Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jannet's Book Club...


...(or at least books I wish I hadn't ALREADY read and could still look forward to...)

I've never really been much of an avid reader... there always seems to be SO much else to do...

But in 1963 I DID read "Charlotte's Web." And in 1967, "The Little Princess." Both of them much more riveting than I think Disneyland could ever be. And then, believe it or not, in 1969 I read "Gone With The Wind" and was so moved by it that I actually sat down one day and began to scribe it out longhand, just to retain the beauty of the writing in my mind somehow. But after two weeks or so, having only made it to page 10 or so out of 689, my fingers finally just gave out and gave up.

And then my good friend, Thom, just reminded me of a book that I pretty much wore the cover off back in my college days... Sheila Levine Is Dead... And Living In New York by Gail Parent. And I loved rereading it! Some of the most quick-witted lines ever written on a page!

"The Stand" in 1979 was pretty good as well as were several of Stephen King books which came shortly before and after... and I had some time to read them between matinee and evening performances on Wednesday's and Saturdays in my little loft in Shubert Alley. But then... I ended up having kids and it was a long, long, LONG time after that before I ever read a book again!

Until, I read "The Bridges of Madison County" in 1992... which I totally related to!... and which probably ended up being the catalyst that changed my life as I knew it. But looking back, I'm absolutely sure it was for the best. Still, I guess you have to be very selective in what you choose to read at times. The mind can be a powerful trap, ya know?

Anyway, until this year, I think that was my last fling... with the novel. And then suddenly it just flared up again in full force, probably having something to do with discovering the fact that reading is the ultimate free means of entertainment and an escape from any and all of life's other addictions. And it's relaxing and pleasurable as well!... without being too terribly sinful or blatantly slothful... of course, provided you've attended to all of your other responsibilities first. So basically, reading works for me on a guilt level with which I'm fairly comfortable.

Here's my list of favorites reads and trust me, I've read a ton. Not sure what made me choose one book over another except that to make my list a book probably had to have accomplished at least 6 of following 8 requirements:

  • Kept me rivited from the first to the last and final page
  • Made me think really hard about things
  • Made me cry a little
  • Kept me up all night
  • Made me feel really thankful and fortunate that I was only reading it
  • Made me succumb to the tempatation of sneaking in multiple peeks at work
  • Scared the h*ll out of me
  • Or just moved or touched me in some way beyond my ability to express it...
So here they are... in no particular order. I realize the common thread is a fairly dark premise... but they are each so very, very hopeful in their own way... at the same time.

Kind of like me...

Click on the book title for further details and editorial comments and then decide for yourself if you think it might be of interest to you. But like I said... wish I could just take each and every one of them back back to bed with me and start all over again.


Diary of A Young Girl (Uncensored and Unabridged) by Anne Frank


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes




I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb


Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


Black Wave by John & Jean Silverwood


Somewhere In Heaven by Christopher Andersen


Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer



Tweak... Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff


Beautiful Boy by David Sheff


Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


The Long Walk by Stephen King


Life of Pi by Yann Martel


A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines


The Road by Cormac McCarthy


The Messiah of Morris Avenue by Tony Hendra


Derailed by James Siegel


Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III


Cell by Stephen King


False Memory by Dean Koontz


My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult


A Million Little Pieces by James Frey


Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoesseini


The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


Loverboy by Victoria Redel

Hope you enjoy them at least half as much as I did! And please feel free to include your recommendations in the comments section. Got a couple of leisurly vacations coming up...


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3 comments:

The McKee's said...

For some reason I'm having a hard time really getting into the Kite Runner. I'm at the part where he's just barely started talking to the Afghan girl from the market and he really likes her. Does it get a lot better from there? So far it doesn't compare to time travelers wife.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I tell you that you would Lurve the Messiah of Morris Avenue? Oh, and Odd Thomas too. Be sure to read all three, and then buzz me and we can talk about it. I lurved also My Sister's Keeper, which I didn't mention to you. Now read Annie Freeman's Travelling Funeral. I'm already setting up my trip for you and keh. : ) xoxo
Jill

Anonymous said...

I've read 7 of the books on your list and loved them all - so by default that means that I must read the rest. I would add to that list A Thousand Splendid Suns (by the same author as the Kite Runner) and The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I just started Water for Elephants and I'm thinking I might have to add it to the recommended list as well. Happy reading!

Lynda