Monday, January 16, 2012

let's talk about your reading list

it's important to set goals for yourself. my goals usually involve things i probably won't do. but the act of setting the goals is the important thing (for me, maybe not for you. get your judging out of here. at least i acknowledge that i won't do these things). it makes me feel like i've accomplished something just by making the list. so i make a whole lot of lists, and generally feel very accomplished. i make packing lists, to-do lists, daily, weekly and monthly lists, holiday- and vacation-related lists, shopping lists, cleaning lists, and the list (very punny) goes on.
this kind of list is a little different. it's your (my) reading list. think about college, and high school, and cocktail parties. there, what you have read and are reading is semi-important. i'm not saying that as a normal, regular adult, reading isn't important. it really is, if you want to have any kind of intelligent conversation that isn't about baby poop or household cleaning supplies or beer, all of which are adequate topics for conversation on some occasions and wildly inappropriate on others. what you're reading is always (usually) a marginally appropriate topic, because someone else is usually reading something else which may be alike or entirely dissimilar, and you can converse about either of those things. or, go back to talking about cleaning supplies or beer or poop or whatever you like. but don't say i didn't try to lay some groundwork for you.

here, i'll tell you a little about books i'm reading, book i've read or re-read recently, and later (like in another post, because there are a ton of them) i'll talk about books i'd like to someday read as a grown up. use this list to find books to read or avoid, however you want to play it.

read: emily's ghost, by denise giardina. i finished this over the long weekend, but honestly, if everyone stopped talking to me for 5 minutes, i'd have finished it in a day. i really couldn't put it down. it's historical fiction (i feel like such a cholo for liking it, but i really do. much of my list is made up of historical fiction. live with it) and based on the Bronte family, especially emily. really, if you like wuthering heights, you'll like this. it's like wuthering lite. it made me sob, which i have been known to do because of my sappiness in old age. plus i like anything that makes me picture the moors (which are gorgeous, especially when the heather is in bloom), and when i went to haworth in my study abroad in England during college, it was my favorite place on the whole trip and i could picture all of the comings and going written about in this book.
re-read: the long halloween, a graphic novel by jeph loeb and tim sale. i just like batman. i can't help it. this is a good one though. i love harvey dent's wife gilda. so sweet and yet so nuts. this really is one of the quintessential batman graphic novels. i re-read this in a night too, as i was soooo happy to have it back from a friend.
read: the rise of the governor, by robert kirkman and jay bonansinga. this is based on the character of the governor from the walking dead graphic novel series, who is basically one of the most evil, twisted characters ever created. it tells the story of how he got to be that way once the zombie apocalypse came. it was good, but it didn't come anywhere near close to explaining how a person can go from a decent human being who cares for other living things to a total monster who is very similar to the zombies he tries to keep out of his community. it had a twist ending, which i liked, because i figured that in my infinite wisdom, i knew how the whole thing was going to go down. i didn't. if you're a fan of the graphic novel series, go read it now. if you're a fan of the tv show, wait until he appears as a character, he's too juicy for the writer not to write him in. however, the book, though entertaining, is not really that well written. but you don't really even notice after a while.
re-read: one hundred years of solitude, by gabriel garcia marquez. this is probably my favorite book of all time. it tells the story of the buendia family and the village of macondo. if there wasn't a family tree in the beginning, i'd never know what was going on because everyone has the same few names for several generations. but it's like reading poetry in the form of life, or life in the form of poetry, whatever you choose. it's beautiful and sweet and devastating and very, very long. take it on holiday.
currently reading: caleb's crossing, by geraldine brooks. being myself both a fan of historical fiction and geraldine brooks' other works, this one was a natural for me. i really enjoyed reading nine parts of desire, a nonfiction work of hers, in college, and march (about the dad from little women, and what he did when we weren't hearing about him) and year of wonders (about a village that closes itself off because its residents are stricken with the plague) are both very, very good and quick reads. however, i haven't much gotten into this new one yet. it seems to be about a young girl and an indian boy who live in martha's vineyard, and the indian boy's struggle to cross back and forth between cultures. that's hard for people now, so i can't imagine it being easy in the puritan days. i'll let you know more when i finish it.

wow. i feel like i just opened the door of my geekdom for the entirety of the internets to see. it didn't sound that bad until i put it all down in print. yes, i like historical fiction and graphic novels. i can't help it. look for my list of things i'd like to read but probably won't, coming soon to bore the crap out of you.

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