Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Reading for the Terribly Awake

Yep, its 1:41am, and I'm awake in the literary man-cave also known as my husband's office, typing on his keyboard that despite numerous applications of the brushy vacuum-attachment persuasion still sports several ounces of crumbs and a sticky toolbar that feels like 4" by 3/4" of movie theater floor. I usually restrict my forays into this room to standing here, touching nothing, and looking while he says "You have to see this" but I can't sleep. So rather than staring at the bedroom ceiling for an hour woolgathering any and all sources of anxiety I can muster, here I am. The Huz tells me I should keep a reading blog like he does and write reviews of everything I stick my nose in but that's too much like work. He's good at it, though. So we'll leave that to him. This is as close as I'm gonna get.

Saturday night I rode in an ambulance with a fifteen year old boy to a larger hospital from our country one because he rolled his dirt bike and broke his leg in lots of jaggedy we-can't-fix-em-here pieces. Since he was gorked out on the good drugs and drifted off about every third sentence I amused myself by making a list of books I've read this summer. I concluded that maybe I need to get outside more, though in my defense I did some of this reading on the porch.
Here's the story so far, with links to Amazon because geez people, its the middle of the night and I'm too lazy to import all these graphics.

Also, they aren't in exact order in the beginning cause I kinda forget.

1. Bringing Out The Dead -- Joe Connelly

What reading it says about me: I'm that much of a wacker that I was excited that it had an ambulance on the cover.

What it meant to me really: I'm that much of a wacker that I read it because its about an EMT.

2. The Sum of Our Days -- Isabel Allende

What it says: If I like an author I will plunder their entire library and read everything they ever wrote down to shopping lists.

What it meant: My husband brought it home from the library 'cause he knows what I like.

3. & 4. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian -- Sherman Alexie

What it says: I am actually lazy enough that I'll just read books my husband puts down. Especially if he spends a lot of time snorting in an amused way while reading them.

What it means: They were funny. They were depressing. I feel guilty. You should read them anyway.

5. Bel Canto -- Ann Patchett

What it says: Top of the pile from the rummage sale bookstore. Also: He picked it out for me.

What it means: There are people who write 'romantic novels' who I don't have the urge to mow down with my car.

6. Light in August -- William Faulkner

What it says: "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!"

What it means: Wow. Depressed alcoholics write some depressing crap. Who knew. Oh well, I am so smart! S-M-R-T!

7. Palace of Illusions -- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

What it says: We got an uncorrected bound manuscript not for sale at a used bookstore in paperback that isn't even available until Feb 2009 and we are such dorks we did like a dorky literary high-five 'woot' dance thing over that.

What it means: I dig Indian mythology, though I am so lazy I actually copied and pasted her name rather than typing it out. For that matter, for the first few chapters I got the names mixed up, had to refer to the chart in the front, and felt like I was back in Dr. Clyde Ross' China and India course in college. (Yes, my whitish liberal arts college saw fit to stick both countries' rich history, art, music, theater, and literature into ONE one-semester course. They may as well have thrown Korea and Japan in there for the heck of it. And don't ask me what I got, only know that with the help of a large can of store-brand instant iced-tea you can cram five dynasties of Chinese history in one night).

8. Lolita -- Vladimir Nabokov

What it says about me: We own classics! I pull them off the shelf and read them for reals!

What it means to me: EW EW EW EW EW!!! Christmas in Killarney, people, this is a creepy story. And if you really need to not sleep ever ever, I see here on good old Amazon that you can get an audiobook of it read by JEREMY IRONS. AAAAAAAAH!

That's the list so far. I'll probably have to jump back into the Chronicles of Narnia to wash Lolita out of my soul, even though I've been reading it over a year and keep falling asleep with the giant book crushing my sternum after half a dozen pages. I welcome your recommendations as well, though I declare this a Nora Roberts and She Who Must Not Be Named-free zone for ever and always.

I hear there's lists over here too. Flying lists. Excellent lists.


Alice said...

I'd love to recommend some books, but school has completely sapped me of the will to read anything remotely literary. I can only make recommendations based on what kind of sex you're interested in reading about. Or a tournament Texas Hold'em book. Sorry.

Heather J. said...

Great list! I'm dropping by because your lovely husband posted a link to your blog in his today. (I read his every day ... yeah, crazy I know). I enjoyed your colorful commentary on why you read the books. :)

I've got tons of books to recommend, but it depends on what you like to read. If you want, you can drop by my blog and check out the labels in the right sidebar. I've got fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, and graphic novels - take your pick!

Bybee said...

"She who must not be named..." How right you are! You're cool!

Tricia said...

Good list - wish I had time to read! :(

ali said...

Oh I love to read! I've been making my way through Sense and Sensibility for over a month now--I have to read her paragraphs twice just so I can understand what she just said:)

Looking forward to reading A Thousand Splendid Suns and if I never read another Nicholas Sparks book again, I will be a happy camper.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Thanks anyway! I can't master euchre so I doubt I'd do well at Texas Hold'em. As for the other subject, I looked at the Modern Illustrated Kama Sutra once but it looked like Twister without the colored dots so I gave up.

Heather, I'll definitely check out your site! I'm already deep into a recommendation from one of Bryan's other fellow reading bloggers and I love it so I look forward to perusing your lists.

Bybee-- Ugh, I know. I used to work with this really nice lady who would leave them on my desk. She'd say, "You like to read, right?" I didn't have the heart to tell her I like to read BOOKS.

Tricia, you poop once in a while, right? :)

Ali-- I read one of his books that I think was made into a Kevin Costner movie without horses or, you know, relevance. Something about boats. When I was done I felt like I'd ingested a Thomas Kinkade print a square inch at a time. I think someone died but I can't be sure.

JD at I Do Things said...

I hereby nominate reading on the porch as my foremost outdoor activity.

And I LOVED Lolita. Yes, it's creepy, but brilliantly creepy. Does that make me SMRT?

JD at I Do Things

Jocelyn said...

I've read about half of these--have actually been considering adding BEL CANTO to my Novels class--despite the ending I hate. Hmmm. I'll have to keep reading here in the hopes that you give me better ideas for that Novels class.

Maybe I'll just go with LOLITA. I know it's gotten creepier to me, for some reason, as I've aged; when I read it as a teen, I missed so much of the undertone and subtext. Of course, I was probably wasted.

Jocelyn said...

Crap: forgot in my last comment:

for fun and not too much thinking, try AMBULANCE GIRL by Jane Stern (she of the Road Food segments on NPR's THE SPLENDID TABLE).

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Add 'The Poisonwood Bible' to your Novels class list. I just finished it last night around 8pm. 546 pages. I started it Saturday night. Yeah, its that good.

I forgot that I also read 'Live to Tell' by Immaculee Ilibagiza.