Monday, December 10, 2007

I have 10 minutes, give or take a few, to read a book before I fall asleep at night, so it better be worthwhile. At the moment I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which is actually inspiring me to eat more vegetables, a miracle in itself.

Pre-children, a perfect afternoon for me would be spent rummaging around Green Apple Books in SF. It was right down the street from my office and had tons of nooks and crannies to explore. It had such a funky layout of levels and added-on rooms that people literally got lost in there.

I don't have that kind of time now, nor do I have a cool used bookstore in a convenient locale. My attempts to live within my means requires that I now use the public library. If I ever become a philanthropist, I'm giving money to the library. I think it's an enormously important community resource. Where else do you get to take something home for free, as long as you give it back when you're done?

Anyway, this is all to say that I don't have the time to browse bookstores, so I have a personal book-shopper. Her name is Jess and she has led me to at least 6 really good books this year:

Kate Atkinson: Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Case Histories

Stephanie Kallos: Broken for You

Geraldine Brooks: Year of Wonders

Nicole Krauss: The History of Love (I may have just found this on the New Releases bookshelf, I don't remember - but it's still on Jess' list)

Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

I liked them all, although I read 3 in a row that had at least one dead child as a central theme, and I try to avoid that whole subject.

It's so hard to recommend books, since what we like in a book is so idiosyncratic. I don't think I'll ever find a personal shopper who can find clothes to fit me (because, as the shortest-waisted person in the world, such clothes do not exist) but that's OK because having a personal book-shopper is more important. To me, anyway.


Carrie said...

I've read the last three books on the list--loved them all. I'd also recommend "March" by Geraldine Brooks--it's the story of Mr. March of Little Women. "Suite Francaise" (can't remember the author) was also a great book as is the back history of it.

And I think I might win a battle for the shortest-waisted person in the world. Low-rise pants were a godsend in my world because even though they still don't fit correctly, at least my pants aren't cutting into both the bottom of my ribcage and the top of my hipbones.

jessmonster said...

Until I started blogging, I had no idea how great it would feel to recommend books to people and have them LIKE them. It's awesome. I hope I can keep providing a quality service ;) You're reminding me that I need to throw more titles on my recommended list.

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