(member since Apr 20, 2012)
comments from the DC Public Library
Every year I resolve to spend more time reading books and less time reading the internet, to varying degrees of success. I'm hoping this is one of my more successful years!
Thanks for the recommendation Kirstin! I will definitely check out Code Name Verity.
I'd also like to hear about any other favorites you read!
There was an article in the NY Times yesterday about "new adult" books and apparently I somewhat misunderstood the term, "which some winkingly describe as Harry Potter meets 50 Shades of Grey.”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/boo...
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!
And Kira, being friends with someone on my gift list did prevent me from getting her a book she'd already read, though I didn't think to look at people's Want to Read shelf. A good idea for next year.
I haven't read Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
, but I've heard only good things about it.
Right now I'm finishing up Dear Life: Stories
, which has been on a lot of year end lists. I've been savoring this short story collection, mostly about women in rural Canada whose lives I'm finding oddly fascinating. Next up I think I'll try Sweet Tooth
, which has also made some lists and which I recently received as a gift.
This has been a great discussion. Thanks everyone!
I really enjoyed both of the YA books I read this month (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
and Every Day
. They had great characters, the writing was good, and I read them much more quickly than I read most books, which always feels nice. While I don't think YA will ever be my go-to genre, I will probably be more likely to pick up YA books that pique my interest in the future.
Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but often, even in YA books I like, I find the melodrama and over reactions of the main characters, who are also usually the narrators, really annoying after a while. I think the first-person narration might be part of the problem for me with a lot of YA because I start feel stuck inside that one very emotional teenager's head and wish for some outside perspective.Books on the Nightstand
, a book podcast I listen to, recently discussed "New Adult" as a potential new book category. These are books that focus on the period between high school and being a settled adult. This is the period I'm in right now and I have found myself reading and enjoying a few books that I think fit into this category lately (The Kissing List
, The Marriage Plot
). After reading them, I felt that they were so attuned to what I've been experiencing, that I wasn't sure if people more removed from that time in their life would enjoy them at all. They seemed full of the melodrama of being in your 20s in the same way that YA books are full of the melodrama of being a teen.
Hi everyone! Welcome to our January book discussion!
Each month we'll announce the theme and you choose the book you want to read.
Now that 2012 is drawing to a close, awards are being given and "Best of" lists are popping up all over. The New York Times
and Washington Post
critics have their lists. Goodreads members have voted on the Choice Awards
. Amazon has their top sellers for the year
. This month we'll be reading the best books of 2012 and discussing what makes a book "the best".
Check out our Best of 2012
shelf for ideas, or choose one of these:
by Zadie Smith
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo
- This is How You Lose Her
by Junot Diaz
by Toni Morrison
- The Round House
by Louise Erdrich (National Book Award for Fiction
- The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling (Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction
- Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel (Man Booker Prize
- The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers (Guardian New Book Award
- Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James
- Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
- No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden
by Mark Owen
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
Please post a comment letting us all know what you plan to read and suggesting any good books you read in 2012!
Also, for your brother, Nate Silver's book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
sounds really good and might be of interest to someone into finance.
Oh, a good cozy mystery for my grandmother is a great idea! I'm not sure how she'd feel about Amelia Peabody, but she loves those British comedies on PBS, so maybe Agatha Raisin? Or are there other good ones similar to that?
My brother is also a big non-fiction reader, as well as a musician. I know in recent years he has really enjoyed Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain
and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
I'm glad everyone is so excited about this month's topic! But, at the risk of making myself unpopular here, can I ask why? I agree that having good YA books is really important for young adults, and I agree that it can be really fun to read as an adult, too. What I don't always understand is the enthusiasm and devotion that so many adults have for YA fiction. Why has it become the preferred genre for so many adults? What do you get from it that you can't get from adult fiction?
Thanks everyone for another great discussion! Just because November is over, though, doesn't mean our discussion of Presidential books has to stop. If you didn't quite finish your November pick in time, if you read more great political books in the future, or if you're looking for a suggestion, please post here!
Also, don't forget to let us know what your YA/Crossover
pick is for December!
Unfortunately, I didn't quite make it to Assassination Vacation
this month, but I still really want to read it. Erissa, if you're interested in Garfield, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
is all about him and it was supposed to be a great book.
I started Absolutely True Diary at lunch today and I didn't want to stop! Someone also recommended Speak
, so I might try that next.
Even though I don't read a lot of YA, one series that I recently really enjoyed is Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books
by Francesca Lia Block
Okay, here's another one. I need an audiobook for my 93 year old grandmother. She likes Nicholas Sparks
, but she's also a political junkie who loves Obama. Any suggestions?
Come to the Goodreads happy hour tonight from 6-8 at The Passenger
! We'll be drinking amazing cocktails and discussing Presidents. Sounds like a fantastic Monday night to me.
I'm deciding between The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
and something by David Levithan
. I'll see what I can get my hands on first...
I have several kids on my list, ages birth to 10, and I've been wondering if the new fairy tale book by Philip Pullman
, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
, would be appropriate for any of them. Has anyone gotten their hands on it? What ages would you suggest?
Gift giving season is upon us, and for me that means deciding which books to give all of my friends and relatives. For some of the people on my list, it will be easy to figure out which book to give, others will be more difficult. But, I'm sure that if we all put out heads together, we can help solve each other's book gifting challenges. So, post below a little bit about what you need, and we'll chime in with suggestions!
When I first saw this topic I thought, "Yes, that's me! I love books about books!" But then when I actually went back and looked at my list of read books, there weren't that many. There are a few authors I like who frequently write about writers (Paul Auster
, Ian McEwan
, A.S. Byatt
), but I think I mostly like to buy non-fiction books about books and then page through them (Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
, Imagining Characters: Six Conversations About Women Writers: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eli ot, Willa Cather, Iris Murdoch, and Toni Morrison
, The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder
). Two that I've actually read all the way through and really enjoyed are The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man's Struggle With the Monthly Tide of the Books He's Bought and the Books He's Been Meaning to Read
and 84, Charing Cross Road
Sooooo, Taft 2012
. There were things I really liked about this book, and other things I didn't think worked too well. The premise of the book is that after losing his reelection bid to Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft disappeared. Then, in 2011 he reappears, not knowing where he's been for the past 100 years. The book alternates between narrative and "primary source documents", like letters, news articles, cable news transcripts, tweets, etc. This could have been gimmicky, but I thought it was an effective way to tell the story.
I knew very little about Taft going into this, and in fact I have to admit that I mostly chose this book because I love the cover
. The parts of the book that dealt directly with Taft, as a man and President, were very interesting. Partway through, I stopped to look him up on wikipedia and discovered that after being President, he went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which is pretty cool and definitely something I will be looking into more.
Where the book fell apart a bit for me was in the plot. When a seemingly grassroots "Taft Party" (loosely modeled on the current Tea Party) starts to gain momentum and Taft returns to politics as their leader, the author's critiques of our current political situation got heavy handed. Taft's reflections and misadventures adjusting to the 21st century would have been enough to get the point across. The political manipulators and evil corporate scion were unnecessary.
Anyone know of a good Taft biography?