Friday, April 9, 2010

Books, Books about Books, Lists of Books

I like to read books.  

I like to read books about books: Nancy Pearl's Book Lust is a great example.

I like to make lists of books that I've read.  Unlike my sister Karen, who keeps her book list in a dedicated journal, I have always made my lists on random pieces of paper that get lost.  Now, however, I keep track of my books on a website for readers called, which, hopefully, will never get lost.

I like to collect lists of books to read in the future.  One of my favorite Christmas presents of all time is a list my above-mentioned sister Karen made me of her ten favorite books in each of 6 different categories.  If you have a list of favorites to share, please pass it on!

Besides lists of favorite books made by friends, I have a special affinity for "must-read" lists made by  book "authorities" of some kind.  One I recently discovered (and spent over an hour perusing) is Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923 to "the present" (list published in October 2005).  This is a particularly nice list as it gives a brief synopsis of each book, alerting me to the fact that I do not actually want to read Lolita, no matter how many times I've seen it listed.

One of my mental hobbies is thinking up different reading lists or themes for imaginary book clubs.  Here are some of my ideas:

*Books about by authors from a different country each month.   I just found a blog tonight for a group in Scotland that does this very thing: Round the World Book Group.
*Books that have been made into movies.  I might start with The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham or The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.   
*Books in thematic pairs.  One pair of books I'd like to read and discuss is Life of Pi by Yann Martel and Max and the Cats by Moacyr Scliar (some say Martel plagiarized Scliar).   Another pair I've been thinking of is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy with Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (married women having affairs and committing suicide).
*Dystopian Fiction: 1984, A Brave New World, The Giver, The Handmaid's Tale...
*Books with strong religious or spiritual themes
*Multiple books by the same author
*Books about the craft of writing.  The one I'm reading right now and loving is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


Suzanne said...

I'm needing funny books. Oh wait. You wrote some of those in your other blog.

marti said...

I think all those ideas sound great. I love getting book recommendations from you!

LL said...

I'm always looking for your book recommendations. :-)