Tag Archives: Jonathan Franzen

Top Ten Books For Summer

10. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
This hilarious memoir would be closer to #1 on my must-read list for summer, except I’ve actually already started it. So, technically, it’s #1 on my currently-reading list this summer. And well deserved! Jenny Lawson spoke to BEA Book Bloggers a few weeks ago, and she blew me away with her humor–but more than that, with her honesty. Her book is doing the same.

9. I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits
This book promises a glimpse into an insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar, through several generations of one family–from the Romanian countryside before World War II to Paris to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’ve already read the first few pages, and my interest is piqued.

8. Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating by Christine Brennan
I’ve actually had this book for several months now. My own figure skating training is heating up a bit, and I think Inside Edge will inspire and challenge me while teaching me about the new world I’m becoming a part of.

7. The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
I admire Laura Lippman’s intricate mysteries. Her characters are so well developed, and her sense of place so firmly established, that I forget I’m reading a genre that usually doesn’t appeal to me. I was very excited to get this book when it first came out, and then I put it on my shelf and forgot about it. Shame!

6. Property by Valerie Martin
Property won the Orange Prize–my favorite literary award–a few years ago, and Carrie at nomadreader assures me the win was deserved. Plus, the book’s only 196 pages; it’ll fly by whether I like it or not! Of course, I plan on liking it.

5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Remember this book? It was all the rage a few short months ago, and then it kind of fell of my radar. But I’m bringing it back. I’ve spent these last few months staring its many pages down, but this summer will be the perfect time to tackle The Night Circus when it’s least expecting it.

4. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Speaking of books that made such a big splash when they came out, I rushed out to buy them and then forgot to actually read them… Lucky for me (and Ann Patchett), State of Wonder is still as popular as it was when I bought it ever so long ago. Now I just need to catch up with the well-read masses.

3. The Train of Small Mercies by David Rowell
Rowell, an editor at the Washington Post, mentioned that he had a new book coming out when he spoke to my writing class last fall. Then Carrie at nomadreader, my compass in the confusing world of new books, spoke highly of the book. Also, hello? Blurb from the afore-praised Ann Patchett on the cover. Yes, please!

2. The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler
I have nurtured an obsession with Anne Tyler’s books for many years. She’s one of my top ten favorite authors ever. So, even though Ron Charles panned Beginner’s Goodbye a little bit, and even though I, like Ron, was a little disappointed in Noah’s Compass, I am still eagerly looking forward to this book. Because Tyler at her worst still has to be better than many contemporary writers at their best. (Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Franzen.)

1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I greatly admire Strayed’s Dear Sugar column for The Rumpus, and the excerpt I read of this memoir in Vogue a few months ago had me laughing out loud. Also, Strayed pretty much brought back Oprah’s Book Club singlehandedly. That’s pretty cool.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more!

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My Mailbox: Jonathan Franzen, Tina Fey, and More!


My Mailbox: Zelda Fitzgerald, Emma Donoghue, and Meg Wolitzer

I received some good books in the mail this week, two of which I ordered online and one of which comes from a good friend. I also made an unsupervised trip to the library in my new car this weekend, and I came back with only two books! Jack was so proud.

Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
I enjoyed Tender Is the Night by Zelda’s husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I found myself yearning for a complementary view—for the wife’s side of the story. I was delighted to find that such a story may exist in Zelda’s account of her mental breakdown and, more generally, her marriage. I’m looking forward to this one.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
I’ve wanted to read this book for a while. I hesitated to get it from the library, because I doubted that I could finish it in two weeks, so when a friend offered to send me her copy I jumped at the chance. I’m hoping to listen to it on audiobook as well so that I don’t have to lug the book around with me.

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue
I read this collection of reimagined fairytales in my undergraduate Fairy Tales class—God, I loved being an English major—and when I discussed fairy-tale themes in Donoghue’s newest book, Room, I decided that I could no longer live without a copy of the book that made me a huge Donoghue fan girl. I’m hoping to re-read this one soon.

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
I’ve never read anything by Wolitzer before, so I hope I’m pleasantly surprised. I checked out both the hardcover and the audiobook, so I’m hoping to finish it pretty quickly.

The Spice Islands Voyage by Timothy Severin
This book is subtitled “The quest for Alfred Wallace, the man who shared Darwin’s discovery of evolution.” I’m not entirely sold on it—it sounds like it may not really be my kind of book—but I’ve heard good things about it, so who knows. I’m trying to read about Indonesia as much as possible before my trip there in a few weeks!

So, what books did you get this week?