Friday, July 5, 2013

Book lover

The other day one of my best friends was telling me that her almost 8-year-old daughter (who also happens to be my goddaughter) had started reading A WRINKLE IN TIME and was really loving it, and what a kick it was for her (my friend) to get out her own old copy of the book and show her daughter they shared a favorite. (After getting over the hurdle of the vastly different cover art.) A WRINKLE IN TIME was one of my favorite books as a kid as well, and I after re-reading a few years ago, I have to say, it's a childhood favorite that really holds up.

This little exchange with my bestie made me realize that although I say in my bio that I love books, I haven't really talked about any in this blog. Haven't written a review, or even a list of my favorites. Mostly because I always feel a bit self-conscious when I talk about books. I think my reading habits reveal my inner 22-year-old more than my outer way-older-than-that-adult.

Look, I've read some literary classics - and not all while in high school or college either. I've read works by Jane Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Irving, and Gustave Flaubert for fun. But if we're being real here, and I'm all about keeping it real, most of what I read is not all that highbrow. I mean, I'm pretty sure that over the years I've contributed considerably towards Nora Roberts' dream home, or at least its kitchen. I've read everything Chelsea Handler has had published. And I somehow made it through every single book in Charlaine Harris's seemingly never-ending Sookie Stackhouse series.

Which isn't to say I'm not picky. I'm not above enjoying a semi-predictable formulaic plot, but I hate Nicholas Sparks books, and refuse to watch any movies based on them. I say that as someone who read A WALK TO REMEMBER before watching the movie. And then became increasingly angry when I realized that according to Mr. Sparks, apparently important lessons in life and love only happen when someone dies. (We parted on poor terms.)

My biggest weakness, apart from adventure romance novels, is young adult fiction. I may be way older than the target audience, but there are a lot of really great stories to be read in the YA section, they just happen to have lead characters in their teens. I seem to have a particular soft spot for post-apocalyptic young adult series - I've loved THE HUNGER GAMES, THE MAZE  RUNNER, THE UGLIES, MATCHED, and DIVERGENT. (I will probably watch and have issues with the inevitable movie adaptions of all of the above.) Not to say those are the only YA books I've read in the past couple of years. I sobbed reading THE BOOK THIEF and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I felt like THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and KING DORK were about friends of mine, and READY PLAYER ONE was a fun nostalgia trip. I did not enjoy the TWILIGHT books though - mostly because (a) I didn't buy into the love story at all and (b) I hated the character of Bella in particular, and pretty much every character in the book in general. But I sure have had fun discussing some of the more ridiculous plot points with friends! (Have refused to watch the movies.) Next up in my very long to-read queue: CHOCOLATES FOR BREAKFAST, which I'm really looking forward to thanks to an endorsement from Whitney Matheson from the Pop Candy blog, upon whose recommendations I have found and enjoyed many of the books I just listed. (I should probably do a separate post of all the various enabling blogs I read.)

One of my to-read piles
Thanks to a friend who shared her e-book library with me, I have hundreds of unread books in my e-reader, and over a dozen unread books in my to-read pile at home - but I'm always open to new recommendations. Particularly if the main character is a kick-ass woman. Or if it's a book of humorous essays. (Funny books are my favorite reading for travel. David Sedaris, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling got me through some boring ass flights in the last year.) But please, the only shades of grey I'm interested in hearing about are references to makeup. (A nice grey nail polish, for example.)

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