Saturday, December 15, 2007

Five Loved Books of 2007: A Meme

Jane D. over at Unnoted Unseen Unsung notes that the National Book Critic's Circle recommends five books per month. This list is derived from asking "What 2007 books have you read that you have truly loved?" to writers, critics, and book lovers. I am a writer and book lover. And most of you fit one of those descriptors. So it's our turn.

My 2007 is not everyone's 2007 -- the books I discovered in 2007 are not the same as books that came out in 2007. But these are books that I came to love this year. Here goes:
  1. Possession by A.S. Byatt: I laughed, I smirked, I cried, I bawled.
  2. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver: Okay, so this is not The Poisonwood Bible. In fact, I started this book five different times since I bought it in hardcover when it came out and couldn't really get sucked in. Then finally, I got sucked in. I did find that there was a fair amount of environmental information in the book, which I found interesting but didn't need. I'm always interested in the balance of information/position-taking and story in a given novel, especially because I love novels that have political content. I don't know what I think of the balance here, but I definitely lived with this book for a good long time -- and even now remember the old man who got jealous of the scarecrow looking inappropriately at his neighbor's legs!
  3. Traveling Mercies and Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott: I needed these books. I just needed them. My life is so strange and odd, it's nice to hear about someone who is totally as neurotic as I am trying to live a good life. I'm not a Christian, but I found that Lamott's Jesus was the good and generous within ourselves -- and you don't have to be a devout or born again Christian to want to live your life centered in the generous, good, divine part of ourselves.
  4. On Writing by Stephen King: Lamott and King together gave me permission to write -- again. King has also given me this vision of being a poor near-starving writer typing like mad in a trailer, a vision I'm taking way too seriously about now. But there it is.
  5. I can't think of a fifth! What's that about??? I've been reading, but this is about books I've loved. I'm screwing up my own meme. Nuts. I guess the closest right now would be Helen Fox's Listening to the World: Cultural Issues in Academic Writing. I did not finish the book, but I've referenced it in conversations something like 87 times. That may not be love, but it's certainly some form of mild worship.

I'm tapping five people for the Five Loved Books of 2007 Meme: Maude Lebowski, Jane D., Hilaire, Medieval Woman (because she needs something else to think about other than the obvious), and Sisyphus.


Sisyphus said...

Happy blogiversary!

Sadly, I don't think I've _read_ five books for pleasure this year, much less loved five. Hmm, do I try to make up for that while simultaneously distracting myself from the job market by reading something now?

PS I loved Lamot's Bird By Bird. I need to steal that back from my niece and reread it!

medieval woman said...

EE - thanks for the distraction - I'm posting now!!

Happy Blogiversary!

Earnest English said...

Sis, there are still a few days of 2007 left! I say: read a book, eat some Haagen Dazs (oh, I know - how about some cheese?), and enjoy.

MW: Oh good! I can't wait to see!

k8 said...

Sisyphus - If you like children's lit., you can get in a lot of books in a short amount of time:-)

EE - I do like the King book and I've even used segments of it in writing classes. I'm almost embarrassed by how much I've read in the past year considering I'm also writing my dissertation. Sure, I read kiddie lit fast and that ups the total, but I really have read a lot. I've found that I operate better when I get that fiction fix - even if I only have time for a short story, that can help. I need it to retain what I have left of my sanity.

Maude said...

happy blogiversary!!