Saturday, October 17, 2009

MakeAListSaturday: Books!

After a long 13-hour day of running around town and worrying about getting everything done, I need a way to unwind. My goal is to ready a book a week for the whole year. I started in August and so far I'm on track.

I'm halfway through both "Nine Stories" and "A Heartbreak Work of Staggering Genius." The former I've read before, but it's so great to just pick up and read a 20-page story and move on.

"Staggering Genius" is my first attempt at an entire work by Dave Eggers. To be honest, I'm having a hard time getting through it. I know it's what he was going for, but it's so full of self-obsession that it's almost painful to read at times.

"The Beck Diet Solution" is the first diet book I've ever read, but blogger Nic at The Last Twenty suggested it to her readers. So far, it's really great. I need to make more time to implement the steps, but with my schedule right now, it's really difficult.

"The Magicians" was recommended to me by a friend who (like me) loves "Harry Potter." I'm not even 100 pages in yet, but so far I hate it. It's basically just a ripoff of the HP series. It's like Harry Potter goes to college and JK Rowling decides she's going to get really drunk before writing and make it clunky and full of expletives. I have a feeling I might not even finish this book.

As a diehard Sedaris fan, I feel a bit bad that I haven't had time to get to his now-in-paperback book "When You are Engulfed in Flames." I went through a lot of essayist short stories this past year and have just not been in the mood. It is the very next on my list to start though.

Louise Erdrich is one of those authors that I should have already read. a) She's a North Dakota girl like me. b) She's a fantastic writer, and c) People are constantly telling me I would love her writing style. So "A Plague of Doves" is officially going on my Christmas list.

It seems this fall is full of new releases from my favorite authors.

Barbara Kingsolver won my heart with "Poisonwood Bible" back in high school. And last year she stole it again with "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," a nonfiction tale of Kingsolver and her family living on locally-grown/raised food for a whole year. "The Lacuna" is on order from Barnes and Noble.

Audrey Niffenegger spent the summer having her breakout novel "The Time Travelers Wife" butchered in a Nicholas Sparks-like treatment of a movie. Honestly, that was such a cleverly written, well-researched work that I feel truly sorry for it. "Her Fearful Symmetry" is sitting on my shelf waiting for me to finish up with a few of the other books I'm struggling to get through.

And Jeanette Walls, how I cannot say enough good things about thee. "The Glass Castle" was one of those books I read in 24 hours, foregoing sleep on my flight from the Virgin Islands and the car ride home to Fargo from Minneapolis. A journalist, turned bestselling author, she has a wonderful voice for telling stories. Again, I cannot wait for "Half Broke Horses."

All photos courtesy of Barnes and Noble, where along with several Member's Card coupons, I bought these books at about half the list price.

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