Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wants and Needs (Bookmarks November/December)


I'm back again, with the latest installment of Bookmarks, which for me is like the arrival of that toy catalog right around Christmas-time when I was a kid.  I pore through each entry, make notations and scribbles, and try to figure out how in the heck I'm going to get them all read.

One thing I'd like to point out here.  Most of the books I am listing below I already knew about - many of them have been reviewed and scooped by my friends.  Bookmarks is just a reminder for me to get in the game and read them.  Or at the very least, just talk about them so I don't feel so bad about getting to them in a year or two.

So here are my NEEDS:




11/22/63 - Stephen King:  Uncle Stevie imagines what life would have been like had JFK not been assassinated.  In this little tale of alternate reality, a high school teacher travels back in time to try to alter historical events.  And without even looking I know this thing is probably a thousand pages, so I am going to try to get to it on audio. 



Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson:  Predictable selection, I know, but why not?  I love biographies, and when one presents itself that claims to be an uninhibited exploration of everything that made this man tick?  I must know these things.  Again, I'm just guessing this is a chunkster (how could it not be?) so I'm targeting it for audio.


The Leopard - Jo Nesbo:  Our beloved and tormented Harry Hole finds himself in Hong Kong, having fallen to the lure of opium and gambling.  He is called back home, though, despite his past transgressions, to once again save the day.  And this is a little bit of a cheat, because I already do have this book on my nightstand.  I just can't help waving it around and letting everyone know that they need to get on this bandwagon quickly, because this is already the sixth translated installment. 



Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick: And we thought that "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" was the greatest thing since sliced bread?  Apparently this one rivals its mastery, because Bookmarks has given it 4.5 stars, which almost never happens.  We have a story of a deaf boy, a young girl from 50 years in the past, magically come together at the American Museum of Natural History.  Told in words and drawings, like Hugo, I must have this now.  Scholastic was kind enough to keep the damn thing taped up on the display at SIBA, so I couldn't even touch it.  I'm still a little sore about that.    

Here are some of my WANTS: 




The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach:  Although I like baseball well enough, I'm told that this book is good even if you don't know what a seven inning stretch is.  Described as a novel that mixes Moby Dick with baseball, this book is more a study of three-dimensional characters that you won't forget in the near future.



Birds of Paradise - Diana Abu-Jaber:  This one is also another cheat, because I have this book.  I not only received it, signed, from SIBA, but I met the author at a luncheon where the authors took turns coming to your table to talk about their books.  Diana came with her own bottle of wine and shared (a girl after my own heart) and was funny and easy-going and made her novel, about a family left in ruins after their 13-year-old ran away, a must-read.  Bookmarks just reminded me that I need to delegate this one to the nightstand.


The Cider House Rules - John Irving:  Don't judge me.  I've only read one John Irving novel (Last Night in Twisted River) and I was underwhelmed.  I know that he has some amazing books though, and this one was featured in an article that highlights books about careers.  I'm thinking I need to make a project of Irving some day, starting with this book, and continuing with "The World According to Garp" and "A Prayer for Owen Meany".  


The Most Dangerous Thing - Laura Lippman:  I have resisted reading Lippman's Tess Monaghan series because there are so many books and I like to start at the beginning and read them all.  Intimidating.  But a stand alone?  I can do that.  This one has something to do with secrets, relationships from childhood to adulthood, destroyed innocence and such.  I know that I'm in good hands with whatever she writes. 


Any opinions on any of these?  I always need help with prioritization!




23 comments:

bermudaonion said...

The only one I've read is Wonderstruck and I agree that you NEED it.

Renee said...

Hi Sandy, i've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I love it! You have the same taste in books that I do so I was thrilled to see your wants and needs list today. I am waiting until after the holidays to start Stephen king's new 1 as it is @900 pages! Here's 1 to add to your list ...the boy in the suitcase. It's another Swedish thriller/mystery, my book club is reading it for January . I have to tell you that until I read your blog I had never even considered audio books, but over the last couple months I have listened to about 7books in my car and I now look forward to my chauffeur duties for my teenage boys! Never thought I'd say that! Renee ryeager3@columbus.rr.com

Beth F said...

I loved Cider House Rules. I really like baseball, started Art of Fielding, and just never finished it. No real reason except I put it down one evening and never picked it up again. I may give it another try.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

The only one I have read is Wonderstruck and it is wonderful! Birds of Paradise is one I need to look into. It sounds like a good read!

farmlanebooks said...

I've got a copy of The Art of Fielding, but I have no idea what a seven inning stretch is. I have my doubts, but I'm willing to give it a try.

All of the books you mention sound great. I look forward to seeing what you make of them.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Gaah! I gave my Lippman away to the library sale, because it had gotten so many not good reviews!

Yes, I want King's new book too. Costco has it for a lot off, but not in audio.

Nymeth said...

I haven't read any of them yet, but I definitely also need Wonderstruck!

Lauren said...

I loved WONDERSTRUCK. It was just as good as HUGO CABARET; absolutely magical.

Ti said...

I will be reading the King book soon. I got sidetracked over the holidays but will get it read over Christmas break.

I love Irving. Cider House is an awesome book and the movie was great too.

Teacher/Learner said...

I'm also "needing" that newest Stephen King book. Hope Santa checks that list :D I hope you enjoy John Irving. I loved Garp, liked Owen Meany, and was a bit underwhelmed by Cider House Rules but it was still worthwhile. Enjoy!

Jenners said...

I'd skip that particular Lippman book. I found it a mess! There are better ones from her!

Zibilee said...

I thought that you had and had read Wonderstruck! Good to know, good to know.

A lot of these are on my wishlist too, and I am hoping to do some post holiday book shopping to add some of them to my collection. The King book does look really good, and I think that will be my first addition!

heidenkind said...

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Wonder Struck! Maybe I'll order it from the library.

softdrink said...

Put Steve Jobs and Birds of Paradise at the top of your list.

I've only ever read one John Irving, and I was underwhelmed, too. But I'm pretty sure I have Cider House Rules on a shelf...somewhere. So if you're interested in a buddy read, just holler. I might need emotional support to make it through another Irving.

Julie P. said...

I can't argue with any of those. Loved WONDERSTRUCK. Loved THE ART OF FIELDING. And who can argue with CIDER HOUSE RULES? I want the other ones too.

caite said...

do not fear the Monaghan series. I think you can jump in. I have read a number of them but not in order.

Cath said...

I want 11/22, too!

As far as John Irving goes, I have to say that sometimes I appreciate his ambition more than I appreciate his end product. I really LOVED A Prayer for Owen Meany, but didn't make it all the way through Cider House yet. I hope to, one day, and while certain parts moved me to tears, I find it hard to sustain that level of Irvingness for as long as it takes to get through the book.

Can't wait to read your thoughts on your picks!

Gavin said...

Wonderstruck! I was hesitating about 11/22/63 but now think I want to read it and Cider House Rules is brilliant.

reviewsbylola said...

I want to read many of the books you listed too, including 11/22/63!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I've heard great things about that King book and I want to read it too. I'm dying to get Wonderstruck though.

wordsandpeace said...

Yes, you NEED to read Wonderstruck, and of course The Invention of Hugo Cabret as well! Here is my review: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/74-review-wonderstruck/

Melissa said...

I think I missed something somewhere...but Hugo Cabaret completely passed me by. Guess I need to look it and Wonderstruck up!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Yes *screams* YOU MUST GET 11/22/63. YOU MUST. It is so, so, so, so good.