Book Lists

Top Ten Books on Science: My Summer Reading List

I’ve developed an interest in science ever since graduating college, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing crucial elements of my education, partly because I was homeschooled. This summer, I hope to do a lot of catching up by (re)educating myself on basic scientific principles. Here’s what I’ll be reading: 1. A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking’s worldwide bestseller A Brief History of Time remains a landmark volume in scientific writing. But for years readers have asked for []

Top Ten Books About India

I recently returned from a two-week trip to India. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to write a few articles about my time there, but suffice to say it is a rich, complex, and utterly beautiful country.

Top Ten NBCC Picks I Want to Read

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) recently announced its 2012 finalists for outstanding books. While there are a handful of titles I’ve been planning to read, there are also several books I’d never even heard of–which is surprisingly common with the NBCC annual picks. Here are the titles I’m most looking forward to reading: 10. The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous []

Eight Memoirs I’m Reading This Semester

This semester, I’m taking a class called Readings in Essay and Memoir, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to some of the texts we’ll cover. You’ve probably noticed that memoir is one of my favorite genres. In fact, I’d like to write a memoir, and the second-best way to become a better writer is to read. (The first-best is to actually write.) None of these are new releases, but they represent different styles of memoir and essay writing and I know []

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

There were dozens of fantastic new releases in 2012, but I fell far behind in reading them. Now, it’s time to catch up–as always, my New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to read more. (Do you expect anything less from me?) Here are the top ten books I vow to read before this year’s end.

Top Ten Books to Read Before 2013

Fall semester classes are over, and I’ve got a few days off before the New Year. I have big plans to say goodbye to 2012: curled up on the couch, racing through the books I didn’t get to read this year. It’s like a Christmas gift to myself.

And when giving gifts to oneself, it’s best to be ambitious. I know I probably won’t get through all of these–1Q84 and Deathly Hallows both approach 1,000 pages–but I’m sure I’ll make a dent and enjoy my holidays to boot.

Ten Literary Characters I Wish I Knew IRL

Today I was going to write about people I know who remind me of literary characters, but let’s face it: I don’t have 10 friends. Instead, I give you a list of the ten characters I wish I knew in real life. 10. Kathy Nicolo Kathy Nicolo, one of the main characters in Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog, is confused, angry, and depressed for much of the book. But she seems so real, so honest; she’s the kind of []

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 []

Top Ten Books I Really Should Have Reviewed

I read these books shortly before I began my blog, but too much time had passed to do them justice. Now that I’ve compiled the list, though, I’d kind of like to re-read and review these titles, because they were just that good.

Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Be-Read List

Spring is in the air in D.C. As the season changes, of course my mind turns to books, books, and more books. Here are a few I’m planning to read over the next few weeks–hopefully outside, in the shade of a blossoming tree! 10. More Like Her by Liza Palmer From the cover: Sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems–like Emma Dunham’s enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be []

Top Ten Book Club Picks

I’ll admit, I’ve never been good about attending a book group. But I usually follow along, reading each selection in the quiet of my own home. So I’ve never before offered recommendations. If I did, however, I would look for books that have a lot of complexity, so that there will be many angles to approach a discussion about the book. They also have to be memorable–the kind of books you can’t stop thinking about long after you’ve put them down.

Top Ten Books About Writing

I’m beginning another nonfiction writing class this week, so my mind is occupied with books about writing right now. Whether you read them cover to cover or simply flip through the pages in search of inspiration, the following books are very valuable tools for writers.

Top Ten Authors of Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Legends

This week, I’d like to introduce you to some of the best authors I’ve found who analyze or write fairy tales, folk tales, and legends. I’ve mentioned before how much I love this genre; my college classes on fairy tales, legends, and mythology had a great impact upon the way I read and think about stories. Think of this as primer to the genre, albeit a subjective one; I’m certain I’m forgetting some great writers, and I’m sure there are many I haven’t yet discovered.

Top Ten Books I’m Excited To Read in 2012

There are some reviewers who have their finger placed perfectly on the pulse of new releases. They know in January what July’s bestseller will be, and they are busy composing their 2012 sneak preview lists right now. I am not one of those reviewers. For a variety of reasons, none of which matter enough to mention, I rarely pay attention to books before they are released. I know, I know; strip my of my reviewing credentials right now. But I believe there []

Top Ten Books of 2011

This year has been an excellent year in reading for me, and I’m excited to share the list of my favorites with you. I’ll be keeping my eye on all of these authors for future releases. I hope you enjoy my selections; have a happy new year!

Top Ten Books on My Christmas List

This week, I’m listing the top ten books I hope Santa brings. Of course, if Santa has already purchased a book for me that’s not on the list, I’m sure I will be no less joyful on Christmas day. 10. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch According to the Boston Globe, “This graceful memoir describes a true love affair with books.” I love memoirs and reading, so what could be better than a book about one reader’s year of grief []