Thursday, April 7, 2011

Literary Bite: Spring Reading List

I rarely seek out books - they tend to find their way to me. I lend, I borrow, I go to the library, so somehow there’s always at least one book waiting on my shelf. Just walking into a book store is far too risky, I need credible recommendations to screen my reading materials!

Plus I like to talk about books. I love meeting people who love reading as much as I do, and I always ask what their must-reads are.

Right now I have quite a few in my queue. The Newbie lent me a couple, my mama left a stack when she visited, and I still have birthday books waiting to be read. My current reading list includes a lot of non-fiction, abnormal reading material for a fiction-o-phile like myself…but I’m willing to give it a shot!

Here are the books on my list, let me know if you’ve read any of them. (Or if you have any recommendations – I’m always looking for a good book!)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver – This collection of short stories is my next book club book. According to Amazon, it is not only the most well-known short story title of the latter part of the 20th century; it has come to stand for an entire aesthetic, the bare-bones prose style for which Raymond Carver became famous.”

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns – 6x6 pre-ordered this book for me as a birthday present. It’s written by one of our favorite bloggers (Sterns blogs at Congo Siasa). “Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it.”

The Beautiful things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu– This was another birthday book, from LLC. It was actually on my mental list of books to read thanks to my book-of-the-day calendar. On Wednesday, December 29, 2010, it asked me: “Tackling themes of racism, urban gentrification, and immigrant identity, what powerful novel introduces us to Stepha Staphanos, an immigrant from Ethiopia who operates a small grocery store in a poor section of Washington, DC?” My response was to rip off the page and tack it to my wall so I would remember to read the book. And now thanks to LLC, I will!

Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler – My mama left this one for me. Hessler’s wrote Oracle Bones after River Town (which I loved) and before Country Driving (which I have mixed feelings about…read this and this). It was a finalist for the National Book Award, and is supposed to be one of Hessler’s best books.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odessy to Educate the World’s Children by John Wood– This one is from the Newbie. Is sounds very Three Cups of Tea (man goes to Himalayas, is inspired to change his life, does great things):
John Wood discovered his passion, his greatest success, and his life's work--not at business school or leading Microsoft's charge into Asia in the 1990s--but on a soul-searching trip to the Himalayas. Wood felt trapped between an all-consuming career and a desire to do something lasting and significant….Instead of being the antidote to the rat race, that trip convinced John Wood to divert the boundless energy he was devoting to Microsoft into a cause that desperately needed to be addressed.

Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World by Marie C. Wilson – This is another Newbie recommendation. It’s looking dubiously academic…but I trust her judgement (she wore the Pink Pants afterall), so I’m willing to give it a shot!

Here are some of my previous Reading List posts: