Monday, April 18, 2011

A Few Good Books

I like to pack light when I travel and as city dwellers with minimal shelving, Nic and I keep as few purposeless posessions as possible. While I can appreciate that old books are decorative we just don't have the space!

Enter the iPad! This miraculous machine allowed me to read 7 books on my honeymoon with the weight of just one in my backpack. It's a full library on the bus to work or on my bed side table and it has totally rejuvinated my love of reading. I've read some great books in the past year of ipad-dom and I thought I should share in case you needed a good read for the beach or the bus. Here are some of my recent favorites... all easy-to-get-into and highly enjoyable. I need a few new ones so please share any recommendations in the comments!!!

Biographies and Memoirs
Celebrities are entertaining! Especially when they're crazy, former drug addicts or just good writers...

Open By Andre Agassi- this is a fast and fun read for anyone remotely interested in tennis, crazy parental styles or what it's like to be married to Brooke Shields :)

BossyPants by Tina Fey- if you like to laugh, read this book! I started it about a week ago and finished it in two days it was so good. This is an easy win.

Life by Keith Richards - Are you a huge Rolling Stones fan? Neither am I! But this is a good book and will definitely leave you in awe of their achievements and success in light of their aggressive drug consumption.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain - If you like Top Chef, No Reservations or just want to hear some crazy behind the scene tips on restaurant culture then this is the book for you!

Non Fiction These are a few of the most entertaining non-fiction books I've read this year.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - Have you not read this yet??? Neither had I and you know what, it is REALLY good. Capote's style is not dated and this book reads like a rivoting novel -- except that it's true -- and then you get scared. Do NOT read alone in a remote country house!!!!

Killing Pablo: The Hunt for Pablo Escobar by Mark Bowden - Do government corruption and violent vendettas intrigue you? Read this! I am just WAITING for someone to make an amazing movie out of this but for now I will just settle for Scarface.

Fiction- Finally! Sorry, I guess I've been on a non-fiction kick!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Not really interested in reading about senseless violence and murderers? Then don't read the above two books and read this! This is a great easy love story with good writing and an intriguing cast of characters. Put down that other terrible terrible romantic novel-turned-movie and read this instead!

Ok, now I need some recommendations. Help me out!


  1. Hi Char, it's Lucy from PVC. Yay for good books, thanks for the recommendations. Here are some of mine, a mix of non-fiction and fiction: Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, Cutting for Stone, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Orange is the New Black (by a friend of mine, amazing!), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Help and the Big Short. Enjoy, and I hope you are doing well!

  2. Yay, thanks Lucy, I knew you would be good at this! I just got racing in the rain on tape and I'm loving it. I will definitely get the rest of those suggestions though. They sound good and i havent heard of them - perfect. Thanks a lot!

  3. My all time fave -- Lit by Mary Karr. Peter Godwin's When a Crocodile Eats the Sun; Let's Don't Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller;Father of the Rain by Lily King; Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner; Kinflicks by Lisa Alther; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer to name a few...

  4. Charlotte - loved "Open."

    Kathy - I gotta say, "Lit" was beautiful but it drove me to drink and I don't think that was the intention.

    Some of my recent fiction faves (light enough for vacation but they won't make you feel like you lost brain cells reading them): "This is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper; "Little Children" and "The Abstinence Teacher" by Tom Perrota; and "How to Be Good" by Nick Hornby.

  5. Love A Crocodile Eats the Sun, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Lit and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! So now I will have to download all the others! THANKS everybody!

  6. I second both Tom Perrota books, and I also recommend Case Histories by Kate Atchinson and anything by Jonathan Safran Foer...Char, The Big House will definitely speak to your East Coast childhood, and his brother also wrote the brilliant How Soccer Explains Globalization. Enjoy!

  7. Jules, don't think you're supposed to hit the bottle after reading Lit but my impulse was the same! I heard her speak and then I just wanted to drink with her and be her best friend. Alas, it won't happen!

    Just downloaded "This is Where I leave You". I clearly need a vacation so I can do nothing but read. And drink.


  8. Ooh let me know what you think of "this is where i leave you"!