Monday, October 20, 2014

What Are You Reading?

- from Susan

Unlike, “What are your three favorite books?" this is a fun question to ask or answer, both as a reader and as a writer. It used to be fairly easy: look at the stack next to a person’s bed. I’ll start there:

Incognito: The Secret Life of the Brain, by David Engleman (author of Sum, an inventive and moving series of small stories about the possible forms of an afterlife)

The Orientalist, by Tom Reiss, the biography of a man caught between his fantasies of an old and attractive concept of “East” and the war-shaped realities of the 20th century

The Years of Rice and Salt (for the second time), by Kim Stanley Robinson, a rich, compelling alternate history based on a “what if?” – what if the plague had killed almost everyone in Europe, leaving a political, geographical, and economic hole to be filled?

Bird by Bird, by Annie Lamott, because I’m always reading Bird by Bird

Murder Misdirected, by Andrew MacRae, a fellow board member of SinC Norcal, because it looks like fun

Anarchy and Old Dogs, by Collin Cotterill, whose crime fiction tales of Dr. Siri Paiboun, the only coroner in the sloppy, sorry world of communist Laos are funny in the way “Waiting for Godot” is funny

But that’s not my complete TBR stack These are among the two ten-foot bookshelves’ worth waiting to move to the bedside table:

This summer, headed to France with a present of books for my friend, I was faced with space issues in my suitcase, so I bought my first e-reader. Now there’s a virtual stack there too:

Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, by Terry Shames
Criminal Intent, by Sheldon Siegel
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
Killer in the Cloister, by Camille Minichino
Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson
Treasure Hunt, by Andrea Camilleri
The Family Way, by Rhys Bowen
The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook, by Josie Brown

And there’s always this to fall back on, should I find myself looking for a good piece of crime fiction to read (other genres are shelved elsewhere in the house). 

I don't think I'm crazy, and I know I’m not alone. We People of the Book all have stashes of reading material that will take us through every crisis and feed us for our lifetimes. And  because I'm always looking for more good books, I hope blog readers will chime in. There's always room in my house and on my TBR list for another book!


Paul D. Marks said...

Wow! Great library, Susan. And some really good choices of reading material to keep you busy.

Gram said...

I just hope I live long enough to get through my Mt. Everest size t-b-r list. I read from all genres.
I go back to recommending a couple of books from a few years ago.
Taylor, Jill Bolte – My Stroke of Insight
Schwalbe, Will – The End of Your Life Book Club
Ephron, Delia – The Lion is In
Hoffman, Beth – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Shaffer, Mary Ann & Barrows Annie – The Guernsey Literary and Potato
Peel Pie Society

Kerasote, Ted - Merle's Door

Meredith Cole said...

You have wonderful bookshelves brimming with great reads, Susan! Makes me want to drop in and start browsing... :)

My TBR list right now is also eclectic and slightly unmanageable--and I wouldn't want it any other way!

Susan C Shea said...

Paul, the problem, of course, is that I have to have time to write books as well!

Gram, The Schwalbe books sounds perfect for me, doesn't it? And the Guernsey story is so delicious that I've already read it twice - endearing. Thanks for the list.

Meredith, you're welcome any time but I have a hunch your own TBR list is as long as mine.

Art Taylor said...

A nice list! And I like the fact that you're "always" reading Bird by Bird. :-)

Alan Orloff said...

"We People of the Book" I love it! (And proud to be one.)

Josie Brown said...

Wow! I'm honored to have made your vacation reading list, Susan. Thanks for making my week -- and I hope your trip was magnifique!

Always in awe of you,

Josie Brown

Susan C Shea said...

Thanks, Art. Yes, Annie's advice, written like a conversation and from the heart of a writer who KNOWS, alternately calms me down and picks me up.

Alan, we are the tribe!

Josie, thanks for dropping by. I promise you your book is moving up, up, up the list, day by reading day!