Sunday, August 19, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me Monday: B is for...

What else~Books!

They excite me, inspire me, inform me, invigorate me, relax me, distract me from worries, and keep me company when I'm alone. My love affair with books began a when I was very small, and will last as long as I hold a book in front of me and read the words.

There are always at least two, sometimes three books piled on my nightstand~or more accurately, scattered throughout the house and even in my car! (Don't worry, I never read while driving, although I've been known to catch a paragraph or two at particularly long stop lights or stuck in a traffic jam.) I've usually got a novel going, along with a non-fiction book or two, plus at least one book on writing. Currently, my reading life is getting out of hand -in addition to all of the above, I've got some background material books to help me with revisions on my novel.

I've been keeping a book journal since 1996, a list of all the books I read during a month, with a "top 10" review at the end of the year. Occasionally, I'll look back to certain time periods and see what I was reading, which author was helping me get through a stressful time, or what characters were celebrating with me when things were good.

Here's what's been on my list this summer:

  • Sisters of My Heart, Vine of Desire, The Uncommon Errors of Our Lives...Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Echoes of the Dance...Marcia Willett
  • The River Queen...Mary Morris
  • The Divide...Nicholas Evans
  • The Post Birthday World...Lionel Shriver
  • The Emperor's Children...Claire Messeud
  • The Chinese Chef...Nicole Moins
  • Shaggy Muses...Maureen Adams
  • The Shoe Queen...Anna Davis
  • Stormy Weather...Paulette Jiles
  • The Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes...Cathy Holt
  • It's Always Something...Gilda Radner
  • Eat, Pray, Love...Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Right to Write...Julia Cameron
  • On Writing Well...William Zinsser

Update: Just got home from my monthly trip to the library, and what a haul! Here's what I grabbed up...

  • One For the Money...Janet Evanovich. Lots of people have been recommending her Stephanie Plum mystery series, so I got one in paperback to read on my next plane trip
  • Kabul Beauty School...Deborah Rodriguez
  • The Maytrees...Annie Dillard
  • Sheer Abandon...Penny Vincenzi. I've been waiting for this one...this British author has a series of big, fat, historical family sagas that I can't put down
  • Peony In Love...Lisa See
  • Keeping the House...Ellen Baker
  • The Water's Lovely...Ruth Rendell

Can't you tell how excited I am??? I admit it~I'm a pathetic book-a-holic :)



Blogger Star said...

No surprise here ;-) It's interesting that you keep a separate book journal; I tend to just make mention in my regular daily journal and include lines or paragraphs that speak to my heart for one reason or another. Often I will come back to those passages because they continue to call to me--a lesson to be learned, thoughts on relationships, etc.

How is your revision going? I wasn't sure if you were going to tackle that.

Blogger Tammy said...

A book journal is a wonderful idea Becca. I try and remember titles of fantastic books I've read and I draw blanks.

I will pick out a book and if it gets my attention in the first three chapters, my world disappears. I do not stop to eat or chat until done. I must have good timing to read. :)


P.S. I wish you had time to give us a book review. I have trouble picking out good books.

Blogger Ally Bean said...

This is a diverse list of books I need to branch out and read more variety. I've never kept track of what I've read. It's a good idea, though. Good for you.

Blogger Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

Oh! I know now who to ask!! It is fabulous that you can fit so much reading in your life. Definitely something I aspire to do! Thanks for the inspiration, Becca. ;-)

Blogger Tori said...

Hi Becca-
I too am a book junkie. What a wonderful world it is to be a part of. I randomly keep lists here and there of what I read, but need to keep an official journal. I think I will start tomorrow.
Thanks for the inspiration.

Have you read Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Rosenthal-it's a must read!!!

Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Wonderful mix of books!! Lovely, JP

Blogger jzr said...

Thanks, Becca! You always have so many interesting books to pass on. I think I could spend my whole life reading!!

Blogger Mardougrrl said...

Ooh, I like the idea of keeping a separate book journal. I always forget the salient points of what I read, alas.

So many of those books look's another one to add to your pile, "The Artful Edit" but Susan Bell. I am reading it now, and can say it's a fabulous book on the revision process. Highly recommended.

Blogger Inland Empire Girl said...

Thanks for the list. I will add them to my book journal. I am like you ... books everywhere!


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