Friday, May 22, 2009

Picky, picky

I spent an hour or so in a bookstore yesterday. I don't know if it was my bad mood or what, but I found it difficult to find much that resonated. Now, admittedly, this was a small independent bookstore with a slightly different focus. If you wanted a non-fiction book about the economy, you were in business. (That's a big "no thanks" for me as I hear far, far too much about the market in my daily life. Although I do plan to read my friend Justin's book when it comes out.) So my browsing options were limited.

I'd pick a book up, read the flap and first page, put it down. Up, read, down. Repeat. I finally settled on Olive Kitteridge, which, so far, I'm loving.

I think I must be getting old and grumpy, because I've recently had a spate of books I just didn't feel like finishing. And I hate that. It feels like a failure looking down at me from the shelf. You didn't have the patience to finish me. Maybe I got better. You'll never know. One in particular was a book *everyone* seems to love, and the author has a god-like status among writers. 

So help me out. Recommend something. Please. I'll be finished with Olive within a week, and I need a next at bat. Recently I've enjoyed:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon (nice job, Cindy!)
The Inheritance of Loss bye Kiran Desai
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

You guys are always good for a few suggestions. Thoughts? What have you enjoyed recently?


Melanie Hooyenga said...

Wendy, I hate that feeling. Sorry.

I've had a good run of books lately, but I think you've read them all (or at least I've told them to you already). But I'll mention them again:

The Time Traveler's Wife
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Water for Elephants

I'm currently reading Last Dragon by J.M. McDermott. I've never read true fantasy before but I'm really enjoying this.

Good luck finding something you love!

Janna Leadbetter said...

I know that feeling, all too well recently.

I just read Elizabeth Berg's The Pull of the Moon. It was a quick read, and I really enjoyed it, how the author so eloquently grasped what it's like to be a woman and wife/mom.

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks, Melanie. Yep, I've read those, except for the Last Dragon. I liked all three and they are NOT glaring at me from the bookshelf.

Janna--Sounds good. *writes down title*

Allie said...

I just read Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. You'll need tissues. Lots. But it was really good and so interesting to see how much she's changed as a writer in the 7 years since Good in Bed.

I loved the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too.

I have a hard time getting into books sometimes too - if I'm not immediately drawn in, I feel like it's work - I'm taking it apart and trying to figure out what's not working in my head instead of following the story.

Unknown said...

I recently finished Year of the Fog / Michelle Boardman and am now in the middle of Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (though I've read several of hers for some reason I missed this one).

My study is overwhelmed with books right now so my friends and I have begun a book swap. You write your name on the inside cover to indicate you've read it and if you want it back you put a star next to your name. If not it's free to travel far and wide. It's been a great tool, opening up interesting discussions since we didn't always know who has read what book in the past, now we just check the cover. I've discovered some great new authors this way!

And if you're looking for something really new, you can always be my beta reader :-)

Happy Friday! - Sharon

WendyCinNYC said...

Allie--I've herd so much about Certain Girls that I think it's time I gave it a go. I read GLPPPS. I liked it and was drawn in by the characters. My taste normally runs a little more angst-y, but I did enjoy it.

D&S--A book swap is a fantastic idea. I can never get it together for a book club, but a swap I can handle. I'd be happy to beta read over the summer.

And I do love me some Jodi Picoult!

Abby said...

Gahhh! I've never heard of any of those books!

The 30 second commute by Stephanie Dickison. I recommend.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

My favorite books of late:

The Help
Starting Out in the Evening

Very different books!!!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I just bought that book, too and will read it after I finish Quindlen's "One True Thing" --

Gosh, and I won't EVEN suggst my't -- trying not to ...because what if it's one of those lonely unfinished books..eeek *laughing*

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks for the recos, Amy and Abby.

Did you like The Help? Something about the title rubs me the wrong way. I'll check it out though.

Kathryn--I'm sure I'd like (and finish!) your book, and that's a great suggestion. (And, believe me, any book would have plenty of company up on that unfinished shelf. They like to throw parties and mock me.)

Unknown said...

I read The Help too and honestly loved it, the characters are so well written.

WendyCinNYC said...

I just read the reviews of The Help and it sounds great. Thanks!

colbymarshall said...

I haven't done much reading lately--sad, but true. I've been so busy--I do need to pick up a book myself!

Amy said...

I guess this doesn't fully count as I've yet to read the book, but I'm about to read The True Story of Hansel and Gretel. It comes highly recommended by a good friend who's a picky reader herself. I've also purchased Lolita, which I'm embarrassed to say I've never read!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! Found you through AW. How about:

Divisadero (and/or In the Skin of a Lion)
Edgar Sawtelle
Songs Without Words
Out Stealing Horses