveganmom - Ohhhh, you have three books of fun reading ahead of you! Delicious!

    Thanks for the rec.

    vvk - I love youuuuuuu!

    HK - Oh, I looooooved that book. So clever! So intriguing!

    Year of Magical Thinking is a book I'd like to read but not sure I'm up for it yet. It's on my one day list.

    Melissa - I love that book so tremendously. It's one of my all time favorites as well.

    The Help...I do want to read but haven't gotten to yet.

  19. commencement. go. read. now. also, american gods. best. (weirdest). book. ever!

  20. I'm too frugal to buy either a reader or the e-books that one reads upon them, though I do sigh longingly whenever I see one.

    I'm anxiously awaiting my local library to have Ken Follett's Fall of Giants available since I read The Pillars of the Earth ages ago and loved it. Of course, these books are only good if you are into epic (and long) historical fiction. Which I am.

  21. i will never ever use an ereader...BUT i would recommend the following for you:

    Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
    Practice Makes Perfect, Julie James
    Going Too Far, Jennifer Echols
    Savannah Breeze, Mary Kay Andrews

    Happy reading!

  22. wait wait wait, i TOTALLY forgot one of my fave literary fiction reads from the past year: Girl In Translation, by Jean Kwok. run, don't walk, to get that one! (but i still think youd like the above too ;)

  23. I second all of Carla's choices.

    The birth house is definitely on my list.
    Down to this - read 100 pages as a free preview, can't wait to read more.

    Books I actually HAVE read & recommend:
    We need to talk about Kevin (Lionel Shriver)
    Left Neglected & Still Alice (Lisa Genova)
    Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)

  24. My kindle's wish list just grew from 1 page to 3. My credit card hates you. :)

  25. I just bookmarked your previous post with book requests--and am in the middle of The Art of Racing in the Rain. Loved Middlesex, Life of Pi, I love books set in exotic locations, mysteries, historic books. Love for recommendations as well.

    The Kindle has revolutionized my life. Perhaps sad but I don't care. Living overseas with ONE bookstore in the country (and all books first gone through by the religious police) and being a serious bookaholic, all I can say is WOW.

    I just bookmarked your previous post with book requests--and am in the middle of The Art of Racing in the Rain. Loved Middlesex, Life of Pi, I love books set in exotic locations, mysteries.

    The Kindle has revolutionized my life. Kinda sad but I don't care. Living overseas with ONE bookstore in the country (and all books first gone through by the religious police) and being a serious bookaholic, all I can say is WOW.

    Some absolute favorites:
    Power of One, Bryce Courtenay--and any of his other books, especially The Persimmon Tree
    Piano Tuner-
    Anil's Ghost,
    Kingsolver's books-especially Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, Lacuna
    Other Boleyn Girl, light but so engrossing (made the discomfort of a 12 hour train ride in Thailand disappear)
    Mary Russell series by Laurie King (1900s mysteries)
    Donna Leon series-escapist mysteries set in Venice
    Inspector Montalbano series, Andrea Camilleri, humerous, slightly absurdist mystery series set in Italy, great social commentary
    the Informationist, trashy thiller but set in Africa--engrossing and interesting to read more about Cameroon
    People of the Book
    half of a yellow sun By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    The Skull Mantra, Eliot Pattison
    Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven Galloway

  26. I bought an eReader and I just haven't been able to get into it, which makes me so sad because I love to read. I just miss holding a real paper book in my hands. Right now I'm reading the Dark Vampire series by Christine Feehan while at work and the Partholon series by P.C Cast. I love everything by P.C Cast. Especially the Goddess Summoning series. They're not edifying in the least - just pure, unadulterated fluff.

  27. I only just found out what a kindle is like, two months ago! Oh dear. I've just finished reading The Places In Between by Rory Stewart. Its an account of his walk across Afghanistan in Jan 2002. Fascinating. The back says 'on foot through the Afghan winter, with only a toothless mastiff for company, Stewart is so far off the beaten track that his evocative book feels like a long lost relic of the great age of exploration'

  28. I just read the lotus eaters high was good...but since my dad fought in Vietnam books on that war are always a little tough for me. FYI

    I also just started matched which I like so far

    Have you read the thirteenth tale? It's a few years Old but really good.

    Also bookswim was talking about starting a service like Netflix for ereaders that you might want to check out

  29. I remember you saying you enjoyed The Graveyard Book, but it's nice to hear again. Also, I'm going to have to pick up Coraline now.

    One of the best books I've read in the past five years is The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It's a true crime/history/architecture book. Seriously. It's the story of the 1892 Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) in Chicago and a killer who owned a rather special hotel nearby.

    Also, I should point out, if you're paranoid about your iPhone on the Metro, that Kindle is a much bigger, easier target. Just sayin', don't sit near the doors when you're using it.

  30. I'm reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and I have the second book by the woman that wrote the Glass Castle waiting for me!

  31. Currently reading the Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale - about a preternaturally gifted chimpanzee. EXCELLENT ! It is a 575 page hardcover - thank goodness or my kindle !

  32. About the Kindle vs. other e-readers, one important thing to consider is whether you are a book-buyer or a library person. Kindle is not at all good on book-sharing yet, but with the Nook or other readers you can borrow e-books from the DC library and other places. I should have considered this, as a library person, before I asked for the Kindle for xmas! But otherwise, I've liked it, and I say that as a person who really likes the tactile experience of reading.

    What I'm reading now: Townie, by Andre Dubus III, which is a memoir (about growing up in my hometown, which is weird and fun to read for me). Other good ones I've read recently: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (novel; interesting structure; well-written); The Keep by Jennifer Egan (gothic-y fiction; engaging if not award-winning prose); and Just Kids by Patti Smith (memoir about her relationship w/ Robert Mapplethorpe and her life in NYC generally; amazing).

    Happy reading!

  33. I'm reading Cutting for Stone, and just finished Room. Loved The Help, Suite Francais, Little Bee and Juliet, Naked.

    Sadly, these Kindle things completely destroy any chance at our ever having another of those book exchange thingies.

  34. No Kindle, but:
    The "Dr.s Office book", a 25cent paperback, is Thirteen Days, A memoir of the Cuban Missle Crisis, by Robert F Kenedy. I was just a tiny tot then, but can't forget the energy of the grown ups during those days, and this book brings it all back.

    Also, another 2nd hander, one of those cookbooks with a lot of text, Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, by Lesley Downer, which I'm enjoying.

    Bedtime book is, The Sound Of A Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. It's a quiet, very different, plot-less book, and I'm surprised to hear myself saying: I LOVE this book!

  35. i got an e-reader as a gift and i hate it-- too much clicking of buttons. i lovelovelove the weight and smell of books-- it's a relationship-thing for me. e-readers are too impersonal and i can't connect with the words in the same way as i do when they're printed on a page.

    that said, i just finished reading 'Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer' by James Swanson. AWESOME! it's not like i don't know what happened, but it's written so well that i actually cried when he described the moment of lincoln's death. plus, it's history that happened HERE-- it really comes alive.

    i highly recommend it!

  36. Commenting on an old post but I'm catching up on my blogs after vacation time. Anwyays. Go to lendleme . com it's like a paperback swap for the kindle and it is amazing. Good luck! And I recommend, World War Z (the oral history of the Zombie War and AWESOME).

    - Joanna


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