Monday, November 04, 2013

Books, Books, Books

My activities are pretty limited still - reading, knitting, napping - so here are the books I've liked the best from the past month or so.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffingan - This is the funniest book I've read all year and perhaps ever.  It's the book I had in the hospital and in spite of everything, it still kept my attention and made me laugh.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris - I know Sedaris has a reputation as a humorist and while I can't say I found this collection of stories funny, I nevertheless was completely engaged by them and have started reading his essays in The New Yorker.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri - I got my copy as a pre-pub release from Random House so realize a lot of people may not have had a chance to read this yet.  I've love to hear from anyone who has.  While I did enjoy the book, I was disappointed in the lack of emotional engagement and felt she had created the characters as mouth pieces to deliver a story she wanted told.

The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James J. Martin - I loved this book.  You don't have to be a Jesuit or even a Catholic for that matter to enjoy it, but it probably helps. 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce - Short-listed for the Booker, this quiet story kept my attention.  It was the November book club selection for our Tuesday Book Club and they tell me they loved it.  I know I did.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - I recommend this book, it's surprisingly readable, but be prepared - it's intense.  It's both a biography and social history of the past 30 years.  I think it's an important book.

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman - I picked this up at Costco.  It's been on a lot of reading lists and was a spontaneous buy.  At the time I didn't realize that it's been turned into a made-for-TV series and that Ian has watched it.  It reads as quickly as fiction and is another important book.  I only hope it makes people wonder about the high rate of incarceration in the "land of the free and home of the brave."

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka - This is the debut novel by the same author as the recent bestseller, The Buddha in the Attic.  Both books were really good and I liked them equally.

I'm reading several books right now and am on hold for ten, that's the limit at the library - that's the problem with trying to read best sellers through the library.  I'm almost finished with Anne Hillerman's Leaphorn-Chee novel.  She's picked up writing the series where her father left off.  That was another spontaneous purchase at Costco and I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.


Jodi said...

I heard Jim Gaffigan interviewed about his book on NPR, and he was great! Definitely going on my holiday wish list.

I think that Lahiri's earlier books were better in terms of characterization.

Cindie said...

Nice that you're getting some quality reading in while recovering......