Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ten for Tuesday: Ten Books to Read

I love reading. Call me a nerd or whatever, but it's true. Maybe it's because I interned at a library one summer in college, or maybe it's because I almost switched my major to English junior year. Or maybe it's just because there are so many awesome books out there.

Well, I've kind of been failing to read anything substantial lately, unless you count the Women's Health magazines I read while I'm on the elliptical. Want serious proof? My Goodreads profile is shaming me with not having finished Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company, a 163-page book I started in September. Yikes. Although, in my defense, I did lose that book in the backseat of my car for about a month-and-a-half.

Anyways, now that I'm in a new town and need to get a new library card, I figure I should get back into the swing of reading. Here are the top picks on my reading list right now.

Ten for Tuesday: Ten Books to Read

1. The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins). There is so much hype surrounding these books (and the upcoming movie), and I sort of feel left out for not having read this series yet. Plus, the movie preview sounds pretty similar to Battle Royale, a book I loved, so The Hunger Games must be great.

2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson). Another series I've heard nothing but good things about, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is, in its simplest summary, about a businessman who investigates a cold case murder. A lot of reviews I've looked at mention how misogynistic this book is, but I'm willing to deal with that to find out what makes this book so great.

I'm usually not much for thrillers, but my curiosity of all the excitement for this series is getting the better of me. I kept trying to pick this book up at the library in the spring, but I'm a bit too impatient to handle a 3-month waiting list. Yikes.

3. American Wife (by Curtis Sittenfeld). This book, about a small-town girl who eventually becomes the First Lady, came out a few years ago and has been on my radar ever since. Supposedly it's based on Laura Bush's life, which makes it sound even more intriguing. I read Sittenfeld's first book, Prep, when it came out and really enjoyed her conversational writing style and realistic characters, so I'm looking forward to reading another one of her books.

4. An Object of Beauty (by Steve Martin). It may sound counterintuitive to have a Steve Martin book on a list spurred by my inability to finish a Steve Martin book, but whatever. Shopgirl was fairly entertaining, I loved Born Standing Up and I think Steve Martin is awesome. A book about a social climber in the New York City art scene? Sign me up.

5. Bossypants (by Tina Fey). I love Tina Fey, and that is all.
6. Outliers (by Malcolm Gladwell). If you've read anything by Malcolm Gladwell before, then you know that including this book on my list pretty much goes without explanation. His books are studies in sociology and psychology and are so entertaining and intriguing. Outliers focuses on what exactly makes successful people successful: what they have in common and how their lives have conditioned them to stand out from the fray.

7. Reading Lolita in Tehran (by Azar Nafisi). I'm fascinated by books (fiction or non-fiction) that take place in the Middle East, like The Girls of Riyadh or Three Cups of Tea. In this memoir, Nafisi recounts teaching banned books to a group of students, a much bolder move for these Iranian girls than American teachers including To Kill a Mockingbird on their reading lists.

8. Infinite Jest (by David Foster Wallace). I will probably never read this book, if I'm being completely honest. This book is over 1000 pages, which already makes this an endurance read, but Foster Wallace is a huge fan of footnotes, complicating matters even more. There was even a blog made in 2009, called Infinite Summer, devoted to taking on the challenge of completing this book in one summer.
I guess you could say I've already started preparing myself to take on the challenge of this book by reading Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, so someday I'll have to just bite the bullet and start this thing. Wish me luck.

9. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (by Dave Eggers). Fun fact: Dave Eggers and I share an alma mater. Irrelevant, but I like it.

Unlike some other books on this list, I don't want to read this book because of the hype surrounding it. Partially because a lot of the hype is about how this book is a bunch of self-indulgent B.S., but also because I don't need the hype. I loved What is the What and Zeitoun, and I want to continue on my Dave Eggers journey and read this. Even if it is a bunch of B.S.

10. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (by Mindy Kaling). I love Mindy Kaling - not just on "The Office," but I've been reading her blog since its days as Things I Bought That I Love. She's hilarious and dorky, and I can't wait to read her musings in book form. Plus it just feels right to end my book list with something lighthearted so you don't think I'm trying to come across as less petty than I actually am.

So there you have it - ten books I'm looking forward to reading someday. I wonder if I'll be able to get through all of these within the next year? I guess I should probably finish The Pleasure of My Company first...

What books are on your reading list? Has anyone read any of the books on mine - what did you think? Am I the only person who hasn't yet read The Hunger Games?


  1. I also want to read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! But first, I'm reading the Game of Thrones book series. Perfect for my month off of school!

  2. sometimes i wish i was still in school so i could have a month off... i would at least get a lot of reading done!

  3. Mom just finished the hunger games trilogy on Sunday and couldn't put the last one , Mockingjay, down. Be prepared for emotional upheaval. We are reading Sarah's Key now.

  4. does mom own the books? i might have to borrow them from you guys!