Monday, December 1, 2008

Butterfly in the Sky


One of my best girls, MareSul, is a bit peeved with me that I haven’t posted anything in, oh, quite some time. She was not very accepting of my reasoning that I Am Very Busy Doing Other Things, Like Packing For Vacation, wondering, really, Mol? You’ve been packing for vacation for a month and a half now?

Mentally, yes.

Doesn’t everyone?

Anyshoes, I do have an adventure that will be posted soon, but until then, I present you with this: Book List 2008. This is the second year in a row that I’ve kept track of all the books I’ve read throughout the year, and let me tell you, it’s an interesting little project, and kinda fun. I’ve always wondered how many books I read per year. Now I have a pretty good idea. This year, it was 46. The year before it was 52. I tried to shoot for reading 100 books that first year, but that is simply, um, impossible. For me, anyway. Other people I know, reading 100 books in a year is a cakewalk. This year I didn’t put a number on my list, just jotted down each as I finished, wondering if I’d read as many without the pressure of a number behind each and every one. It was much more pleasant. To me, setting a goal of reading a certain number of books takes all the fun out of reading. And if you love to read, then reading should be fun. I find it tremendously fun. I know others do not, but I’m not them and they’re not me, so to each his own. My mom has a framed Mary Engelbreit print in her room that sums it up best. The print states, “Books Fall Open, I Fall In.”

That is so true.

To fall into a book is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It doesn’t have to be the smartest book, the most classic book, or what have you. It just has to be a book that induces that escapist, floaty feeling, when time isn’t given a care, but ends up speeding by you, particularly toward the last few pages and paragraphs, when you deliberately slow your reading, get up, go to the bathroom, watch some TV, let a few days pass, because you really do not want this book to end. Because once it ends, you’re quite sad and fear that you will never ever have such a good time reading a book again.

But you will, and you do. Not always the immediate next book, sometimes it takes a couple tries.

It’s quite addictive, reading.

There’s a second reason I’m posting this list, which is that I’m often asked for book recommendations. So here’s a few from which to choose. I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones I particularly enjoyed; these are the ones that come to the top of my mind when someone asks me what they should read next. Clearly I got on some author kicks this year. Clearly not all of the books I read were of, ahem, high caliber. Clearly, Marian Keyes could write the ingredients on the back of a cereal box and I will read it, and probably love it. I’m okay with that, with all of that. Of all of these books, there is are only a couple that I wished I hadn’t bothered finishing, one of them being Chasing Harry Winston. I am a fan of chick lit, so long as it’s well-written and interesting. And this book was not quite either of those things. It was written just barely to decent, and the story line was a half-step below mildly interesting, that wonky point where you think to yourself, “Okay, I could see how this might pick up! I’ll just read another chapter…no, okay, not that one…maybe it will pick up in the next chapter…maybe the next one?” It had the potential to be very interesting, but it just…wasn’t. Something Borrowed gets the second place prize for Book I Did Not Enjoy And Wish I Had Just Stopped Reading. But stopping a book is not something I’m very good at. I’m getting better, though. I think this year I managed to walk away from at least three books that were not really making me excited at their prospect and/or boring me to death and/or I wanted to punch the characters in the face and tell them to either grow up, go to hell, or both. To walk away from not one but three books this year is quite huge in Molly’s World.

So, anyone got any suggestions for Year Three of Books? I’ve got a few under my belt and completed already, as well as some on the backburner, but I’m always open to suggestions. Suggest away!

Year Two of Books
Books Read Between November 13, 2007 and November 12, 2008

A Tale of Two Sisters – Anna Maxted
Shoe Addicts Anonymous – Beth HarbisonJulie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen – Julie Powell
Size 14 Isn’t Fat Either: A Heather Wells Mystery – Meg Cabot
A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me – Jon Katz
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table – Ruth Reichl*
Secrets of My Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
Comfort Me With Apples; More Adventures at the Table – Ruth Reichl*
Big Boned – Meg Cabot
Angels – Marian Keyes*
Run – Ann Patchett*
Anybody Out There? – Marian Keyes*
Watermelon – Marian Keyes*
Rachel’s Holiday – Marian Keyes*
Escape – Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
Princess Mia – Meg Cabot
Gang Leader for a Day – Sudhir Venkatesh*
Getting Rid of Bradley – Jennifer Cruisie
Undead and Unwed – Mary Janice Davidson
Undead and Unemployed – Mary Janice Davidson
Undead and Unappreciated – Mary Janice Davidson
The Royal Treatment - Mary Janice Davidson
Undead and Unreturnable – Mary Janice Davidson
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen*
One for the Money – Janet Evanovich
The Royal Pain - Mary Janice Davidson
Undead and Unpopular – Mary Janice Davidson
Bringing Down the House – Ben Mezrich*
Love is a Mixtape – Rob Sheffield
Undead and Uneasy – Mary Janice Davidson
The Opposite of Love – Julie Buxbaum
Something Borrowed – Emily Giffin
The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (And How to Do Them) – Peter Sagal*
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched – Meg Cabot
Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella
Last Chance Saloon – Marian Keyes*
This Charming Man – Marian Keyes*
I Love You, Beth Cooper – Larry Doyle*
Suburbanistas – Pamela Redmond Satran
Rock On – Dan Kennedy
Undead and Unworthy – Mary Janice Davidson
Stop That Girl – Elizabeth McKenzie
Chasing Harry Winston – Lauren Weisberger
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married – Marian Keyes
The Other Side of the Story – Marian Keyes
How To Lose Friends & Alienate People - Toby Young


BJ said...

You really must read the Twilight Series. If you were on google chat right now I'd harrass you about it. Just do it! I swear you won't be disappointed. Give in to the phenomenon!

Rita said...

Promise me you will ignore BJ. Do NOT read the Twilight series. Of course, I haven't read it, so I guess I shouldn't comment. But a friend of mine whose opinion I trust said they are not very good. Plus, that kid who plays Edward in the movie creeps me out and the knuckleheads in my husband's office love it. They were also super excited about the Kids on the Block reunion tour.