books I’ve read lately, June 2011

I’m a reader, and always have been – my childhood best friend has memories of playing with my little sister during playdates because I would just want to sit around and read books, and she hadn’t learned how to read yet. Lately I’ve been so slammed with work that I haven’t been reading as much as I like (I typically have a few books going at a time, and finish 1-2 a week.) and so I thought I’d start documenting what I’m reading as a way to both encourage myself to read more, as it’s one of the things in life that makes me happiest, and to remind myself what I’ve read in recent history (the downside to reading so voraciously is that I sometimes forget what I’ve read and get halfway through a book before realizing that I’ve read it before.) Here we go.

  1. How to Be Alone by Jonathan Franzen. I know he’s not for everyone, but I really love Jonathan Franzen’s work. This collection of essays was no exception.
  2. Legend of a Suicide by David Vann. Lovely, if haunting, and confusing at times.
  3. The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley. This book should have been boring, but it wasn’t.
  4. My Misspent Youth by Meghan Daum. The second or third time I’ve read it, and it continues to hold up (that said, one of my favorite genres is books-of-essays-written-by-women-in-their-20s.)
  5. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida. A captivating, fairly quick read. Would be a great non-fluffy vacation book.
  6. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Not as controversial as one would think from all the hype – overall, very quick and generally enjoyable.
  7. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Add it to your must read list.
posted in books


  1. green clams
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 07:09 | Permalink

    so happy to see this! I have been needing some summer reading recommendations and now I have found them!

    • elizabeth
      Posted June 18, 2011 at 10:54 | Permalink

      glad I could help!

  2. Posted June 16, 2011 at 15:02 | Permalink

    I was just reading Design*Sponge and thought I’d take a look at the blog behind that fantastic beach home redo, and lo and behold, there’s a post about books! It made my day to see that the bookshelves in the feature must be more than decorative–these books look like great reading. Have you read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go? It’s fantastic. I haven’t read The Remains of the Day yet, so I can’t tell you if it is equal or better, but The Remains of the Day is definitely on my must-read list, just as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

    • elizabeth
      Posted June 18, 2011 at 10:54 | Permalink

      hey Katie! I haven’t read Never Let Me Go but I will definitely add it to my “to-read” list! thanks for the recommendation, and for your kind words :)

  3. stephen
    Posted June 22, 2011 at 15:34 | Permalink

    Amy Chua’s earlier book, “World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability,” is also a good read and surprisingly not out of date.