Friday, January 9, 2009

One last weekend before the freshmen arrive.

Although I do still have lecture notes to finish, textbooks to rereread (and yes, boxes to unpack), this is the last official weekend before marathon grading begins again. If there's a book to be read for pleasure, this would seem to be the time to do it.

Fortunately, I've already unpacked the books--all 22 boxes (which may explain why my friends no longer want to function as my moving crew). Here's the funny thing about books--they don't say much on the shelf, but while handling them--dusting them, arranging them on the shelves, dropping them on your toes--you remember which ones were your favorites, and may even consider reading one or two of them again.

Just in case you're on the lookout for a good book this weekend, here are a couple good ones (old and new-ish in several different genres) I noticed on my bookshelf. (These are not full-fledged reviews--just a little heads-up from me to you):

David Sedaris, When you are Engulfed in Flames

This shouldn't even be on this list, since I only have this one in audio book form. But when it comes to David Sedaris or Seamus Heaney, I'd rather hear, than read them. In his latest, Sedaris moves to Japan for three months to facilitate his giving up smoking. In addition to all the funny you expect, there's also a really lovely story in this collection (Keeping Up), in which he writes about his relationship with Hugh.






Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

I love a good gothic novel. I recommended this modern version to my mom as we were unpacking. She was enjoying it so much that I fear it's on its way back to the desert with her. I'd like to find another one like this while it's still winter outside. It's just that kind of book.








John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

This twisted up adult fairy tale sat on my shelf for a very long time before I gave it a chance. I think my friend, material world girl, would really enjoy this book. If, like her, you've been reading Gregory Maguire, you probably would too.








Joe Hill, The Heart Shaped Box

This is a pretty scary book, if being scared is what you're into. I had no idea, as I was reading it, that the author is Stephen King's son. I can see Dad's influence, but Hill is spooky enough in his own right.









Max Brooks, World War Z

Sometimes, a girl just needs a good apocalyptic read. This is the book with which I compare all other zombie novels. Which makes sense, since Brooks is the author of the authoritative Zombie Survival Guide. Come to think of it, maybe you should get one of those, too.








I wish someone else had a list like this from which I could choose; it seems a shame to let this last weekend slip away without having at least one day to roll around on the couch with a good book.

Then again, as my adorable dentist pointed out yesterday, it's not like I have a real job.

3 comments:

Zazzy said...

Since 3 out of 5 are books I've read and enjoyed, I'm going to have to read the other two. May I recommend The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty?

Mundane Jane said...

As long as the two you haven't read aren't the Joe Hill and the Zombie book--I don't want credit for making you afraid to lay down at night.

Amazon's review of "The Memory of Running" says, (the antagonist) "Smithy is a 279-pound, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, 43-year-old misfit who works in a G.I. Joe factory putting arms and legs on the action heroes," and puts me in mind of Joe Coomer's "Apologizing to Dogs" (another lovely read).

So, yeah. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks, Zazzy, for the recommendation.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the suggestion, MJ. I did very much enjoy the Book of Lost Things. Nearly sobbed into my hanky a couple of times because it's just a little too real for me there in the beginning, but the writing is my kinda writing. Thanks.