Friday, September 21, 2007

books and blog(ger)s

I was at the library to feed my addiction stock up on things to read and I had an idea. Hopefully even a good idea. I'm overdue for it - haven't hit my self-decreed quota of one reasonably passable idea a week. And it's Friday...

While you all try to wrap your minds around me having ideas, I'll give you the back story. I was looking for a book that pixelpi had recommended highly (which, unfortunately is checked out). Meanwhile, I'm waiting for a book from jen as a prize for being the fastest (though not necessarily the biggest) jen geek in Blogville. I had just finished reading laurie's account of her straight from hell kitchen renovation that had originally been printed in the newspaper she writes for. (I think still). Merry Daze has a blurb up about a book she's reading that our very own laurie wrote. Flowerpot got an encouraging piece of news in the mail this week about the manuscript that she's written. All of these things were flitting in and out of my mind. Meanwhile, I was wandering around the library with no real idea of what I wanted to read this week, since the book I had my heart set on wasn't available. Books and blogs, all wrapped up in my brain. Blogs and books. So I started thinking...

What about us doing some kind of book list here? Then I carried it a little further, because I just finished a book that was set in my neck of the woods. I'm always fascinated by the different places we all live, and the huge range in our environments, so I thought what if we were to recommend things to read that would give other bloggers an insight into us in some way? An insight into where we live, or what we do, or where we've come from? A book that's influenced your life? Or even just a new release that wowed you. Wouldn't that be really interesting? Obviously, you wouldn't have to be a blogger to participate. Just as obviously, you wouldn't have to play at all. But I think it could really be fun. Really all it is is sharing opinions. It's not like there will be quizzes or anything.

If you'd like to give it a shot, put your book title in the comments section. Then I'll make a list and put it on the sidebar. If this is a go, then I'll figure out how to update it as people have other books to recommend. If no one gives a rat's tail, we'll move on and I'll keep trying for that elusive weekly quota. But I know that I at least need some new ideas.

And since I've brought this up, I'll start. The book I'm recommending is called The Center of Everything, by Laura Moriarty. It's set in Kansas, very near my own area, and it's a really lovely coming of age story, beautifully written. I enjoyed it a lot. And it's not a long book.

I have to go on record as saying that the town depicted in this book is nothing (thank god) like my own beloved liberal collegeville. But the tone is dead on small town midwest.

And now I wait for the verdict.

Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.


david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

What a great idea. I read everything as a kid, little dreaming that one day I would write a bestselling novel.

I had many influences, and would love to take part. A big influence was Gerald Durrell the naturalist/ author. Read all about my interview with him (and how he sketched something for me) at `G is for Gerald Durrell' on my blog.

PS: I followed your link from Akelamalu's Harrison Ford post, in response to my invitation.

Love to keep in touch



david mcmahon said...

Okay, just to make it official, my favourite book is:

``My Family and Other Animals' by Gerald Durrell.



Woody's Mom said...

The Alchemist:
A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho

Wonderful, wonderful story applicable to everyone... about really thinking hard about what you want out of life.

You will ponder creating and following your own personal legend as you follow the intriguing story of a shepherd boy finding his.

Amazing book.

ciara said...

i feel inferior...i have not read a book in a long while. so i guess i can't really contribute. btw...don't forget to pick up your award at my place.

Flowerpot said...

So many I don't know how to chose but here's one of my favourites - Never Change by Elizabeth Berg. Don;t know if you've read any of hers, correspondent but she used to be a nurse, too. Writes beautifully, I think.

laurie said...

"dinner at the homesick restaurant" by anne tyler.

it's not my favorite book ever--i don't have one of those, i don't think--but it's one that close to my heart. the family dynamics resonate with me, the way people are drawn together and pushed apart. the way the brother has this stubborn plan to have the whole family for dinner without someone leaving early.

no one understands quirky family dynamics better than anne tyler.

laurie said...

and i echo mr. mcmahon: this is a great idea.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hmmm, I am just about to read The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards.
I finished The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson this morning.

I have recently enjoyed the Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz. They were fab. Really other worldly, kind of introspective and I loved the character.

Hmmm, I like this idea RC. I will read my new book and let you know what I think.

auntie barbie said...

This is a great idea. I'm always looking for something to read.
I will suggest "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides.
This is the story of a Greek couple that immigrates to Detroit as told by their granddaughter/grandson, and deals with the consequences of interfamily relationships. It also has great insight into what Detroit used to be and the race riots of the 60s.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

david mc mahon - welcome! I'm glad you followed that link and dropped by. I'll be over to check out your blog as well. Thanks too for the book suggestions.

woody's mom - thanks, I'll get it on the list. Has Woody given it two paws up also?

ciara - I haven't forgotten my award. I promise. And you're a sweetie for passing it this way. Yesterday just got out of hand really fast and nothing I planned on getting done really did. You know what I'm talking about! And Ciara, it doesn't need to be a new book. Any book you've read and liked works great.

flowerpot - wonderful. I've never read her. Thanks for the idea!

laurie - so funny and I was never able to get back on a computer for any length of time last night. Long enough to hit publish and that was about it. But...I also got The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler yesterday and picked it up to take a peek through before starting the arguable AQ. And of course never put it down or picked anything else up. She really is wonderful. I'll add yours to the list!

jo - let us know about your new one. And if you think of another one that you want me to put on now just let me know.

auntie barbie - thanks for the suggestion. That one has personal meaning for me too, on a couple of levels. First, is that as a Detroit born suburb raised kid I spent time in Greektown. (That iswhat it was called, isn't it? And, that my dad had a business downtown and we kind of got stuck in it during the riots. I can still remember the National Guard rolling in. His store was destroyed,and to this day, whenever I smell something really burned, that's where my memory takes me. Great idea!

Thanks to everybody and I appreciate the positive thoughts. Let's see what happens.

I've picked up a shift at work today until the kids are out of school, so I'll hopefully get this up tonight.

Jen said...

Recent books I've read:

The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. A story that looks at the biblical character of Dinah, and expands on what happens to her.

Also, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier. Good recreation of that historical period.

Oh, my gosh, RC, I've got so many books here...The list will be long. And if you send me your address, you'll get your stuff *grin*

auntie barbie said...

It's still called Greek Town, but now it has a casino in the middle of it.
My husband lived in Detroit during the riots & has stories of the National Guard stationed in his neighborhood.
What suburb are you from?

Kaycie said...

Can I give you two and let you pick?

One set in my general area that I like is "Where the Heart Is" by Billie Letts. It is a bit old, 1998, I think, and it's been turned into a movie starring Natalie Portman.

My favorite book in recent memory is "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. I really loved it, could hardly put it down. She a descriptive, evocative writer and there is a bit of a thrill in the book.

What a great idea, RC.

PixelPi said...

Well, you already have two from me, RC, and I think this is an excellent idea. I've already written down titles to look for at the library from today's comments. Perhaps it's time for a career change to -- librarian!

Iota said...

Funnily enough, I've just written a post on one of my favourite books, "The Tiger who came to tea". I can't say it's really influenced my life, but it's a darn good read and I think I know it pretty much by heart.

Natural Blonde said...

A book that I read a couple of weeks ago is sticking with me:

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

It has nothing to do with my lovely corner of south London but I in equal measure love it and am horrified by it as it describes love and loss. I found tears running down my face as I sat reading on the top desk of the No40 double decker bus in London. i kept having to pretend I had something in my eye (I don't think anybody noticed).

Kimberly said...

Neat idea! My all time favourite is The Cosmic Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. I read it at least once a year to soak up the feel of it.

Amy said...

Candyfreak, by Steve Almond. No joke on the last name.

Really, it's very hard to narrow it to one book.

merry weather said...

Yes great idea - can I put Laurie's book up?

They Took My Father - By Mayme Sevander and Laurie Hertzel

It's a good read, I'm only 20 pages in but I'm hooked :)

Anonymous said...

The best book i have read is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I love the story but I haven't read a book for a while, apart from the one I am trying to write myself! Great idea.

Crystal xx

The Rotten Correspondent said...

jen - I know. I have too many to. But that isn't a bad thing, right? Address is on the way.

auntie barbie - born in the old Providence hospital in Detroit,lived in Southfied until my mom and I moved to California and then spent summers with my dad and his new family in Farmington Hills (back when it was really way out of town.

Kaycie - I've read both of those and loved them. The Historian was the first hard back book I allowed myself to buy during the belt tightening of nursing school. (Except for Harry Potter, of course. But that was different. Those were for the kids .

pixelpi - I've got yours down on the list. You'd make a great librarian. You know all the cool books.

iota - popping over to read your post.

natural blonde - welcome! and thanks for the book suggestion. I'm going to definitely look into that one.

kimberly - got it!

amy - is his last name really almond??

merry weather - I can't wait to read that one.

crystal jigsaw - do you know I've never read that book? I will now.

miss yerem said...

hello RC,this is a lovely idea.

my favourite book at the moment is ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN` by rick bragg. it is profoundly touching and very well written.

have a good weekend!
best from berlin, anja

Akelamalu said...

I could have sworn I left a comment here yesterday :?

Anyway I think this is a great idea, I always have a book on the go but my two favourite books of all time are The Celestine Prophecy and Jonathon Livingstone Seagull.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

I have been neglecting my blog reading lately, what with one thing and another! I am just catching up on yours and think your book club is a brilliant idea. It's probably too late to make a suggestion but one of my favourite books is We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I was riveted from start to finish.