Books, Books, and More Books

Now it’s no secret around here that I love to read. It’s such a great hobby to have (if I do say so myself). And it’s totally bargain conscious. You can always find a book at a discount retailer (Costco anyone?), a used bookstore, or, better yet, the library. And since I haven’t been out and about much lately I thought I’d give you a list of recommended books to read.

But I can’t take credit for this idea, that goes to blogger Lena at Mom2MemphisAndRuby. She suggested a Tuesday 10 list of our favorite books. I thought it was such a great idea that I just couldn’t resist.

So here goes. Most, if not all, of these should be found at your local library.

1) Persuasion –  When I was a kid my mom was always urging me to read the classics and I was always resisting. That language! It was much to hard to read. And the writing was so small. And the books were soooooo long. But once I reached high school I started to give them a try. Jane Eyre was my gateway drug. Then I discovered Jane Austen and devoured her six completed novels. Persuasion is by far my favorite of these.

2) The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (series) – Now I haven’t been an avid reader of a series of books since The Baby Sitter’s Club. Oh wait, I forgot about Harry Potter. Anywho, I don’t GENERALLY read book series but I happened to watch the HBO adaptation of this one (why oh why did it only have one season?!?). I loved it so much I picked up the first book. And then I spent the next couple of weeks visiting all my local library’s branches to pick up every other book. They’re that good.

3) Anne of Green Gables – I’ve loved the movie (you know the Canadian one with Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst) ever since I was a wee one. In my classics filled teenage years I decided to read the book and instantly decided it was my favorite book ever. Several years later that opinion hasn’t wavered.

4) Anybody Can Do Anything – Have you ever heard of the kid’s series Mrs. Piggle Wiggle? Well, the author, Betty MacDonald, also wrote four memoirs about her life in the Pacific Northwest in the early part of the last century. They are excellent. Unfortunately they’re also a bit hard to find but they are worth seeking out. Trust Me.

5) David Copperfield – My name is Melanie and I’m a Dickensaholic. Don’t even get me started about the Bicentennial this year. I’m hating that I don’t live in England. It was hard for me to choose between David Copperfield and Bleak House for this list but I went with good old Davey as he led me on the path to addiction.

6) Kick Me – Adventures in Adolescence. Paul Feig is the co-creator (along with the talented Judd Apatow) of my favorite show of all time Freaks and Geeks (seriously go rent it. now. go now.). This books is the super hilarious memoir of his adolescent years. If you’re familiar with the show you’ll be surprised at how many of the plot lines came straight from his real life.

7) NakedDavid Sedaris is the only one of my favorite authors who is still with us. As in all my other favorite authors are dead. Now I don’t know what that says about me…probably that I’m awesome. And so is Mr. Sedaris. Armed with the quickest wit this side of Dorothy Parker his books will make you laugh until you cry and then pee a little and then maybe pass out.

8) Preston Sturges by Preston Sturges – Next to a good book my other favorite thing is a great film. I am obsessed with cinema particularly that which exists largely in black and white. Preston Sturges, the original writer/director, is among the best of the best. His memoir gives insight into where all that genius came from.

9) The Complete Stories of Truman Capote – Most people nowadays know Capote as a tragic figure from the age of excess. Or as the author of In Cold Blood who they think looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman. While that books is a masterpiece (my aversion to true crime is the reason I didn’t choose it for this list) his short stories were his greatest strength. Especially A Christmas Memory. I can’t read it without crying and yet I love it so much.

10) Up In the Old Hotel – I was introduced to Joseph Mitchell in the most roundabout way. I’d tell you the whole story but it’s actually super boring. A writer for The New Yorker he wrote articles about his adventures in old New York. Reading his book the Bowery, the canneries, the ports, and the inhabitants of old New York will appear before your eyes. And they will fascinate you.

So there you have it! Now I’m sure as soon as I finish this post I’ll remember a book that should have gone on the list. But that’s the life of a book lover. Too much is never enough.


  1. Bridget June 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I love to read but lately it’s been hard for me to find time to relax with a good book! I’m following you from What’s cooking in the burbs. Thanks for checking out my blog. Have a great day!

  2. Amanda Cobb June 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    A great list! I’ll have to check some of these out.

    Jane Eyre was my gateway drug, too. 😉

  3. shannon June 7, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Jane Eyre! A favorite of mine! I do still need to read Up in the Old Hotel…

  4. Nancy Davis Kho June 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    You had me at Persuasion…I’ve hopped over from SITS and landed on my reading soulmate. Just got into a discussion with a dude about books that we reread every year and this was mine – he was totally confounded. Go figure. Also love Sedaris and Dickens but I’m going to check out Paul Feig, thanks for the tip. And happy SITS sharing!

  5. misssrobin June 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Looks like you’ve got a few I haven’t read. I’ll have to check some out. Especially the ones by Betty MacDonald. I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

    I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, too. They are soothing to me. But not boring.

    Fun choices. Stopping by from SITS. Have a great weekend.

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