About ten days ago I was knee-deep in this fantastic book. I was up at two in the morning reading, I was reading while making dinner, I was thinking about the book when I couldn’t read it… basically, I was in love. That has happened to me a few times in my life–like when I read To Kill A Mockingbird–and although wonderful, it puts a lot of pressure on the next book you read.
For the most part, I rely on my friends’ recommendations for books…but this time, I’ve got a problem. I recommended my last book to so many friends who are now finishing it, that they are asking me what to read next.
A few of my favorite books I’ve read recently:
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
- The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
- Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
- The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
A few books I’ve earmarked to read:
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale
- Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
- The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
I’ll generally read anything with a well-written and compelling story…but on second glance, I tend to favor books that take place in another time period, in other countries and those with female narrators. The Goldfinch was a departure for me on all those fronts and I think it was good for me. Not like eating your vegetables good (Henry James’ books) , but getting out of my comfort zone good (Thomas Pynchon’s books). That said, if all the books I read for the rest of my life took place in Paris in the 1920’s, I’d be a happy camper.
Do you like to read books that are challenging or ones that feel like a vacation? My husband prefers to read challenging books–like War and Peace while we’re at the beach. He even will say something like “I’m not enjoying it, but I’ll finish it.” I can’t decide if it’s admirable or not…
After Gretchen Rubin researched different theories on what makes people happy–for her book The Happiness Project–she decided to stop finishing books she didn’t find enjoyable. Still, there are many theories on why we should finish books: self-respect, fortitude, good endings.
And while I’m trying to choose my next book, I’ll be perusing…
- This website, which helps you find a new book based on a book you already love.
- This hilarious Instagram account, featuring “Hot Dudes Reading” on the New York subway.
- This article, which purports reading 30 minutes a week for pleasure equals 20% more life satisfaction.
- This book, which illustrates what is on the “ideal bookshelf” of writers and other creators.
Any book recommendations?