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Head In a Book…

This is totally subjective, but below is a list of 10 books that I have found memorable.  I enjoy reading and am frequently overwhelmed by all the choices so I rely on good friends to steer me into safe harbor.  If you have any books you’d like to add, please feel free.  The  virtual bookshelf is unlimited.

Super Sad True Love Story— Gary Shteyngart.  This is fiction, but everything in it is coming true!  Gary must be some sort of supernatural being with an incredible agent.

Let the Great World Spin — Colum McCann.  Story and characters so beautifully crafted that I ached when I finished it.  … or maybe it was just jealousy?  Writing that appears effortless is anything but.

The Corrections –Jonathan Franzen.  The funk in dysfunctional families always makes for a great story.

Middlesex — Jeffrey Eugenides.  I wasn’t a fan of The Virgin Suicides, so I’m glad I read Middlesex first. Skip the Virgins and go with the hermaphrodites is what I always say.

Zeitoun — Dave Eggers.   Non-fiction, but unbelievable in a way that will leave you shaking with anger.

The Zookeeper’s Wife — Diane Ackerman.  Also non-fiction, but an incredibly brave and believable story.

Bossypants — Tina Fey.  I wanted to grow up to be Tina Fey, but didn’t know how.  So she deserves to be the Boss of Me.  No hard feelings though, and if she ever reads my blog I know we will be BFFs.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay — Michael Chabon.  Chabon is an excellent story-teller, and I was sad to finish this one.  The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a close second.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — Junot Diaz.  I had never read anything like this before, and that’s the minimum standard for awesomeness. Plus, dude is a Rutger’s grad from home-state where we need more Pulitzer Prize winners to counteract all those reality TV characters who DO NOT represent the real NJ.

Hell  — Robert Olen Butler.  Everybody had their own version of Hell, don’t they?  This was a recommendation of the very literary Dr. Blog, who has never steered me wrong (pretty decent record since she’s been recommending books to me for more than 30 years).

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8 thoughts on “Head In a Book…

  1. I’m flattered, but I did sorta give you a bum steer with Admissions -( only sorta, cuz I told you in advance that it had some issues, and told you the ending so you wouldn’t have to finish it. ) “Great World Spin,” “Hell” and “Oscar Wao” are also on my list, and so are the Michael Chabons, although I think I might have them in reverse or der- lately I’ve been thinking about the ending of “Yiddish Policemen’s Union” a lot.

    I can’t wait until you read A Visit from the Goon Squad.

    1. I don’t count Admissions against you. That was more of a “validation” rather than a recommendation. I’m wrapping up Tinkers now…. another awesome bit of prose to add to this list.

    1. I can’t swear I’m skipping Franzen, but he’s a bit further down the list. I’m reading Dashiel Hammett’s Red Harvest now (you know I love me some hardboiled noir detective fiction, and he’s the grandaddy of them all!) and next up is 3 Cups of Deceipt by Jon Krakenauer.

      You know what else I really enjoyed recently? Nightwoods by Charles Frazier. It’s about a woman who prefers to live a solitary life, close to nature, and all the destiny that hits the fan to sort of interrupt her solitude. It is both dark and dourly goodhearted – I think DD would like it. Let me know if I should my copy in the mail for you, Didge.

  2. I love book recommendations. From your list I’ve only read Bossy Pants and Oscar Wao with Zookeeper and Corrections residing on my soon-to-be-read list. Have already downloaded to my iPod most of the rest of your list plus Goon Squad from my public library.

    Keep those suggestions coming!

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