Friday, September 25, 2009

Best of....Books

Booking Through Thursday (BTT) is a weekly book meme that I stumbled upon a while ago and haven't really done much with. Earlier today I decided to check out the BTT question for this week. Apparently, BTT has been doing a "Best Book" theme for the past several weeks, in which you chose the best book you've read recently in a variety of categories (funniest, most serious, saddest, most entertaining, etc). Reading the questions got me thinking about my own reading, so I decided to do a cumulative post of all the Best Book BTT categories. Here are my "best books" in the following categories:

Funniest - This is sad, but I didn't really read ANY funny books. Not something I'm drawn to. I like books that have "substance" and pack an emotional punch. Is this a bad thing?

Serious - Now serious books, that I do! This is a tough choice, but I'm going to have to say The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. (The touching story of the relationship between a professor with serious short term memory loss, his housekeeper and her young son).

Worst - Darling Jim by Christian Moerk (Intriguing story idea, but not very good. I hung on till the end because I wanted to find out the resolution to the "mystery". Complete waste of time).

Best - The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. (I LOVED this book! Great story that takes place in Seattle during WWII and centers around the friendship between two 12 year olds - a Japanese girl and a Chinese boy).

Lightest ("Fluff") - The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. (Historical fiction about the War of the Roses with a slight romantic undertone. This book is really not all that "fluffy". I don't read a lot of "fluffy" books. Not really a style I enjoy.)

Biggest (size, popularity or other definition of "big") - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. (552 pages, first book I read on my Kindle. It was OK, but completely forgettable.)

Informative - Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. (I learned so much about the first three Presidents who were assassinated - Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley. For one thing, I realized that Garfield could have been my soul mate.

Enjoyable (Fun, Entertaining) -My Life in France by Julia Child (I enjoyed learning about living in France and about her relationship with Paul. One thing I realized when looking over the books I've read recently, is that in addition to not reading many funny or "fluffy" books, I don't read a lot of "fun" books either. Wonder what that says about me? I'm actually starting to getting worried about this!)

Saddest - Still Alice by Lisa Genova. (Fiction story about a woman suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease. Very sad).

First, I defined "recently read books" as books I've read within the past 3 months. I might have made other choices if the parameters were different.

Secondly, this meme scared me. I'd never really thought about how humorless my book choices are. But it does fit my personality - I'm not really a laid back, low stress, happy-go-lucky person, but it feels weird to see this in black in white. I think I might go to the library in a couple of minutes and check out a couple of Chick Lit books. Not sure I'd be able to read one without getting sick to my stomach, though. What a dilemma!

How about you? Read any good books lately?


Ginger said...

Funny books - Anythiing Sedaris. Seriously. The writing is the substance. I also love Anne Lamott (Try "Operating Instructions")

Best (recently) - The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. After the first chapter, in the margin of the book I wrote two words: Holy and Shit. Seriously. This book rocked my world.

Best (possibly ever) - Tie between Middle Sex by Jeffrey Eugenides (because his writing is brilliant and unlike anything I've ever read); and The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy). Her writing is incredibly poetic and LOVELY (yet is political and strong! and completely moving).

Informative:Also a tie between No God But God - THe history of Islam (Reza Aslan)and Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson).Both are informative without being textbook-y.

Fluff: I love Phillipa Gregory and her new book is on my list, but when I want to relax and hang out with a character I feel like I know personally, I take out any of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

tori said...

I wish I had books to recommend that I've read lately but my 15 y/o daughter is forcing me to read the Twilight series. I feel like I'm being tourtured....and it's taking me forever to get through them.

Pam said...

How is The White Queen? I have been wanting to read it.
Stopping by from Sits.

Tammy Howard said...

You can go funny without chick lit. I'll second Ginger's suggestion of Sedaris. I'll add Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut (funny author - serious subject matter) and even Chuck Pahlaniuk (funny - but often offensive - knows no boundaries) to that mix. Funny doesn't have to be fluffy is, I guess, what I'm saying.

I read On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on your recommendation. I really liked it. The ending was a little trite, but it needed to be. It made me smile.

Informative - I love ANYTHING by Mary Roach. Also, I just read 'A Walk in the Woods' which quite nicely combined informative, memoir and humor. I can't remember the author's name off the top of my head, but I intend to read more of him.

The Housekeeper and the Professor sounds good - are you going to do a review?

Scary Mommy said...

Sigh. I haven't read a book since I started a blog.

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

Hi. Visiting from SITS. Happy sharefest.

The818 said...

Happy Saturday Sharefest!

Anonymous said...

I disagree! I think you are funny Pam. Laid back, maybe. Happy go lucky, more so as the years pass. Funny, definitely. I love humor but those aren't the books or movies I choose either. I wouldn't change a thing, after all, we don't want you to be sick!

Angelica Bays, said...

"Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest"
Ok, yuo weren't the person before me, but I can still share some love, can't I?
Oh! Where did you get your DARLING button!??

Anita said...

I do read a lot of light stuff, thought not anything really funny as of late
Best: The was such a great book for me.
I like this.......but I'm just drawing a blank on any other books to mention.

Tina said...

Pam....just a hello from a fellow New England blogger, in honor of the New England Bloggers group reaching 100! Although I live in Maine, I have a special affinity for RI since that's where I met my hubbie 43 years ago when we were both in the Navy and stationed in Newport.

Can't believe I haven't seen your book reviews before either. I've become a follower and added you to my feed reader.

I was also in Spain (and Italy and France, and Tunisia) this summer....rather more hot than here in Maine, but certainly enjoyable. There are travel posts over on my blog too.

Good luck with continued success for your blog. Stop by sometime at Tutu's Two Cents and say Hi.


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