books I’ve read lately – July 2011

  1. Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Darling, smart, funny, quick read. A perfect intelligent beach vacation book. “(…That’s how bourgeois I am: at the split second I picked up the pie to throw it at Mark, at the split second I was about to do the bravest – albeit the more derivative- thing I had ever done in my life, I thought to myself: Thank God the floor is linoleum and can be wiped up.)”
  2. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. This book is very male (and no, I’m not sure what I mean by that) and very inspirational, which is, well, usually not my bag. But, it somehow was really lovely, generally not hokey, and I found myself highlighting heavily while reading it. “I don’t know why we need stories, but we always have. I’d say it’s just that we like them, that they’re entertaining, but it’s more than that. It’s a thing in us that empties like a stomach, and then needs to be filled again.”
  3. Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness by Dominique Browning. Captivating memoir about how to make life lovely when things don’t end up at all the way you planned. “I have just begun to accept the relentless flux that is the condition of my life, of all our lives. Not young, not old; not betrothed, not alone; thinking back, looking forward; not broken, not quite whole anymore, either. But Present.”
  4. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. This was probably the seventh time I’ve read this book (I’m a big re-reader.) This book changed my life when I first read it, and was a huge influence on me from the ages of 17-19 years old, and to a lesser degree through my early twenties. And 17-19 will always be some of my favorite years of my life – not the best years, but some of my favorite. And so I still love this book deeply, because reading it reminds me of that former version of myself.
  5. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I saw Patchett read while she was on tour for this book, and she made a comment that she thinks she writes the same book over and over again, with different characters and different settings. This is not untrue. It also doesn’t stop every book of hers from being wonderful.
  6. Gimme Shelter by Mary Elizabeth Williams. I have to say, I found Williams pretty annoying through the first third of the book, and this certainly is not something you should read if you ever want to buy real estate in New York City, as it makes it sound about as appealing as eating raw potatoes. But I ended up liking it more than I thought I would, and Williams ends up being semi-likeable enough that I couldn’t help but root for her.
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