Tag Archives: reading list

No! More!

That’s right.

No more new books coming into this household. Not headed for my to-read piles.

Piles. Who am I kidding? I have an entire bookcase of to-be-read books, plus a pile in my office, a pile in my bedroom, and a smaller pile of books I just received for Christmas.

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So. A moratorium on books. I will not buy new books, not even ebooks, until I have diminished the piles stacked around my house–and reviewed them.

Of course, this new rule excludes books that are given to me as gifts (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and there’s a new Bujold out, for crying out loud), books that are lent to me, books written by my friends (admittedly, I have a very broad definition of friend), and books that I might purchase for other people. (You do know if I gift you a book, chances are good that I read it first, right?)

Any bets on how long I’ll last?

Or how long it will take me to make a significant dent in this collection?

How do YOU deal with an out-of-control reading pile?

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The 2015/16 Book Group Reading List

New and improved! Now with more fiber! And extra cleaning power!

I’m in a mood.

These are the titles we’ve selected for this year. I’ve decided to note my preconceptions about the books, then I’ll come back after reading them to see how reality matches up with expectations.

October              Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (Can’t wait to read this. Sounds quirky and fun. I don’t know how a crematory works, but I will after I read this.)

November          The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco: A Book Club Mystery by Laura DiSilverio  (I’ve already read this, and I’m eager to see what the rest of the group thinks. Crossing my fingers that we might be able to get the author to join us for our discussion.)

December          Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell   (I’m actually fairly neutral about this one. Not opposed to a Western. I suspect it will either be well done or over done.

January               Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich (I think I would read anything she writes. There was some discussion about whether or not to read it in December, but some people thought it would be anti-spiritual. I disagreed, but I don’t really care when we read it.)

February             Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health by Denise Minger  (My initial reaction was: Yawn. I feel like this is a subject I already read a lot about, and people are constantly talking about, and I get enough of it outside of book group.)

March                 Mink River by Brian Doyle  (I voted no on this book, simply because it’s not very available (the library has 0 copies and the paperback is $18) and whoever wrote the book description should be taken out and flogged. It’s just a list of words, items that we’ll encounter in this fictional small town. I lived in a small town. They really aren’t that interesting. One of our members said she didn’t want to limit the books by what was available. I countered that I didn’t want to have to purchase all the books on the list. Since I know who recommended it, I suspect the writing will be beautiful.)

April                    We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh  (Neutral. Must be popular, because the wait for hard copies or ecopies at the library is hella long. Family drama. The American Dream.)

May                    Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson   (This one intrigues me–homeless girl meets and marries a minister– but only 1 copy at the library and not out in paperback. Yes, ease of acquiring the book matters to me. But this one I’m willing to work to get my hands on.)

June                    The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (Set in England between the world wars, it could be interesting. My great-grandparents ran a boarding house, although I never heard many stories about that. Color me curious.)

July                     Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth  (Hard to get and I completely don’t care. Saw a little of the TV series based on this book and fell in love with it. When I saw this on the list of books, it was the first one I knew I was going to vote for.)

August                All We Had: A Novel by Annie Weatherwax   (Sneaky me, I’ve read this one already. I hope it will prompt some good discussion with the group. The storyline itself is not unfamiliar, but it’s not set in the 1950s or in a dysfunctional southern family. Sometimes I think there’s an unwritten rule that coming of age stories must be set in the 50s or 60s. Did we stop having seminal experiences that defined our transition from children to adults? Or are the bygone years tinted with the amber patina of nostalgia?)

September         The Choosing   For those new to this part of my life, over the summer the members of our book group submit possible books for the coming year. Prior to the September meeting, a list is sent out with title, author and description for each book. The meeting is a lot of fun; we eat (it’s a potluck), talk about the books, and vote.

And can anyone tell me why we have to append “: A Novel” to so many titles now? Is the general reading public really too stupid to figure that out?

Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you want to? Do you think I’m on target or way off base on any of these?

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What is the Book Group Reading? (Oct. 2013-Aug. 2014)

I’m pretty excited about this year’s line up. Some stuff that sounds interesting on its own, while other titles are things I would never have read without the impetus of book group.

So, has anyone read any of these? What did you think?

October:  The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
November:   Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
December:   The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
January:   Beyond Belief: The Secret Life of Women in Extreme Religions by Susan Tive  and Cami Ostmen
February:   The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
March:   The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
April:   Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
May:   Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
June:   Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
July:   When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace by Le Ly Hayslip with Jay Wurts
August:   Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison by Piper Kerman

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