Sunday, August 5, 2007

I have some clarity ..................

If you follow my blog, you might remember my last entry in which I was drowning in the stack of books living on my nightstand, and needed some assistance.

Well, my friend Don brought some sunshine into my life, and sent me the following e-mail with some recommendations for moving forward. I am posting his e-mail unedited, in case any of my readers (if I actually HAVE readers, hard to tell, since I get NO comments) want to start a little "cyber-book club" with Don and myself. I am sure that Don would welcome this opportunity, as he is freshly retired and probably CAN'T WAIT to have a little structure/pressure back in his life. I will have a LOT of time to read and share over the next couple of weeks, as I have decided to temporarily give up working while in the office.

OK, as the person who turned your mom on to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I feel like I have some credibility. And I won't blow it by recommending several other books to add to your burden....... Problem is, I'm not that familiar with most of the co-pilots. But for those I know, here goes:

The Lovely Bones- I'd recommend you pass. The first three quarters of the book are significantly better than the ending, which was a major disappointment (like movies that crap out and lose steam because it seems like the writer/director doesn't know what to do with what's been set up). I recall Donna feeling the same way about it. And since you're struggling w/ the first part, why bother?? Maybe sometime you''ll feel differently, by why make 'work' out of it now?? It's not medicine..........

To Kill A Mockingbird- Actually, I just read it for the first time within the past year. It is a classic for a reason, and I'm guessing you'll really relate well to it, as it's so deep in the kids/parent vein. A very good alternative (if you're amenable to them) is that there is a wonderful recent recording of Sissy Spacek reading this. I actually listened all the way through after reading it. I usually have major problem (philosophically) w/ books on disc/tape, but read somewhere about this and ended up loving it.

Midnight in the Garden- one of those great non-fictions that reads like fiction. This is better than Berendt's more recent book about Venice, which is also interesting, but almost too similar.
But if you've already read it once..........

The Corrections- one of my 'next five', but has been for about two years now, for whatever that says about me and/or the book. All the short pieces I've read by Frazen, I've responded to very well.

Otherwise, Sue Miller is usually good (don't know this one). I'm wanting to read her book about her father's Alzheimers, since my mother is in a similar situation. Also, a friend who's taste mostly parallels mine was not impressed with the Kite Runner.

Generically, what I do, with reasonable success when I'm wondering about a book, is go into Amazon for the title, and scroll down and read the readers' comments. Usually something in one or two tip it one way or the other for me.

So, my advice; turn off the freakin' TV, let the royals muck about in each others' lives unobserved, and READ!

And so, Dear readers, I have decided to limit my television viewing to 10 hours per week (maybe less since the butt heads on Big Brother have decided to systemically eliminate all of the interesting characters in the current season, leaving only Army Wives and Big Love active on my Tivo), and plow into To Kill a Mockingbird. I will then head strait into Lost in the Forrest and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Anyone want to join me?

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