February 11, 2010

Shelf by Shelf #2

The second installment in THE TABBY CATT's debut series. Click here for the first installment.


#1 - THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown - I bought this for my grandmother for Christmas one year but she didn't read it and it ended up at my house. Bear tried to read it after seeing the movie but put it down after a few chapters because the movie, being a very true adaptation, made reading the book feel redundant to him. I've not read it yet and don't feel a real itch to, but who knows, maybe I will some day.

#2 - LESSONS IN BECOMING MYSELF by Ellen Burstyn - I was lucky enough to see Ellen Burstyn speak before a screening of ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE at a film festival in 2007. After the screening, Ms. Burstyn signed autographs on copies of her book, which were for sale at the film festival. I scraped up enough money (and borrowed some from my aunt) to buy the book and even got a picture of us together. I love (auto)biographies, but haven't gotten around to this yet.

Ellen Burstyn, me, and my Aunt Candice

#3-6 - OUT OF THE BLUE by Orel Hershiser, DRIVE: THE STORY OF MY LIFE by Larry Bird, LUCKIEST MAN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LOU GEHRIG by Jonathan Eig, and TED WILLIAMS by Leigh Montville - Several of Bear's sports books. I've not read any of these, although I am interested in (eventually) reading LUCKIEST MAN and TED WILLIAMS.

#7 - FUNNY IN FARSI: A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP IRANIAN IN AMERICA by Firoozeh Dumas - You know how when you go to Target, kids usually head straight for the toy section, guys go for the electronics section, and girls... well, I have no idea where they go, but I make a beeline to the book section. My Target always has a small but interesting selection of books, and this is where I found FUNNY IN FARSI. What first drew me to it was the pretty blue cover and the fact I didn't know what Farsi was (I always thought Iranians spoke Arabic and was surprised to learn Farsi is the most widely spoken language in Iran). I love memoir in general, but the story of Dumas's emigration to America and her take on America's perception of Iranians before and after the Iranian Revolution is a great read.

#8 - HOMAGE TO CATALONIA by George Orwell - I had to read this for my Europe in the 20th Century class. Bad teacher. Awesome book selections. I was wary of this book because, well, 1984 and ANIMAL FARM aren't my favorite books in the world, but CATALONIA, Orwell's firsthand account of fighting in the Spanish Civil War, is an engaging, insightful look into war and politics.

#9 - ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan - Haven't read the book, haven't seen the movie - what's wrong with me!?

#10 - CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY by Alan Paton - A required summer reading pick for AP Lit. I don't remember a thing about it except that it takes place in South Africa, but I remember liking it enough to buy for a reread some day.

#11 - THE CONSTANT PRINCESS by Phillipa Gregory - Ah, the joys of the thrift store. For a long time, I (mistakenly) thought Phillipa Gregory was HORRIBLE because I read a similar-themed book that I thought was by her. Eventually I realized the book was by someone else, and just as I did, I found this at a thrift store for $1.46. Looking forward to reading it.

#12 - THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES AND HIDDEN HISTORY by John Michael Greer - This is a cool book, but not one I can sit down and read cover to cover. I pick it up occasionally when I want to read about the Templars or the Illuminati or just learn something new.

#13 - WHY MY WIFE THINKS I'M AN IDIOT: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A SPORTSCASTER DAD by Mike Greenberg - Another of Bear's sports books, but one I actually read. Hilarious. I just wish we would have thought to bring this book to get it signed by Greenie when we attended a live taping of the Mike & Mike show for ESPN THE WEEKEND in 2008.

I know this looks photoshopped, but it isn't, I promise!

#14 - PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger - My parents got me this for Christmas 2002. I haven't read it yet, and honestly, hadn't looked at the book until writing this. About a 12-year-old asthmatic who confronts family tragedy, this looks like a good read.

#15 - VANITY FAIR by William Makepeace Thackeray - I want to read this because main character Becky Sharp reminds me of a Victorian, less-scrupulous Scarlett O'Hara.

#16 - GRIMM FAIRY TALES by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm - These darkest of fairy stories are great to pick up and put down at your leisure. The collection includes such famous tales as "Cinderella," "Hansel and Gretel," "Snow White," "Rapunzel," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "The Frog Prince."

#17 - SENSE AND SENSABILITY - Such a great movie (the Emma Thompson version, anyway)! Unfortunately, I haven't read the book yet. For shame!

#18 - LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott - One of those books so classic that it could easily be overlooked, but shouldn't be.

#19 - THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls - Another of my favorite books, Walls's almost unbelievable memoir of growing up with crazy, brilliant parents and digging herself out of dysfunctional poverty is mesmerizing.

#20 - THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Ugh. Yes, it's a classic, but as an 11th grader, I had a hard time getting into GATSBY. And am I the only one who thinks Daisy was horrible? Sometimes I get the feeling I might appreciate this more if I read it again now.

#21 - SOONIE AND THE DRAGON by Sheirley Rousseau Murphy - A book I think my Mama bought me when I was very young. I went to Amazon for more information about it and found only two reviews, both by women who loved the book as a child because Soonie, the young heroine, did all the things the prince normally does in fairy tales, including rescuing the princess. Soonie was a brave girl, and this is one of my favorite childhood books.

#22 - THE GLASS MENAGERIE by Tennessee Williams - Short, sweet, and (not too) sad, MENAGERIE is the story of awkward Laura and her domineering mother, Amanda, who claims to want the best for her daughter but pushes her in all the wrong ways. I read this, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, and STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE for a final paper in AP Literature my senior year and loved all three of Williams's classic plays.

#23 - LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - An Oprah book club pick and written by a Nobel Prize winner for Literature, this is one that's high on my to-read list, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

#24 - NIGHTS IN RODANTHE by Nicholas Sparks - Nicholas Sparks books are sad. And if a book reduces me to snot-nosed sobs within the first 50 pages, as this one did, I'm probably not going to finish it. I suffer from overabundant empathy and prefer to steer clear of stuff that makes me super sad, because it stays with me for a long time. So I didn't get very far in this tear-jerker, which isn't to say it isn't a good book, but... I've only ever made it through one Sparks novel (A WALK TO REMEMBER, one of my all-time favorites).

#25 - A MOTHER'S GIFT by Britney and Lynne Spears - Yes, a book written by Britney Spears. I know all the reasons I shouldn't like it, and yet I've read it twice. It's entertaining, and that's all that matters. Maybe you shouldn't pay full price, but if you liked the Britney of old and enjoy rags-to-riches stories, this is worth ordering off of Half or eBay.

#26 - GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier - This fictionalized account of painter Johannes Vermeer's creation of "the Dutch Mona Lisa" in which 16-year-old Griet, a maid in the Vermeer household, becomes the reluctant subject of her master's most famous painting, is one of my favorite historical fiction books.

#27 - CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY by Karen Cushman - A novel in which Birdy, a medieval teenager with decidedly modern ideas, gives account of her day-to-day life, diary-style.  Birdy is the type of girl who blackens her teeth with soot to chase away an unwanted suitor, even if it means a swift kick from her slovenly, social-climbing father later. This was one of my favorite books growing up.

#28-29 - GIRLS IN PANTS: THE THIRD SUMMER OF THE SISTERHOOD and FOREVER IN BLUE: THE FOURTH SUMMER OF THE SISTERHOOD by Anne Brashares - The second half of the Traveling Pants series. I love this series and own the other two books, but they are (for aesthetic reasons, since these are hardcover and the others are paperback) on another shelf.

Shelf by Shelf #2 results:

Added together with my first Shelf by Shelf, the total stands at:

Have you added anything new to your bookshelf since my last Shelf by Shelf post? New readers, what is on your bookshelf?


Erik said...

I don't do bookshelves, I have bookpiles :) (partially true)

Erik said...

The full truth would, of course, be that I have bookshelves, bookfloors, bookchairs and probably book-anything-you-can-think-of. I'm not much for tidiness.

You could have a book excavation at my house - I can see it before me: serious looking librariarcheologists (hey, I invented a new word) carefully brushing away the dust and removing another layer of sediment, I mean books. Going back through the centuries, layer by layer, uncovering long lost books. A veritable treasure trove of literature.

Nah, just dreaming :/

Abby Stevens said...

Book furniture doesn't sound so bad. I saw a commercial during the Superbowl that featured a house made out of beer - how cool would a house made of books be!? I'd just have to make sure all my favorites weren't part of the support structure, lol.

Erik said...

Then I would miss my bus even more often :)

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