December 12, 2005

Favorite Books

What are some of your favorite books? Or just the one book you think everyone ought to read? Or the book you absolutely love, but you know you can't recommend it because it's in bad taste/silly/too embarrassing to admit you love it? (That last question is SO about my own fantasy addiction.) If you want to share some of your favorite books ever, or just see what other people love to read, this is the post for you!

October 16, 2005

Early November Pick: On Beauty

I just happened to be 50 pages into Good Omens when it was picked as October's book, and so for the first (and likely the only) time I'm done in the same month as when the book was chosen. I promise it won't happen again.

Anyway, I heard an interview/review of Zadie Smith (who also wrote White Teeth and The Autograph Man). On Beauty is her new book, and for anyone who liked White Teeth, this is supposed to be even better. Zadie Smith is a black Englishwoman of Carribean descent, who deeply loves E.M. Forster. She has used Howard's End as the structure for On Beauty.

Since I'm reading ahead, I'll scope out the book and see if there's too much swearing in the text, and if so maybe someone else can pick something else instead. I've looked at the county and city libraries in Salt Lake, and most copies are checked out. So if you put a copy on hold now it should be there for you by the time you're done w/ Good Omens (which I loved, by the way).

October 01, 2005

October's Book: Good Omens

Elisa says: The book I choose is "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry
Pratchett. I've read some Terry Pratchett (and enjoyed it) and this is, by far,
the funniest I've read. What other book has the tribute, "The Apocalypse
has never been funnier." And what other book has Elvis flipping burgers
in an obscure burger joint. (He just staged his death.) Interesting sidenote:
There was talk of making the book into a movie and Jude Law was to play
the part of the demon Crawley. Unfortunately the movie fell through.

Anyway, to give you a taste, here is what is written on the back cover.
"We hear the world will end on a Saturday. Unfortunately, Sister Mary
Locquacious of the Chattering Order has misplaced the Antichrist."

September 05, 2005

September's Read: _Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress_ by Dai Sijie

I have been a devoted lurker since Wynne invited me to join this cozy little group, and since she asked me to pick Sept's book, I ransacked my "to read" shelf and came up with this short novel. I picked it up at Costco (I simply can't get out of that store without at least one book in my basket--am I the only one?) and thought it would be good for this group because it's about...reading. More specifically, it's about the Chinese Cultural Revolution and two boys who discover a forbidden stash of Western classics. On a personal note, I'm interested in learning all I can about Chinese culture because my husband and I are considering a Chinese adoption program.

By the way, if this is too short for you more ravenous bookish types--and I've noticed that you tend to hit the heavy ones--I have another Chinese one for you once you finish this one: _Iron and Silk_ by Mark Salzman. I teach Freshman English at BYU and I use this one in class as a great example of personal essay writing (as opposed to their samples, which tend toward "Dude, that was like way awesome.")

July 29, 2005

August's fun summer read: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Okay, you can now all see my reading and thinking level--I'm still 12. I'm actually teaching a young adult lit class at BYUH right now and so I'm quite in the mode--and the mood--for another good young adult read. Plus, it's a great summer book (I'm guessing; I haven't actually read it yet)--so take it with you to the beach, the pool, or if you're in Utah, a reservoir. It's written by Ann Brasheres, and my hope is that it will bring us closer together as sisters in Zi...oh, I mean as sisters in an online bookclub. If nothing else, it should at least give you something good to read while eating that fourth bowl of ice cream. Enjoy!

June 03, 2005

June's Book: The Master and Margarita

Sharon says: To me it's unique because it's a Russian classic where, upon reaching the end, you don't desire to throw yourself off a bridge. I'm excited to reread it.

May 06, 2005

Why I won't be reading the book for this month

Sometimes there are things that are just beyond our control. Like the weather, traffic on the way to work, or stopping yourself from eating chocolate when it's displayed in a bowl and no one is looking. If you want to know my sad, sad story for why I'm not going to get a book read, click on "comments." Leave your own sad, sad story if you like.

April 29, 2005

May's Book: Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

I'm not sure how this book will's fantasy (which I love) published by an LDS publishing house. Seems everyone is hopping on the Harry Potter bandwagon.

let's see what we think!

March 28, 2005

April's Book: The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye (1954) was Raymond Chandler's last novel before he sunk into a downward spiral of personal tragedy, alcoholism and psychiatric hospitalization until his death in 1959. I know. That's cheerful. But now that's out of the way, we can hit the really good news: this book clocks in at under 400 pages!

I hope everyone's as ready as I am to enjoy some sunny Los Angeles instead of this drizzly half-spring.

March 03, 2005

March's Book: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

As one of the top ten books of 2004 on several book lists, I thought Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke would be fabulous for this month. I'm reading it right now, and if you love Jane Austen's books, you'll love this. It combines her comedy-of-manners style with a twist of the fantastic. Mr. Norrell is the only practical magician in 19th century England (the other magicians are theoretical--they read books and philosophize about magic) and quickly climbs into the elite of London because of his skills. Then along comes Mr. Strange, a practical magician that appears out of nowhere, and Mr. Norrell takes him as a pupil. But Mr. Strange isn't content with the conservative magic that Mr. Norrell performs. He delves into more dangerous magic as he learns about the Raven King--the most powerful magician in English history.

A word to the wise: if you want to read this for March, get crackin'. It's 700+ pages, and if your schedules are anything like mine, it could take a while.

February 07, 2005

February's Book: The Secret History

Yes, there is a book for February: The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I'm taking a chance in choosing a book I've not read myself, because I wanted to read one that would be a surprise for everyone. Actually, my sister is reading it right now, but hasn't finished it yet. But that's a good testimonial right there -- she has very little free time and yet whenever I see the book lying around, she's 20 pages further in. Apparently it's a suspense novel about a young man who decides to leave his underprivileged life in a small town and attend an elite eastern college, where he gets drawn into an intriguing group of students studying Greek and gradually uncovers some dark secrets about their little society. That's all I know. If the language and characters are anything like her other book (The Little Friend), it should be a pretty stunning read...