3.17.2010

Books

As it turns out, I like to read crap. Fluff. Mindless, trivial, frivolous junk. This is easily my dad's #1 pet peeve about me. Since I was a kid re-reading Nancy Drew mysteries or, worse yet, Babysitter's Club, he has been literally begging me to read something of substance. ANYTHING of substance. I'll admit that my teenage rebellion may have played a small role in my avid consumption of all sorts of the cheapest of genre fiction. That's not to say I haven't read my fair share of classics or more "appropriate" books, but my lifetime list of books is definitely more heavily weighted to the junk side.

Since I started grad school, I have almost stopped reading for pleasure completely. Forget about reading anything I have to think about for fun. Who would want to read anything more than the often hundreds of pages of assigned reading. And let's not even talk about the thousands and thousands of pages of dense academic tomes that I waded through in preparation for my PhD exams. Sure, I plowed through Harry Potter 1-7 on break and read a couple of James Patterson books here and there, but in the last year I've probably read fewer than 10 books. As a person who wrote about myself in a 3rd grade vocabulary activity, "I am a voracious reader," this is clearly unacceptable.

As I was coming up with resolutions for this year, I decided to stop reading crap. To keep myself honest, I incorporated a list of books read in 2010. See it over there? I confess that I'm including both books I read in person and books I listen to on my commute. For example, the Dean Koontz is a leftover from a cross-country journey to visit my family*.

Now here's where you come in. What should I read this year? Help me improve my reading list!

*Listening to books without a fast-moving plot (eg, biographies, historical) when driving cross-country alone is not an adventure I suggest undertaking. Trust me when I say that sorting, bleary-eyed, through the selection at a truck stop in Tulsa is not the ideal situation in which to purchase an audiobook.

11 comments:

Jena Nicole said...

Read something by Gladwell. I enjoyed his books emensely, but I can be a numbers geek at times.

Señora H-B said...

Ooh! Good suggestion. Thanks!

Amina said...

same here!!! I can't read for pleasure anymore
I check out the book and never finish it :(
I read magazines..lol and just parts of it.LOL

FoxyJ said...

Have you read Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros? I really loved that one. Another one I liked last year was Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. If you go to my blog and click on the label 'books' it will bring up a whole bunch of stuff :)

I admit that one of the things I liked about dropping out of grad school is the freedom and energy to read whatever I want.

Señora H-B said...

Amina--yeah, I even cut back my magazine subscriptions. So brutal!

FoxyJ--I'm adding those to my library list. Thanks!

Katy said...

Right now I'm reading a book called "If I Live to be 100" by Neenah Ellis, a producer for NPR. It is about her experience interviewing people over 100 years old. I'm usually not into non-fiction, but I'm hooked.

Señora H-B said...

Katy--I'm putting that one on my to-read list as well. Thanks!

abby said...

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is my favorite modern read and Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (I read it in high school and still get a kick out of it. A true classic that I loved is Anna Karenina.

Señora H-B said...

I loved Memory Keeper's Daughter, so I totally trust your other recommendations! I'm putting them on my list. Thanks!

ferskner said...

I would say to read Stiff, but we already had the same idea...

I have to give a small defense of genre fiction, since there's some really great stuff out there. I also feel like since I need to read a lot of it for my schooling/potential job, you should know that SLIS gives it its stamp of approval.

That being said, I REALLY loved The Eight when I was a teenager (and have loved reading it several times since). It's what Dan Brown wishes he could write. It's genre, but with some meat to it.

Also, read Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. AMAZING.

Also, might I suggest some Jane Austen? ;)

Señora H-B said...

Yeah, already read Stiff. It was totally fascinating. I agree that there is a lot of good genre fiction. It's just time for me to branch out a little. Thanks for the other suggestions. Except that nasty, nasty Jane Austen one. ;)