Thursday, December 07, 2006

"You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round round round." - Dead or Alive

Every couple of months the staff at the library gets an email from our collection development librarian asking for popular book recommendations. I take advantage of this request by listing everything I have had any sort of inclination to read within the past, say, six months. Because very few people use our popular fiction section, so it is mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE. Or at least I generally get first dibs.

Here's this go-round's list: Did I miss any?

FICTION:

The Emperor’s Children – Claire Messud
What Came Before He Shot Her - Elizabeth George. One of the few mystery writers I REALLY enjoy.
Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai. I may buy this.
One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson. Will definitely buy this, I adore her and everything she's written.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy. Terrible reviews, but still...
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon
Black Swan Green – David Mitchell. I have read this; I am merely exhibiting my altruistic nature.
Intuition – Allegra Goodman. Am routinely disappointed by her novels, and yet I continue to hope.
Uses of Enchantment - Heidi Julavits
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. Volume One: The pox party – MT Anderson. Mmmmm. Pox.
The Zero – Jess Walter
A Disorder Peculiar to the Country – Ken Kalfus. Tried to read this, will try again. Because I am dogged that way.
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield. More altruism.
Snow – Orhan Pamuk. I actually own this, but hey, he just won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Echo Maker – Richard Powers. Tell me his plot doesn't sound fascinating.

NONFICTION:

Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog – Kitty Burns Florey. How can you not want to read a book about diagramming sentences?!
Istanbul – Orhan Pamuk. See above. Plus, excellent reviews.
Consider the Lobster: And other essays – David Foster Wallace. His A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again essay about cruise ships was so funny; I must read some more.
Falling through the Earth: A memoir – Danielle Trussoni
The Ghost Map: The story of London's most terrifying epidemic - and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world – Steven Johnson. It may have one of the world's longest subtitles, but: Cholera! Whee!
Eat Pray Love: One woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia – Elizabeth Gilbert. I am betting this is annoyingly New Age, but I want to find out for myself.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A natural history of four meals – Michael Pollan. (Apropos of nothing other than it's the same author, an acquaintance once told me that she used to masturbate to Pollan's Botany of Desire; could she *possibly* have been telling the truth?)
The Lost: A search for six of six million – Daniel Mendelsohn. What is with these subtitles?!
The Places in Between – Rory Stewart. Per my fascination with all things Afghani.

14 comments:

Sarah Louise said...

Cholera? You have read the Dress Lodger, yes? I keep getting Thirteenth Tale mixed up with Thirteen Moons. You'd think the publishers would make authors space out their similarly titled novels...

Cormac McCarthy--how I adored the book, All the Pretty Horses. I can't comment on the movie as I haven't seen it. His sentences are so long!!

Elizabeth George--I do like a good mystery and yet it's hard to find one I like. Mayhap I'll try her next.

Well folks, she's done it again, given us food for thought for a good while. Hear hear for the book blogging diva, BB!

Sarah Louise said...

Cholera? You have read the Dress Lodger, yes? I keep getting Thirteenth Tale mixed up with Thirteen Moons. You'd think the publishers would make authors space out their similarly titled novels...

Cormac McCarthy--how I adored the book, All the Pretty Horses. I can't comment on the movie as I haven't seen it. His sentences are so long!!

Elizabeth George--I do like a good mystery and yet it's hard to find one I like. Mayhap I'll try her next.

Well folks, she's done it again, given us food for thought for a good while. Hear hear for the book blogging diva, BB!

Sarah Louise said...

Cholera? You have read the Dress Lodger, yes? I keep getting Thirteenth Tale mixed up with Thirteen Moons. You'd think the publishers would make authors space out their similarly titled novels...

Cormac McCarthy--how I adored the book, All the Pretty Horses. I can't comment on the movie as I haven't seen it. His sentences are so long!!

Elizabeth George--I do like a good mystery and yet it's hard to find one I like. Mayhap I'll try her next.

Well folks, she's done it again, given us food for thought for a good while. Hear hear for the book blogging diva, BB!

Sarah Louise said...

gotta love blogger, it wouldn't post this comment for 10 minutes and then it posted it twice!!

Lazy cow said...

I've got Michael Pollen's "A place of my own". Maybe that will increase my libido ;-)
A spot of bother is my bookgroup's February book (January's is The Historian - can't wait to read this).

peg said...

I tried reading The Dress Lodger and couldn't get into it. I really wanted to like it, though.

Your book list reminds me of a recommendation I've been meaning to send to you for a while: Awake in the Dark, by Shira Nayman. "Holocaust literature," although I really dislike that phrase. A collection of four short stories (one is a novella).

tut-tut said...

Thanks for this list. I'll take it to the library with me tomorrow. And I agree with you about Kate Atkinson

telfair said...

Hi BB, I just finished "The Emperor's Children." I liked it for awhile but was disappointed by the ending. Have you read it? What did you think?

You have fabulous taste in books.

Suse said...

God I love you. You are truly a community service to the blogosphere, and the library collection folk must adore you too.

I went bookshop Christmas shopping last night with a friend and bought 'The Inheritance of Loss', the new Alan Bennett 'Four Stories', the new Shakespeare thing about who was the real Shakespeare (the one written by a serious Sh. scholar) and 'The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid'. Now I have to decide whether I hoard them all myself or give them to Mr Soup so I get to keep them in the house, or reluctantly give some to my parents as gifts. Also saw 13th Tale and the Ukrainian tractors book and thought of you. Mr Soup is reading 'Snow' right now.

There. I didn't help you a bit with recommendations, did I? Just reiterated every book you mentioned. I am so useful.

(Ok, here's an attempt. Tell them to add Eucalyptus and The Secret River to the list. Now I feel better).

Katya said...

I love Elizabeth George -- I'm not familiar with that title though - it must be new.

Peg: I just interlibrary loaned your suggestion -- it looked good.

Lazy cow said...

A couple of books I've been wanting to read this year:
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri (a bit old, I know)
Giraffe - JM Ledgard - sounds absolutely fascinating, waiting for it to come out in paperback.
A Great and terrible beauty - Libba Bray. Gulped it down in an afternoon. YA gothic.

Lazy cow said...

Just checked my requests page at the library AND my Amazon wishlist and had to add:
Just in case - Meg Rossoff (adored How I lived now),
King Dork - Frank Portman (all the book bloggers are raving about this),
How to be free - Tom Hodgkinson (Non Fiction),
Tiny ladies in shiny pants - Jill Soloway (love that title)
Snow flower and the secret fan - Lisa See
The Mistressclass - Michelle Roberts
The Book of Lost things - John Connelly (this sounds great)
An abundance of Katherines - John Green (really liked Looking for Alaska)
Sixty Lights - Gail Jones
Oops, got a little carried away there!

Lazy cow said...

Just manic today - must be all the suger from the gingerbread house the kids and I are decorating! Just 2 more, both YA:
Nick and Norah's infinite playlist - Rachel Cohn
Dairy Queen - Catherine Murdock. Lifted from Leila at Bookshelves of Doom (http://bookshelvesofdoom.blogs.com/bookshelves_of_doom/), who always has excellent teen recommendations.

peg said...

Katya, I'll be curious as to what you think of Awake in the Dark. I'm anxious to say all kinds of things but I can't come up with anything that's not a spoiler or a semi-spoiler.