April 22, 2010

Shelf by Shelf #3

It's time to take a peek at another chunk of my personal library.

1st shelf
2nd shelf


#1 - LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry - This 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner, which was turned into a Golden Globe-winning, star-studded TV miniseries in 1989, is a classic. Without knowing much about it, I picked it up at B&N, though I haven't yet had a chance to read it.

#2 - OFFICIAL SCRABBLE PLAYERS DICTIONARY by Merriam-Webster - Yeah, we love Scrabble. And fight over what words are acceptable (in a moment of desperation, one family member tried to play 'catwasher'). So we bought this. Problem solved.

#3 - THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus - The story of Nanny and the X family, and the inspiration for the Scarlett Johannsen movie of the same name. I haven't seen the movie yet (want to), but the book was an entertaining, fictional inside-look at New York rich people's dirty laundry (sometimes literally). A sequel, NANNY RETURNS, came out last December.

#4 - FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury - I love Bradbury, but as a lover of books, this was a difficult read. Imagining a world in which people are stupid and drowned by hedonism, without a questioning bone in their bodies, is the antithesis of democracy. Since the book's publication, people have claimed America moves steadily closer to the horrific society outlined in FAHRENHEIT, but I don't personally believe we exhibit anything close to it. There are bits of Bradbury's world that mirror our own, but to say we are that is hyperbole of the most extreme form.

#5 - SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares - This is the first book in one of my favorite series. I love Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget!

#6 - THE BOURNE IDENTITY by Robert Ludlum - Jason Bourne, master of butt-kicking. Bear read this, but I haven't yet. Not sure if I will. I love butt-kicking movies, but it isn't usually my cup of tea, fiction-wise.

#7 - THE GIVER by Lois Lowry - I haven't read this since middle school, but Lowry's expertly crafted story of escaping dystopian society has always stayed with me.

#8 - BLUE LIKE JAZZ by Donald Miller - I was given this by a religious group on campus while in college. I've not read it yet, but a friend says it's a great book.

#9, #10 - INKHEART and INKSPELL - my Aunt Candice bought me these for my birthday last year, and I adore them. Funke's characters are so rich - Homesick Dustfinger! Curious Meggie! Evil Basta! I am waiting for INKDEATH, the final book in the trilogy, to come out in paperback, because I don't want 2 paperbacks and one hardback (which always happens - I get interested in a series after 1 or 2 of the books have already come out in paperback, and end up with some in each format).

#11 - THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger - I bought this last summer before the movie came out in hopes of reading it before seeing the movie. I haven't read the book or seen the movie yet, although I've heard both are good.

#12 - THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy - Another Pulitzer Prize winner, it took me 20-30 pages to adjust to McCarthy's sparse style; once I did, however, the book flowed powerfully and profoundly. The end is heart wrenching. I missed the theatre run, but I've got the film adaptation in my Netflix queue.

#13 - NIGHT by Elie Weisel - I read this in March. Click here for my thoughts.

#14 - THE LOOKING GLASS WARS by Frank Beddor - I plucked this out of the YA section last winter because I'm intrigued by all things Alice in Wonderland. The idea of Alice being from the other side of the Looking Glass, as well as The Queen of Hearts being her aunt, and my beloved Cheshire cat as an assassin with 9 lives, is fascinating. A reader told me he/she didn't care for the writing, but I think I'll enjoy it.

#15 - THE OPPOSITE OF ME by Sarah Pekkanen - I read Pekkanen's debut novel in March as well. Click for my thoughts.

#16 - FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley - Bought it because it's a classic, and B&N sells the classics for cheap. Haven't read it yet, but I just know it's going scare the heck out of me.

#17 - MY COUSIN RACHEL by Daphne DuMarier - At Bear's insistence, I read REBECCA and adored it, so when I saw this novel by DuMarier sitting in the clearance section of B&N, you know I couldn't pass it up. If only I could get around to reading it...

#18 - SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson - Read this back in January and loved it. The winner of my first contest, Rachel Bateman, picked SCARLETT FEVER as her prize, and I can't tell you how badly I wanted to read it before sending it off to her (however, I was a good blogger and resisted).

#19 - SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater - Classic YA. Haven't read. My buddy Blue Lipstick Samurai recently posted her review of SHIVER, and while I'm worried the romantic aspect of the book will be too much like TWILIGHT, I can't wait to learn what the 'Shaymalan-esque' (in Blue's words) twist is. I want to like it, and I may read this next (depending on what books I get for my birthday on Saturday).

#20 - A VISITOR'S GUIDE TO COLONIAL & REVOLUTIONARY NEW ENGLAND by Robert Foulke and Patricia Foulke - Let me let you guys in on a little secret: I'm a Red Sox fan. Majorly. Last year, Bear and I were planning to spend a week in Boston and see a Red Sox game, and I received this from a native New Englander to help us figure out what we wanted to do while there (Salem was on my mind). As it turned out, we won the opportunity to purchase Yankees @ Red Sox tickets for earlier in the year, and ended up embarking upon a ballpark road trip that included DC, NYC, and Boston (Nationals, Yankees, and Red Sox), so while we didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time in Boston, as a history buff, I'd love to spend time up there one day enjoying the sights listed in this book (which, unfortunately, I've only flipped through).

#21 - THE YANKEE YEARS by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci - I don't get too caught up in the rivalry (as big a Red Sox fan as I am, I'm even more a fan of the game), so this book, an inside look at the Yankees' most successful manager as he dishes on some of the game's most famous (and famously difficult) players, is a must-read. When I get around to it. :P

#22 - THE COMPLETE WORKS OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN by Hans Christian Andersen - I love this book, which features Andersen's classic fairy tales, including Thumbelina, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Pea.

#23, #24 - THE BOOK OF INVENTION by Thomas J. Craughwell and THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT by Kathryn Moore - Bear and I love books like these. INVENTION features all the major scientific discoveries, breakthroughs, and inventions of human history, and PRESIDENT profiles each president (except Obama, because I bought this while Bush was still in office). I guess you could call these reference books, but sometimes they are just fun to flip through.

Shelf by Shelf #3 results:


Added together with my 1st & 2nd Shelf by Shelf, the total stands at:


I've read ~64% of the books I own on shelves 1, 2, & 3.

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of the above? Any recommendations?


Rachel Bateman said...

This little feature is so fun! I am rearranging my living room this weekend and getting more books on the shelves (instead of stacked everywhere like they are now). I might have to do something like this, if only for my own benefit.

I am still so thrilled that I won Suite Scarlett. I haven't read it yet, but it is edging closer and closer to the top of my to-be-read pile. I just might read it next!

Jamie said...

'Frankenstein' is my all-time favorite book. I have two copies - 1 that I've made so many notations in it's illegible by eyes other than mine and one that I re-read at LEAST once a year. I recommend you start there!

Phoebe said...

Fun post! Though I have to say, even having loved Shiver, I have no idea what she means about the Shaymalan-esque twist. I'm . . . pretty sure there wasn't one?

Abby Stevens said...

Rachel - You should totally do it! I think it'd be fun to see other people do this because then I could get some awesome book recommendations! As for reading it next... I have this weird thing (and it seems like you do, too?) where I get in the mood for a certain type of book, and it doesn't matter if I have a million amazing books of one kind, if I want to read some other genre, it just isn't going to get to the top of my reading list until I satisfy my craving for the other genre first. (Did that make sense?)

Jamie - that sounds like me and my copy of GONE WITH THE WIND. It is so beaten up and literally almost falling apart. The only thing I don't do is mark in it... I tend to write things down on a separate page instead (though said page usually gets lost, lol).

Phoebe - thank you! I think I *may* have read what the twist is earlier on Amazon...SPOILER ALERT!


(Sort of, anyway. Don't want to ruin it for anyone else): something to do with temperature? Is that right?

Phoebe said...

Hmm--that didn't seem to me to be very twisty, but mostly because it's revealed within the first few pages! More of an "our werewolves are different" kind of thing!

Abby Stevens said...

Phoebe - Ah, okay, so that's not really a spoiler.

And to everyone who's read so far - I'm sorry, I just noticed I had left off the authors for the last books! Boo! I fixed it, though. Sometimes with lengthy posts it's easy to miss something. Sorry about that!

Heidi said...

i've seen inkdeath in paperback here, it'd be out where you are for sure...

nanny diaries the movie is awesome! i tried reading the sequel and the writing just isn't as good as i expected it to be...

Hannah said...

Ooh what an interesting feature! Lovely selection of books you've got there - a mix of genres and lengths and time periods! :) I don't recognise a lot of them, but that may be more due to my innate British-ness than anything else!

I've never read the book, but I thought the Nanny Diaries film was pretty good, although filmed in a way that felt slightly odd to me. But still, entertaining!

Rachel Bateman said...

I totally do that! I can have so many books lined up to read, but if I am in the mood for a certain kind of book, I just can't force myself to read anything else.

And you settled it-I am totally going to start this feature soon!

Rachel Bateman said...

Also, can we go back to the '80s, because I just said "totally" twice in the same comment. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Ooh, I live The Nanny Diaries, The Bourne Identity and The Giver. What a great idea for a blog post!

Molly said...

Bookshelving! Yay! I own The Nanny Diaries, Suite Scarlett, (I have a copy of SF if you haven't read it and want to borrow)and Frankenstein, but I haven't read TND yet. I've read but don't own (on the other hand) The Sisterhood of the Traveling pants (I love them too!) and The Time Traveler's wife(DEFINITELY read before watching the movie, as the movie is quite good, as is the book) I should do a similar post. Hmmmmmm. :)

Krispy said...

I love Bradbury too, and I adore that cover for Fahrenheit. I also was given Blue Like Jazz during college from a friend in a religious group on campus. Haha. I also haven't read it yet, though I do also hear it's a good read.

I enjoyed the Looking Glass Wars, but kind of agree about the writing. It's okay, but the story is fun. The first book is my favorite because it's the one where the parallels to the classic story are most apparent. The rest get into original story, which is fine but a bit predictable. What bothered me in the later books was that the characters are kind of shallow; they don't stray much from what your first impression of them is (e.g. the stoic soldier, the worry-wart tutor, etc.).

The writing is Shiver is much better than in Twilight. It's lovely and lyrical. The romance was a little flat in that I couldn't quite understand when they'd fallen so deeply in love with each other, but I liked the individual characters involved more than I liked either of the Twilight lovebirds. And the dynamic of the couple in Shiver is less creepy. Haha.

Abby Stevens said...

Heidi - It's weird... it seems like maybe it has come out in paperback in other countries, but not here? No copies are available from Amazon, but some are available from Amazon Marketplace. So strange.

Hannah - thank you! Nanny Diaries is in my Netflix queue. Who knows how long it will take for me to get around to watching it (we're on a really old and brand new movie roll lately it seems), but I'm sure it will be good.

Rachel - I can't wait to read about all of your books! And hey, I say 'totally' all the time! LOL

Lisa and Laura - Thank you so much! I'm glad the response has been so positive to this feature. :)

Molly - Next time I'm at the bookstore I am going to pick up a copy of SF, but thank you so much! :) I always try to read the books before the movies, although it doesn't always work out that way. Saw Revolutionary Road and the book is still sitting untouched on my shelf. :( And you should definitely do a similar post! I LOVE reading about other people's book collections, which is why I started this feature.

Krispy - I can't tell you how long it took me to find a collection of his short stories. It seemed like it was always sold out. "There Will Come Soft Rains" is one of my very favorites. It's so haunting, I just love it.

Hopefully the writing in LOOKING GLASS won't bother me. If the story is good, I can usually forgive less-than-quality writing.

As for SHIVER, I haven't started it yet, but I'm more excited about it after reading your comment. As much as I love TWILIGHT, the unrealistic romance really annoyed me. I'm glad to hear the excellent writing and character development are deeper (and less creepy, lol) in SHIVER. :)

Krispy said...

Re: Bradbury. Oh, I'll have to look that one up. I think he's definitely better in short story form. My favorite book is From the Dust Returned, which reads sort of more like short stories anyway. It's beautiful and haunting, and he just knows how to strike that cord of longing. I'd be ridiculously happy to write even a line as lyrically as he writes his.

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