Saturday, September 24, 2011

UPDATE: The 50 Books Project

Hello! What's up, buttercups?  I tell ya what, it's just been a thrill a minute over here recently. For instance, at present I'm sitting on my couch, in pigtails, drinking orange juice out of a crystal goblet, and watching Friends onDemand. I mean, yes, I COULD be out seeing that Contagion movie, but--as I told my friend Angela--I am exactly the right combination of informed and paranoid for that to be a really bad idea.  And did I mention the Friends?

But anyway. Besides all the Friends-watching (there has been a lot of it), I've been working on various capital-P Projects (some wedding related, others in an attempt to rid my apartment of many ancient issues of Real Simple), making 'Countdown to "Downton Abbey"'s Season 2 Premiere in the U.S.' calendars, and searching for gold wedding-appropriate shoes online.  And spending too much time on Pinterest.

Also reading. The 50 Books Project continues apace, to the point where the adorable, rather dorky fellow at my neighborhood library doesn't even have to ask my name when I pop in to pick up the books I have on hold. It's my very own Cheers. Some people are known at their neighborhood bar. I am known at the library.

Anyway, I am ahead of pace with the reading, and I think I'm likely to exceed my goal for the year. I've been reading a lot of different types of stuff, including, randomly, a good bit of young adult fiction. There is some quality literature out there for youth, which is nice to know.  It's not all Twilight.

Anyway, I'm currently 43 books down. Here are a few of the highlights:

One Day: This book is the story of two people who meet on the evening of their graduation from college. It follows them through their lives, year by year, in the anniversary of the day they met. I loved it, except for a part about two chapters from the end, when I literally threw the book across the room. But it redeemed itself at the end. (A movie version of this came out recently starring Anne Hathaway, and while I don't really feel particularly strongly about her in general, I am MOST displeased with this casting decision.)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green/David Levithan): Hard to explain, but a great young adult novel.

Caleb's Crossing (Geraldine Brooks): Brooks, who I've mentioned before, is possibly my favorite contemporary author. This book, her most recent--it only came out in May-- is a fictionalized account of the first Native American student to graduate from Harvard in the 1600s. Brooks is a particular favorite of all of the members of my book club. We all went to hear her speak here in DC a few weeks before the book was released, and and was our pick a few months ago.

The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver): This was another book club pick. Most of us had read and loved The Poisonwood Bible, and no one tells  a story quite like Kingsolver, so we thought we'd give another if her novels a try. Dramatically different from Poisonwood, though no less dramatic, The Lacuna is about communism, identity, loyalty, Mexico, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It's long, it's complex, and it's thoroughly engrossing.

The entire Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins): I was so enamored of both of the first two Hunger Games books that I forced myself to save the third one for the beach. I hate that they're over, but hey, at least a movie version is in the works!

The FitzOsbornes in Exile (Michelle Cooper): Early this year, I read A Brief History of Montmaray, the first book in the trilogy, and i've eagerly awaited the release of the second one. It has also contributed to my current obsession with early 20th-century England, though I mostly blame that on "Downton Abbey."

I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith): This book is pretty old, compared to most of what I've been reading. I think it came out in the 1940s.  Loved it for much of the same reason I loved FitzOsbornes in Exile. It's similar in theme, too.

So what have you all been reading? Any recommendations?

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