I’m in a book club also known as the wolf-pack (Woot woot! Shout out to my wolves!). We think the tale of our naming is quite funny and clever, but we are also self-proclaimed book nerds, so your guess is as good as mine whether anyone not in the wolf-pack would be amused.
Anyway, my point (yes, I have one) is books! Since starting a couple of years ago, we have picked some really great reads. Because I’m always on the look out for a good book, I thought you might be too and because I’m a giver, I thought I’d make today’s Friday Favorites my favorite book club books and a couple of my personal faves thrown in for good measure.
At the moment, we’re reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. Some of you might know her by her blog name – The Bloggess. (Kind of like Clark Kent and Superman only less secretive and more literary. Though, Clark was a journalist so the analogy is rather fitting. Done! Let’s all agree that Jenny Lawson is Super[wo]man).
I’m about 2/3 through and it is pretty darn funny. I’ve decided I shouldn’t read it on the metro/bus anymore because 1. I get motion sick and 2. I keep doing that bust out laughing/snort/chortle/choke thing and my fellow commuters think there is something wrong with me. I’m not saying they are wrong, but it’s not related to the snort/chortle/laugh.
Here’s an excerpt from last night’s trip home which involved me laughing out loud and possibly frightening a family of tourists:
Then Victor realized that I must be using his hands-free headset, and he got all kinds of pissed off that I was “getting it sweaty.” And that’s when I hung up on him. Because getting a headset sweaty was kind of small potatoes compared to the fact that I was brandishing a machete at large raptors, while considering the pros and cons of hiring a pimp to dig up our dead dog. Victor kept yelling at me though since technically I didn’t actually know how to hang up a hands-free headset, but I explained that he was wasting his breath, because I’d already hung up the phone in my mind and wasn’t listening anymore. Then he got really shouty, so I started singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to drown him out and that’s when my neighbor showed up again. She seemed more concerned this time, possibly because I was belting out Bonnie Tyler and crying while swinging around a machete over a partially disturbed grave. Or possibly it was because she was thinking, “You’re totally getting that headset all sweaty.” People are weird, and it’s hard to guess what’s going through their heads.
You totally want to know what happens and/or why she has a machete in the first place don’t you?!? I should make movie teasers and you should read this book!
Last month we read Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan. The man writes the way I wish I could. My favorite author is J.D. Salinger (see below) and I found something about this book Salinger-esque. It’s a collection of essays on topics all over the map – literally and figuratively. I thought it was great, “but you don’t have to take my word for it” (1 gazillion points to whoever gets that reference). Here is a NY Times Review of the book and below is part of Amazon’s book description:
In his native Kentucky, Sullivan introduces us to Constantine Rafinesque, a nineteenth-century polymath genius who concocted a dense, fantastical prehistory of the New World. Back in modern times, Sullivan takes us to the Ozarks for a Christian rock festival; to Florida to meet the alumni and straggling refugees of MTV’s Real World, who’ve generated their own self-perpetuating economy of minor celebrity; and all across the South on the trail of the blues. He takes us to Indiana to investigate the formative years of Michael Jackson and Axl Rose and then to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina—and back again as its residents confront the BP oil spill.
A History of Love by Nicole Kraus This is one of those books that you finish, sigh and think to yourself “that was so good!” It’s also one of those books that when you try to explain the plot to someone, they look at you like you are speaking Greek and you end up saying something like “trust me, it’s really good.” So, I’m not going to try. I’m just going to give you this little blurb from GoodReads.com and say trust me, it’s really good!
Inspired by her four grandparents (from four different countries), Krauss tells the story of a man who, 60 years ago in the Polish village where he was born, fell in love and wrote a book. And though he doesn’t know it, that book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love.
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger Like I said, I love anything Salinger, but this is an easy one to pick up because they are short stories – 9 of them as the title would suggest.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – This is my absolute most-favoritest book ever! It’s not exactly light summer reading, but if you have not read it, put it on your list. You don’t have a list?? (See above mention re self-proclaimed book nerd status)
A couple other things:
DC has a ton of public libraries (locations here). You don’t have to buy the books. Just get yourself a library card.
And just a note – I don’t have any deal with Amazon or anything. Those were just the links to the books that popped up first. Just thought you should know.
“I’ll see you next time.” (Come on. Someone has to get it!! Probably someone born before 1985 though).