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December 3, 2009

Book soup

Let's talk books!

I'm on a reading kick lately, which is strange since I have also been on an insane TV binge. But I haven't been sleeping much and my manuscript is done and shipped off so I guess I am making up for lost time, catching up on TV and books and even laundry. Yesterday I was trying to convince my friend Corey to watch the new season of "Hoarders" with me and she refused.

Corey: I don't have time to watch TV! I have a five year old at home.
Me: You need Tivo. It will change your life. You can watch TV much more efficiently, especially if you have insomnia like me. I love TV.
Corey: You're a TVaholic!
Me: I am!
Corey: You're addicted to TVahol!

So, yes, I am addicted to TVahol. I didn't used to be, I didn't grow up watching TV at all. But I love my shows, what can I say. Hoarders, Oprah, CSI(x3), Castle, Glee, The Closer, and I've even somehow got sucked into that show with Christian Slater, "The Forgotten." It will probably get canceled -- every year I pick one or two new shows to watch and every year they get canceled. The fact that Castle had a season two shocked the pants off me.

In addition to mainlining TV, I also love reading. Right now I am on an Ann Patchett binge since reading The Magician's Assistant and falling in love with her writing style. Now I'm reading Bel Canto which I am really enjoying so far.

Corey recommended Olive Kitteridge to me on the same day another lady at work told me she was reading that same exact book and I decided that was a sign enough for me so I went to add it to my Amazon.com list and noticed the novel was by author Elizabeth Strout, who wrote one of my favorite all-time books, Amy and Isabelle. I loved that book so much, and now I'm looking forward to this new one.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that in honor of the swine flu paranoia, I was re-reading the best flu apocalypse love story good-vs-evil epic narrative ever written:

THE STAND. Baby, can you dig your man?

I was so excited to get emails from other Stand-fans and lovers of Stu Redman. In the movie based off the book, Stu was played by Gary Sinise so now when I read the book he's Gary Sinise mixed with the Stu I imagined all those years ago when I first read the book as a teenager. And he is sexy. One of my emailers and I were chatting back and forth about the book and I mentioned Stu Redman was the perfect man and she said:

"Yeah, that's how you know it's fiction -- that's the only place to find one of those!"

That about cracked me up ass over teakettle. I laughed all day thinking about that.

I love survivalist stories and end-of-the-world the-apocalypse-is-coming fiction. (And movies! Jen and I are going to see "2012" tonight which will be the first movie I have seen in years because, you know, busy busy and also ... hermity. But it is about the end of the world! Must see!) My fascination with giant disaster movies and post-apocalyptic books is strange because in my real life I am ridiculously good at not worrying about worst-case scenarios at all. I am very relaxed about what I cannot control in real life (mostly) but I do love a good end of days survival story. Got any recommendations?

After I finish Bel Canto I may start in on another Ann Patchett (I get like this with authors, I find one I like and want to read everything!) or I may have to move over to one of the selections in this pile:

I am so excited that so many of my friends online are out there getting their work published and this is a whole stack of books just out from people I know! I am so happy for them, it's like the doors just keep on opening and opening. I love it.

Unclutter Your Life in One Week
Erin Doland is the lovely editor-in-chief of one of my favorite all-time blogs, Unclutterer. Her book is coming at the right time... after moving and unpacking (mostly) I need all the help I can get, so I am excited to dive into it.

How to Knit a Love Song: A Cypress Hollow Yarn
Rachael Herron is the author of yarnagogo.com and the friend who invited me to guest post at PensFatales.com. This is the first of three fiction books that have yarn and romance and suspense all wrapped up together and I think she's a talented writer and I only wish I had a plane ride coming up soon, because it's just the sort of book you want to read uninterrupted for hours on a plane.

Crazy Lace:an artistic approach to Creative Lace Knitting
Myra Wood, one of the talented designers who provided patterns for my upcoming book (because a whole set of patterns from me would be a lot of scarves, you know?) anyway, Myra has a beautiful and colorful new book out all about lace. The pictures of the projects are just gorgeous!

Sword of the Slave
Eric Thompson is off writing an entire world of fantasy and swordfights starting with Sword of the Slave. Fantasy writers kind of mystify me... even my fiction stuff is autiobiographicalish, so I can't imagine making up a whole world!

- - -

So much good stuff to read! If only we all got to stay home all day and read books while our trust funds collected more golddust... ah, that's the life.

And finally, do you ever get the deep sudden need to re-read an old favorite book you've read 100 times already just so you can sink back into it for a while? I was telling someone the other day how I was shocked to see when I moved just how many books I have... and they are heavy going up three flights of stairs! She asked why I didn't just get rid of my books. I know there are many I could pare down, but how to choose? I love my books like old friends. The ones I re-read the most often are probably Timeline by Michael Crichton, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esqiuvel, The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, The Stand, The Awakening by Kate Chopin and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I guess I should have put the two highbrow selections at the top of the list, eh? (I really have no interest in pretending to be a highbrow reader. I'll read anything, I'll read the back of the cereal box if it's compelling. I'm not a book snob.)

So I thought I would open comments for a few hours on this topic so we can all chat about favorite books and movies and being TVaholics. What are you reading? Did you love The Magician's Assistant, too? Is anyone else watching The Forgotten but me? Is anyone else as obsessed with Hoarders? I have to go clean something right after I watch it. But also my heart breaks for those folks. And how many people are now reading The Stand in preparation of getting the swine flu?

Posted by laurie at December 3, 2009 10:12 AM