I'll be the first to admit that I've been remiss in my Blog Book Club posts. But I've got a lot to catch you up on now. These are all books that are on my bedside table - I read a lot of books at once. Let's go across the two rows like we're reading, left to right, ok?
Jesse Kellerman: Sunstroke. I went to brunch with the author at this place at 80th and Amsterdam that had dog pictures all over. I'm more than halfway through it right now, and I'm really enjoying it. It's a mystery and I can't wait to finish it. My husband and I are passing it back and forth and fighting over who gets to read next.
Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club. I finished this last week - Longfellow and friends (in the mid-1800's) try to solve a series of murders that seem to be based on Dante's Inferno. Some REALLY gross death scenes. And it keeps you guessing. I thought I knew who the murderer was, but I had no idea... I really liked it. Made me feel like an intellectual, and seriously, what more in life do you want than that?
Dalton Trumbo: Eclipse. Dalton Trumbo was the blacklisted (and award winning) novelist and screenwriter (Spartacus, Roman Holiday, Johnny Got His Gun), and he's from my home town. And this is the book he wrote about my home town after he left it, and... he's a bit snarky. People in my home town have very strong feelings about this book, but I'm enjoying recognizing places and families that I know.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. A fabulously fun book. She's telling the memories of her life in alphabetical order, like a dictionary. Some are funny, some are poignant, it's perfectly postmodern. For the entry, "Anxious, Things That Make Me," she's got a list of things that make her anxious that I completely identify with. And this is proceeded by a very short entry on "Answering Machines." While you read this book, you feel like you know her, because instead of a story, it's more like a conversation. She says she was influenced by Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, which I studied in college and LOVED, and I'm, frankly, upset that she's written this books so that now I can't.
Zadie Smith: On Beauty. This is my failure. I started this on the plane home from France, and I read about 200 pages. And then I woke up from jetlag, and I didn't remember any of it. And it's so hard to reread a book when you just read it but you don't remember it. BUT. I've heard fabulous things about it. And I remember liking what I did read. And I fully intend to read it again when I've forgotten just a bit more...
Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife. A GORGEOUS book. Such a fantastic writer. I read this in Paris, and she made me want to stay in my hotel room and read, and I was in Paris! I'm making my husband read it. And yes, it's about a time traveler. And his wife. And it makes sense. And it's not science fiction. Seriously. Read it. I'll lend it to you (well, it's not mine, it's E-Liz's. But she'd lend it to you.).
So there. I've not been an intellectual dumbass. I've been reading. What have you been reading?