Friday, September 3, 2010

What I'm Reading - September

I know this blog is meant to be about baking and crafting but I'm introducing a new "What I'm Reading" feature because very often the books I'm reading are a great source of creative inspiration for me. Once a month I'm going to show you what's currently stacked on my bedside table. I hope you won't mind this slight deviation from my regular entries!

by Lewis Carroll

I seriously doubt that this book needs any introduction. I first read it for a class but I've read it again since and I've found myself pulling it out for a third time after being seriously disappointed by the recent Tim Burton re-imagining. Nothing can compare to Lewis Carroll's original story and, if you haven't read it, I really recommend that you give it a try. I could wax poetic about nonsense literature for pages but I don't want to turn this into an English lit lecture. You'll just have to trust me. This book is also great to read to little ones; you'll just enjoy it on a whole different level than they will.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

This is the second book in the late Stieg Larsson's trilogy. Normally I'm not really into mystery and crime but I heard so much about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that I had to give it a try. I couldn't believe how, once I had started, I really couldn't put it down. My husband will attest to the fact that I devoured the book in one weekend. I don't want to give anything away but I now find myself just as drawn into The Girl Who Played With Fire. However, I'm trying to make it last so that by the time I'm ready to buy The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest it'll be available in soft cover!

Aside from loving the books, I also adore the cover designs of all three of them. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I definitely do it anyway.

The Revolution Will Be Accessorized: BlackBook Presents Dispatches from the New Counterculture

I think I'll let describe this one for me: "Since it first went to press in 1996, BlackBook has established itself as an arbiter of style, and a forum for new and dynamic writing. The Revolution Will Be Accessorized gathers many of the magazine's strongest pieces, and the result is a star-studded collection that addresses the intersection of pop culture, the arts, politics, and fashion, with provocative contributions from many of today's best writers".

I'm not completely sold on this book as the magazine itself strikes me as pretty pretentious. However, the collection has pieces from some authors I really love (Augusten Burroughs) and has exposed me to some new authors that I want to read more from (Jonathan Ames). And the title and cover image kind of crack me up.

I have yet to meet a Kurt Vonnegut book that I didn't like and this one is no exception. Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Vonnegut's short stories, each one brilliant and engaging in its own way. Vonnegut had a way of making you laugh, cry and think all at the same time. I love this quote from the review printed in the Charlotte Observer: “He strips the flesh from bone and makes you laugh while he does it. . . . There are twenty-five stories here, and each hits a nerve ending.”

As a total aside, this book contains the story "Harrison Bergeron" which in 1995 was made into a TV movie starring Sean Astin. The movie somehow made its way into our Grade 12 English curriculum. The story is set in 2053 when North America is a place where excellence and achievement are systematically suppressed. Everyone must conform, be equally average, equally mediocre but above all, be happy! Kind of sounds like high school, doesn't it? ;)

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