National Book Lovers Day is Today!

Apparently today, Friday, August 9, is national book lover’s day. I guess that means we are supposed to just sit back and read a book? Today I just finished The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. I gave it a 3.5 stars on Goodreads. Beautiful writing, but I couldn’t groove to the plot or the characters. It was also a little too much of a downer for me and I am on vacation!

I missed the boat and forgot to bring some books with me to read while we are on the beach (I truly feel unhinged without a stack of books in my backpack). We are now on our first leg of the trip to the beach and we are visiting my parents. I asked my mom if she had any good books for me to read.

“Yes, there’s a great PD James book on my night table.”

Mom is a lover of mysteries. I like them a lot, though they are not my genre of choice– although I remember one summer as an 11-year-old, fighting with my brother over who got to read the thick hardback Sherlock Holmes collection one summer as we did a road trip in Europe. And I like PD James. This one my mom recommended is called Death comes to Pemberley.


Does that ring a bell? Pemberley is the estate owned by Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice! Ok, as a lover of all things Austen (although not as much as my friend, MCG, who knows them all backwards and forwards), I am intrigued and am trying it out!

Have I mentioned before that I am mad about books? And I mean, truly, passionately, head-over-heels in love with books. You may notice that I have one little book review (The Count of Monte Cristo) in the “Books I like” tab of this blog– kind of pathetic, but it’s the only one I had time to write. I once harbored a fantasy (one of several, sad to say) that I would one day open a bookstore with a café attached to it. I also dreamed one day I would write book reviews for the New York Times Sunday Book Review section!

In terms of genres that I gravitate to, I’d say: any kind of nonfiction, especially memoirs and really, really good novels.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned my book club. We have been together for over 13 years and this group of 6 other women have come to mean so much to me. I see most of them just once a month and I look forward to our meetings with much anticipation. We share much more than our like or dislike of a particular book. And we do it all without wine (gasp…)!

I’m a little disturbed by all the e-readers out there. Granted, it is a little convenient to put a bunch of books on a kindle or Ipad reader, but there is just nothing the same as holding a real book and thumbing through its pages. My daughter, for example, is a voracious reader (as a child I was not a huge reader– I don’t think it was until I joined Peace Corps that I fell in love with reading), and the kindle really comes in handy for her because she whips through books so quickly. I feel so lucky that both my children love to read and are perfectly happy to sit quietly on a lazy summer afternoon ensconced in a great book.

There are some Ted talks about books, which I have yet to watch, but they look interesting. And I enjoyed this blogger’s list of reasons why she loves books. The only thing I might add is that it is wonderful to read aloud a timeless classic with your child. We are reading “Gone With the Wind” right now. Don’t ask me how long ago we started!!

Here’s a *partial* list of some books that I have loved (it would go on and on, really):

The Grass is Singing-  Doris Lessing

Angle of Repose- Wallace Stegner

A Country Year- Sue Hubbell

Beautiful Girl- Rachel Simon

The Birchbark House- Louise Erdrich

The Roundhouse- Louise Erdrich

Paula- Isabel Allende (love her novels too)

Interpreter of Maladies (short stories)- Jhumpa Lahiri

Mama Day- Gloria Naylor

Please post some of your recommendations in the comments section!

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1 Response to National Book Lovers Day is Today!

  1. Karen Story says:

    I read voraciously – mostly non-fiction, memoirs, travel. I read a combination of “real” books and Kindle. I never pay for Kindle books – I get them from the library. Two things I love about my Kindle: great for travel or backpacking to reduce space and weight, and instant gratification: find a book on the library website and instantly download it. My list of favorite books includes:

    A sense of the world : how a blind man became history’s greatest traveler / Jason Roberts.
    Female Nomad / Rita Golden Gelman
    Smiling at the world : a woman’s passionate yearlong quest for adventure and love / Joyce Major
    Guests of the Sheik / Elizabeth Warnock Fernea (also A View of the Nile and Street in Marrakech)
    Bagdad Without a Map / Tony Horwitz
    Motoring with Mohammed / Eric Hansen
    Learning to Breathe / Alison Wright
    The Caliph’s House, Shah, Tahir
    In Arabian nights : a caravan of Moroccan dreams, Shah, Tahir
    Men of salt : crossing the Sahara on the caravan of white gold, Benanav, Michael
    Married to a Bedouin, Geldermalsen, Marguerite van
    The Size of the World, Jeff Greenwald
    Anything by Wilfred Thesiger, esp. The Marsh Arabs
    Take me with you : a round-the-world journey to invite a stranger home, Newsham, Brad
    The lost city of Z : a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon, Grann, David
    Miles away : a walk across France, Morland, Miles
    Undress me in the Temple of Heaven, Gilman, Susan Jane
    Tibetan rescue : the extraordinary quest to save the sacred art treasures of Tibet, Logan, Pamela
    My path leads to Tibet : the inspiring story of how one young blind woman brought hope to the blind children of Tibet, Tenberken, Sabriye
    Writing women’s worlds : Bedouin stories, Abu-Lughod, Lila
    Walking the Gobi : a 1600-mile trek across a desert of hope and despair, Thayer, Helen
    Light at the edge of the world : a journey through the realm of vanishing cultures, Davis, Wade
    To Timbuktu : a journey down the Niger, Jenkins, Mark
    Sailing my shoe to Timbuktu : a woman’s adventurous search for family, spirit, and love, Thompson, Joyce
    To Timbuktu for a haircut : a journey through West Africa, Antonson, Rick
    Don’t sleep, there are snakes : life and language in the Amazonian jungle, Everett, Daniel Leonard
    The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes: Notes From Nepal, Barbara Scot
    Seven years in Tibet, Harrer, Heinrich
    Porcelain moon and pomegranates : a woman’s trek through Turkey, Bilgen-Reinart, Üstün
    Turkey–bright sun, strong tea : on the road with a travel writer, Brosnahan, Tom
    Turkish reflections : a biography of a place, Settle, Mary Lee
    Out of This World: Across the Himalayas to Forbidden Tibet, Lowell Thomas
    Tibetan portrait : the power of compassion / photographs by Phil Borges ; text by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    The clouded leopard : a book of travels, Davis, Wade
    One river : explorations and discoveries in the Amazon rain forest, Davis, Wade
    Chinese lessons : five classmates and the story of the new China, Pomfret, John
    From Shaw Island to the Sahara / Carole Davis
    From Shaw Island to the Black Sea / Carole Davis

    People Who’ve Done Amazing Things
    The Power of Half, Salwen, Kevin
    Three cups of tea : one man’s mission to fight terrorism and build nations– one school at a time / Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
    There is no me without you : one woman’s odyssey to rescue Africa’s children / Melissa Fay Greene
    Neighbor power : building community the Seattle way / Jim Diers
    Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder
    Tattoos on the heart : the power of boundless compassion – Boyle, Greg
    Angels in Africa : profiles of seven extraordinary women, O’Donnell, Beth
    The Mapmaker’s Wife ~ Robert Whitaker

    Making the World a Better Place
    Giving : how each of us can change the world / Bill Clinton.
    How to change the world: social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas / David Bornstein.
    The End of Poverty : Economic Possibilities for Our Time / Jeffrey Sachs
    Tibetan portrait : the power of compassion / photographs by Phil Borges ; text by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    Half the sky : turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide, Kristof, Nicholas D.
    Writing to change the world, Pipher, Mary Bray

    Science and How the World Works
    The World is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century / Thomas L. Friedman
    Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea / Gary Kinder
    The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World ~ Ken Alder
    The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World ~ Steven Johnson
    The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry, by Bryan Sykes
    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
    The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary, Winchester, Simon
    The tiger : a true story of vengeance and survival, Vaillant, John
    A short history of nearly everything, Bryson, Bill (Anything by this author!)
    The first fossil hunters : paleontology in Greek and Roman times, Mayor, Adrienne

    Memoir and Biography
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil / John Berendt
    The Last American Man / Elizabeth Gilbert
    Dreams from my father : a story of race and inheritance / Barack Obama
    When we were the Kennedys : a memoir from Mexico, Maine – Wood, Monica
    A singular woman : the untold story of Barack Obama’s mother, Scott, Janny
    Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Strayed, Cheryl
    She’s not there : a life in two genders, Boylan, Jennifer Finney
    Hypocrite in a pouffy white dress : tales of growing up groovy and clueless, Gilman, Susan Jane
    A ticket to the circus : a memoir, Mailer, Norris Church
    I, Claudius, Graves, Robert
    Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story, Timothy B. Tyson
    Committed : a skeptic makes peace with marriage, Gilbert, Elizabeth
    The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl / Karen Burns

    Personal Growth
    Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, Marc Freedman
    The servant : a simple story about the true essence of leadership, Hunter, James C.
    Tuesdays with Morrie (anything by Albom, Mitch)

    The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    The night circus : a novel – Morgenstern, Erin
    The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins, Suzanne
    The crying tree, Rakha, Naseem
    Birds without wings, De Bernières, Louis
    The Golden Compass trilogy, Pullman, Philip
    English: A Novel, by Wang Gang

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