Friday, December 28, 2007

Jannet's Book Club...

...(or at least books I wish I hadn't ALREADY read and could still look forward to...)

I've never really been much of an avid reader... there always seems to be SO much else to do...

But in 1963 I DID read "Charlotte's Web." And in 1967, "The Little Princess." Both of them much more riveting than I think Disneyland could ever be. And then, believe it or not, in 1969 I read "Gone With The Wind" and was so moved by it that I actually sat down one day and began to scribe it out longhand, just to retain the beauty of the writing in my mind somehow. But after two weeks or so, having only made it to page 10 or so out of 689, my fingers finally just gave out and gave up.

And then my good friend, Thom, just reminded me of a book that I pretty much wore the cover off back in my college days... Sheila Levine Is Dead... And Living In New York by Gail Parent. And I loved rereading it! Some of the most quick-witted lines ever written on a page!

"The Stand" in 1979 was pretty good as well as were several of Stephen King books which came shortly before and after... and I had some time to read them between matinee and evening performances on Wednesday's and Saturdays in my little loft in Shubert Alley. But then... I ended up having kids and it was a long, long, LONG time after that before I ever read a book again!

Until, I read "The Bridges of Madison County" in 1992... which I totally related to!... and which probably ended up being the catalyst that changed my life as I knew it. But looking back, I'm absolutely sure it was for the best. Still, I guess you have to be very selective in what you choose to read at times. The mind can be a powerful trap, ya know?

Anyway, until this year, I think that was my last fling... with the novel. And then suddenly it just flared up again in full force, probably having something to do with discovering the fact that reading is the ultimate free means of entertainment and an escape from any and all of life's other addictions. And it's relaxing and pleasurable as well!... without being too terribly sinful or blatantly slothful... of course, provided you've attended to all of your other responsibilities first. So basically, reading works for me on a guilt level with which I'm fairly comfortable.

Here's my list of favorites reads and trust me, I've read a ton. Not sure what made me choose one book over another except that to make my list a book probably had to have accomplished at least 6 of following 8 requirements:

  • Kept me rivited from the first to the last and final page
  • Made me think really hard about things
  • Made me cry a little
  • Kept me up all night
  • Made me feel really thankful and fortunate that I was only reading it
  • Made me succumb to the tempatation of sneaking in multiple peeks at work
  • Scared the h*ll out of me
  • Or just moved or touched me in some way beyond my ability to express it...
So here they are... in no particular order. I realize the common thread is a fairly dark premise... but they are each so very, very hopeful in their own way... at the same time.

Kind of like me...

Click on the book title for further details and editorial comments and then decide for yourself if you think it might be of interest to you. But like I said... wish I could just take each and every one of them back back to bed with me and start all over again.

Diary of A Young Girl (Uncensored and Unabridged) by Anne Frank

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Every Day by David Levithan

A Stolen Life... A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Black Wave by John & Jean Silverwood

Somewhere In Heaven by Christopher Andersen

Into The Wild
by Jon Krakauer

Tweak... Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Long Walk by Stephen King

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Messiah of Morris Avenue by Tony Hendra

Derailed by James Siegel

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

Cell by Stephen King

False Memory by Dean Koontz

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoesseini

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Loverboy by Victoria Redel

Hope you enjoy them at least half as much as I did! And please feel free to include your recommendations in the comments section. Got a couple of leisurly vacations coming up...

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