Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Previews from the Book Shelf

I have more books to read lined up on my shelf than I know what to do with. I'll be lucky if I get through all of them this year, and the shelf is growing steadily fuller with each passing week it seems.  Have you taken a look recently at the titles on your books-to-read pile and thought about what those titles suggest about you, their future reader?  Here are a few of my upcoming reads and why they're on my shelf.

Why? Because I am a sucker for subtitles (this book has two!) like "One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible," "24 Hours of Christian Television," "A Year of Food Life" and "One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia."  I got this book free from Harper because I told them I wanted to review it on my blog; you'll soon be hearing more about the two former Manhattanites.

Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
Why? Again: subtitle.  Also, I'm a sucker for nostalgia and I heard the author on NPR two years ago.  Once it arrived, a year and a half ago, I wasn't quite sure if I could take 379 pages, with index, of nostalgia.  But now that I"m post-MFA, I'll give it a real go.

Hell and Back: The First Death
This is a fantasy/thriller novel my friend, Steve, from church just published. He's a prolific writer and gets novel ideas in a flash and then spends like two days getting all three hundred pages out of his system (or something like that!) before rewriting and editing. He graciously handed me a free copy on Sunday with the words, "Hey. Try fiction."

The Devil's Child.
This is a book of poetry by my faculty mentor in the MFA program, Fleda Brown. Over lunch this summer, she told me that the poems were written out of wrenching interviews with a woman whose childhood was comprised of Satanic ritual abuse, incest, and other forms of domestic violence. I think this might be Fleda's darkest subject.  She did, however, just come out with a lovely book of memoiristic essays this past spring.

The Last Lecture
No subtitles here and I"m worried it'll be too too sad in light of the book's irony: The book is based on the actual last lecture of Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Cargegie Mellon, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer just before he delivered it. I'm worried this book will push down on my psyche, filling me with the wrong sort of worry about how I"m living my life, achieving my childhood dreams, investing in my children's lives and well beings.  But the cowriter was Jeffrey Zaslow, who wrote The Girls From Ames, and that seemed to be written at just the right pitch.

Happy reading, y'all.

1 comment:

Cate said...

I <3 subtitles, too. :) Let me know how the Sesame Street one is! I'm ashamed to even look at my "to-read" pile...