My real love affair

As I mention in the About Me section of this blog, I am mildly to moderately obsessed with reading. I love it. Can’t get enough of it. This is a love affair that started early in life and old habits are hard to break:

Baby Petunia being read "Economics for Babies" by her Dad (hi Dad!). See how excited I am about the trickle down theory? *snort*

I was the kid staying up until midnight reading under the blankets with a flashlight when I was supposed to be sleeping. People gave me books for Christmas and I would sit there reading them the same day, ignoring my other toys, until I was forcibly removed from the couch to come have dinner.

Today I never carry a purse or bag that is too small to hold a book and take one with me virtually wherever I go. It is as essential for me to have a book in my bag as it is to bring my wallet with me when I go out! I have an hour commute each way on the train/tube which translates into lots of reading time. Plus, you never know when you’ll be stuck somewhere, and more to the point, you never know when the National Rail services will decide to delay your train for an hour (grumble grumble).

So, what have I been reading so far in 2010? I am going to try to hit 56 books this year, an average of one per week (the focus here is on average!). Let’s see how far I’ve gotten (*= especially recommended):

-The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche

-*La Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver (A half-Mexican, half-American writer spends time with Diego Rivera, his wife Frida Khalo, and Leo Trotsky. Couldn’t put it down.)

-*Made in America, Bill Bryson (Informal history of the English language in the USA. Fascinating.)

-Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

-When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, Peter Godwin (The death of a father played out against the backdrop of the collapse of Zimbabwe)

-Modern Irish Short Stories, ed. Ben Forkner

-Le Mort D’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory

-*In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan (Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.)

-*Say You’re One of Them, Uwem Akpan (A collection of stories in Kenya and West Africa. Really, really intense and not for the faint at heart.)

-*The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, José Saramago (so God, Satan and Jesus were sitting in a boat…and their roles are not what you would think!)

-5 trashy romance/crime novels whose authors and titles I have long forgotten

-Eat, Love, Pray, Elizabeth Gilbert

-*The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse, Louise Erdich (Bittersweet humor and mystery of Reservation life)

There might be a couple I’ve missed in there, I haven’t been keeping track as I go along. From a very generous Barnes & Noble gift certificate from my parents I have the following waiting for me to read when I get home in September (love B&N’s used book bookseller network btw, which makes the gift certificates stretch quite far – I still haven’t used it all up!):

-The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow, Opal Whitley

-Gai Jin, James Clavell

-Tai Pan, James Clavell

-The Religion, Tim Willocks

-A Palpable Elysium, Jonathan Williams

-Inner and Outer Peace Through Meditation, Rajinder Singh

-Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

-The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester

-Maus (both of them), Art Spiegelman

Can you tell I like historical fiction just a wee bit? I absolutely cannot wait to dive into these books. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do if I want to make a book a week…I love reading suggestions, so feel free to send them my way!


About Petunia

She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes And I knew without asking she was into the blues She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls I knew right away she was not like other girls ~The Grateful Dead
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9 Responses to My real love affair

  1. M.Lane says:

    What a great list! Not that I am surprised. If you like historical fiction, you should try Alan Furst’s great novels.


  2. mom says:

    I didn’t realize economics included pictures of baby raccoons & bunnies!!

  3. Grandma says:

    This was always a favorite picture of mine. Even at that age you were eager , interested and just so ‘into’ whatever your dad was reading. I’ve often wondered – I’ll bet even at that age you were absorbing it all.

  4. KM says:

    interesting list. i pretty much detested eat, pray, love. thought the woman was totally blah w/her stupid commentary and annoying personality. what did you think?

    funny, i wouldn’t have pegged you as a historical fiction lover. pauline is utterly obsessed with historical fiction and is also a voracious reader so i’ll get some names from her. good books i’ve read w/in the past couple of months (oh and ps good = entertaining/interesting, def not super duper intelligent books) 3 cups of tea, half the sky, lit (just read in CR, really entertaining), the 10 year nap. funny, now that i look at the list (last 4 books i’ve read) they’re all feminist-y (yes, i just said that). oh and i read ‘outliers’ (somewhat interesting, albeit uber repetitive and def painfully blah after a hundred pages)

  5. KM says:

    ps that is the cutest picture i’ve ever seen in my life. and pps amazing how little your dad has aged in 20 years. i gotta know what kind of face cream he’s using : )

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