A few entries ago I posted about my renewed love of reading books; that I have been turning off the laptop at night in favor of some quality nonfiction. Today, as I had the pleasure of cleaning out my personal library (note: sarcasm), I started to ponder the significance of the books we choose to keep and those we discard.
Aside: When I go to someone’s house for the first time, I love to quickly peruse 3 things: the bookcase, the CD and the DVD collection. As a Lit major, I have always been fascinated by what people read for fun and/or in their spare time. And as a pop culture sponge, music and movies are my way of assessing someone’s entertainment IQ.
Getting rid of my textbooks from college was a long overdue chore. For some reason I schlepped all of my sociology and feminism books from place to place after college. But as I spent several days on my side recovering in the guest room a few weeks ago, staring at our largest bookshelf, I realized that most of those books now merely serve as a reminder of the activism that I abandoned along with the Birkenstocks back in the early 90′s (thankfully). And I had to ask myself questions like, “will you ever really want to read The Beauty Myth again?” and “seriously, do you think you’ll revisit The Word of a Woman: Feminist Dispatches, 1968-1992?”
But of course I will never abandon certain classics and authors; their novels are always welcome, wherever and as long as I live.
I don’t really have a point.
So I will make a list of my favorites authors and/or books, because you know I can’t resist a good list opportunity.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories
Where I’m Calling From: Selected Stories
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union
David James Duncan
The Brothers K
The River Why [quite possibly my #1 book]
A Long Way Down
About a Boy
Speaking With the Angel (anthology edited by Hornby)
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (a fantastic look behind the scenes of building a professional baseball team, especially for an A’s fan like me)
Close Range: Wyoming Stories (includes original Brokeback Mountain short story)
Adrienne Rich [my favorite poet of all time]
The Dream of a Common Language
Tipping the Velvet
And a garden variety of other writers grace my shelves as well: Isabel Allende, Jane Austen, Melissa Bank, Michael Cunningham, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Irving, Frances Mayes, Rick Moody, David Sedaris, Alice Walker, etc.
Right now, the following books are stacked on the nightstand and awaiting my eyes (after I finish Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert):
- The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale (Michael Bamberger)
- A Star is Found: Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Movies (Janet Hirshenson & Jane Jenkins)
- Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants (by Six Feet Under/Grey’s Anatomy writer Jill Soloway)
What? I like to alternate between entertainment industry insight and intellectually stimulating novels. Don’t judge me.