Sunday, September 21, 2008


I always get a little nervous when I don’t have a book to read. My left eye starts twitching, and I panic that I won’t have anything to occupy my mind so I’ll have to deal with real life. Heaven forbid.

I recently found a promising-looking new reading list in Shannon’s Real Simple magazine. Readers were asked to write in with the titles of books that their book clubs had really enjoyed. So this will be a reading list I whittle away at for the next several months:

· Secret History and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
· Nausea by Jean-Paul Sarte (nobody in the book club liked it but it created discussion)
· Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
· Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
· The Road by Cormac McCarthy
· Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
· Same Kind of Different by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
· Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
· The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
· Little Heathens by Mildren Armstrong Kalish
· Ghost Story by Peter Straub
· Life of Pi by Yann Martel
· Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
· A People’s History of the U.S. by Howard Zinn
· The Quality of Life Report by Meghan Daum
· Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran
· The Bible by various authors
· Maus by Art Speigelman
· Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
· Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
· Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
· Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
· Blindness by Jose Saramago

I had already read a few of them (The Secret History, Life of Pi, Three Cups of Tea, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Bible). I’ve just started Animal, Vegetable, Miracle—looks a little heavy.

I think it’s best to intersperse some of these books with other fluffier reading material so you don’t start taking yourself too seriously. For example, I read the latest Janet Evanovich book, Fearless Fourteen starring Stephanie Plum, girl detective, before I tackled The Secret History (a $15 soft-cover book with 559 pages of super teeny tiny printing, written at a reading level of 11.8—not exactly a skimmer). And after The Secret History, I read an Anna Quindlen book (Rise and Shine), just to keep my right brain as limber as my left brain before I started Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s all about balance—and heaven knows, I need to keep my brain balanced: a little fluff, a little literature, a little shallow, a little deep.

1 comment:

Jason Pfeifer said...


I was surfing today and stumbled upon your posting regarding book clubs. I'm one of the founding partners of

We are an online book club site that is free to join, and allows members to create a club, invite friends, create meetings, and to choose and read books together online. The service is still fairly new, and we are interest in getting feedback on it, as well as getting the word out to people that may be interested in the service. We welcome you to trying out the service free of charge, and welcome to you blog or write about it - good or bad - we appreciate all feedback that helps us improve the service for our members.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy!

Please contact me directly with any questions or assistance.


Jason Pfeifer
Community Manager