Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Books I Read In November: 2011

Who wants to know what I read in November? Get psyched!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This is a weird novel. I like it. The author started a with a collection of weird old photos and wrote a story to fit the pictures. It's pretty good. You should definitely check it out and at least look at the photographs.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. This is a wonderfully written, interesting novel. I always looked forward to reading it--ya'll know I quit reading a book if it bores me or if I'm not in the mood--so it's sort of inexplicable that I feel like this book was boring. That's sad. But it's how I feel. I have no idea why it's called State of Wonder. It's about the jungle and medical ethics and the Prime Directive. 

*A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I read this out loud to the kids. It is so good. This (along with The Yellow House Mystery) was my favorite book in grade school. It holds up. Have you read it? Remember how repulsive IT is? Remember how Charles Wallace initially avoids being brainwashed by shouting nursery rhymes while IT rhythmically recites times tables? Math is evil.

*Cornflakes with John Lennon by Robert Hilburn. Robert Hilburn is a music columnist for the LA Times. He interviews everyone awesome and has amazing taste. I love him. He is smart and passionate and interesting. And what's great is that famous people like Bono and John Lennon love Bob too. He's not "cool" and he doesn't try too hard but they respect his opinion and seek him out. I wish I were him and I wish every book were this book. I could read 10,000 more pages about how much Bob loves Bruce Springsteen, because I love Bruce Springsteen. He "gets" Indie rock that people like in order to be the only ones who like it but he's much more interested in rock legends who have mass appeal and are good (by his standards). He's totally buds with Bob Dylan.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne Valente. This is kind of fun.

Now that it's cold and windy all I want to do is sit (or lay) with a blanket (or duvet) and read. What would make for some cozy reading? Alternatively, what books should Christian get me for Christmas?


  1. I am kind of weirded out by how powerful zeitgeist can be. For example, I read "Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Extraordinary Children" on my phone last month (made looking at the pictures a bit hard), "A Wrinkle in Time" is in the bathroom right now because multiple people in the house like to read it (our cat is Charles Wallace), Bel Canto is one of my favorites and I was bummed that "State of Wonder" isn't, I just ordered "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making" yesterday and finally, my 16 year old daughter and I are blazing through Buffy. We are in season two. I squealed when Spike first showed up-so sad that it isn't going to work out...but we will watch anyway.

  2. I am not unknown, I am me signed into the wrong account.

  3. Thanks for posting your what I read lists. I stopped writing these because it seemed like no one cared. I just want you to know that I care. I am reading that "Girl Who Cicumnavigated..." book right now. It is kind of delightful. And I can't wait to discuss State of Wonder. I feel the same way about it. Here are some books Christian should buy for you:
    Ready Player One
    The Leftovers
    The Magician and the sequel The Magician King
    The Knife of Never Letting Go
    Doomsday Book
    Looking for Alaska
    The Wednesday Wars
    After the Golden Age
    An Object of Beauty

    I could go on...

  4. I love the Maisie Dobbs series. So good.

  5. I could no sooner tell you what to read than I could tell Adam Sandler what stupid movie to make next.

  6. Wait, is State of Wonder interesting or boring?

  7. Anne Y8:33 AM


    I enjoy your book lists although I confess that I never read anything nearly as challenging. My brain is likely to become mush based on my literary choices, but it's fun to read your "take" on your selections.

  8. I had a similar response to State of Wonder -- I was into it, but also found it vaguely boring. I second Josh's suggestion of Object of Beauty. Steve Martin will never write another book as perfect as Shopgirl, but Object of Beauty was very good.

  9. I haven't even heard of any of these books. But then I haven't been reading the New Yorker lately - or even the book section of the LA Times. I have probably noted this before, but I think Christian should get you something by Wendell Berry. I have loved everything I've read by him - and apparently there are a lot left - I like that aspect. It is Faulknerian in that he has created a town and families and these people are in his books in odd configurations. I especially loved Jayber Crow.

  10. Anonymous1:30 AM

    I already told you you should read Anne Perry's William Monk series. :) Plenty to get you through a long winter.

    I'm trying to think if I read anything else I liked recently. Besides the internet. Oh, wait (I had to actually consult my list of books I have read)--my favorite recent read was Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry. Berry's yet another of the many Mormon YA/fantasy writers these days (I mean Berry's Mormon, not that her books are Mormon) and she's particularly good--this book was very approachable but also engaging and had good plot twist. Berry has an earlier book, too (not a series, a standalone) and I've forgotten the title but I also liked that one.

  11. I just read the and liked it. I'm getting the second one. I wish I had found out about it from here, because you have such insightful comments on books and reading, but actually I noticed it at the library, and liked the title. I'll have to scour your book archives soon, because I need to pick a book for my book club, and (because of the caliber of readers) it needs to be short - like around 200 pages or so, and yet really good, and thought provoking, and a novel (the last three are my requirements). I bet you'll deliver, though.


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