Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Lost time is never found again." - Benjamin Franklin

Instead of guiltily reading blogs while I avoid the blank "new post" box on the screen, I am back. Have I really not written since I read Just Kids? Seriously, I am a slacker.
Should I blame it on the NYC heat - sucking all the energy out of my body, while I rot my brain watching Bravo? Maybe.

So much has happened since we last spoke! But let me ease you all in with a list of books that I have read:

1. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James: I stretched this read out so much. I knew how it was going to end, but I still cried like a baby. READ IT!

2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: Read it for May book club. We met up on a Saturday at Central Park. It was one of the most relaxing days I have spent in NYC thus far. C and I prepared a picnic for the rest of the members (probably went a little overboard with watermelon, cherries, strawberries, three types of cheese, crackers, bread, cookies, drinks etc, etc). We gathered around our buffet and discussed the book.
After we had exhausted our brains and our stomachs, we decided to walk around. On our journey we visited Strand, Union Square, Madison Square Park by the Flatiron Building, and ended up pleasantly exhausted, a few hours later, at John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street. It was the best pizza I have ever eaten -- it could be because I was starving, or it could be because it was actually the best pizza in the world, either way - you should go check it out.
The subway is a magnificent thing. You don't have to find parking. You get to your destination rather quickly. But, there is something to be said about exploring the city's many neighborhoods on foot. Every few blocks, I couldn't help talking about how different one was from the other. I'm sure it was annoying, but it was like an epiphany. It just reminded me of why I love New York so much. It never gets boring and there is always a surprise waiting around the corner for you.

3. Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby: I had never read anything by Nick Hornby before, but I read a review about this book and he was said to be a "modern day Jane Austen". How could I not pick it up after that?

4. Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford: Yes, I realize that I am obsessed with Jane Austen, but this book was really funny. It was surprising and fresh. Jane Austen and vampires - you'd think it was a mess of cliches, but it was unique and clever.

5. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: Another one of those books that had been recommended to me forever ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to read it. And like always the catalyst to finally cracking it open was the movie. A phenomenal read - but I guess you already knew that, didn't you?

6. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin: Remember when we read Alice in Wonderland for book club in April? Well, when I went to buy my copy at Barnes and Nobles, they had a whole table of Alice in Wonderland paraphernalia (most likely prompted by the movie out in theaters at the time - not the fact that I had strategically planned my book club that same month). Tucked nicely between various copies of the classic, was this little gem. At the time, I was "not buying books" because of lent, so I put it on my queue at the library. It takes about 100-120 pages to get into it, but I loved the mixing of fact and fiction. I was definitely rewarded in the end for powering through the beginning.

7. The Smart One by Ellen Meister: I've started a new project. I am only allowed to read the books I own....this will pan out one of two ways. One, I will hunker down and read every book I own, before buying any more (besides book club choices) and I won't request anymore books from the library. Or two, I will just buy all the books I want to read so they will technically be mine, therefore finding a loophole in this project....The Smart One, as you have probably already guessed was a book on my shelf - it was a fun, fast read. A good book for summer, especially for those with sisters :)

8. Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston: I cannot be held responsible for the fact that as soon as I decide to start my "reading-books-I-own" project, one of the books I have been waiting for from the library comes in. A waste of time, since I didn't even like the main character until 2/3 into the book. She didn't even like Jane Austen, and she hadn't even read her novels....that's bullshit. You don't have to like her, but make an educated decision, woman! (of course she eventually comes to love Jane Austen- but I could have told you that from the beginning).

9. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian: Book club pick for June. LOVED this book. Suspenseful, and just when you think you know what is going on - WHAM! (post to come)

10.  The Perfect Elizabeth by Libby Schmais: Easy summer read. I didn't care for the ending.

11. Push by Sapphire: Wow. I finished this in one day. It was hard to get into because of the way it was written, but it was intense and sad. I don't know how I feel about it. I guess I would recommend it, just so I could discuss it with you.

Currently reading: The Book Borrower  by Alice Mattinson

Happy Reading my friends! I hope I will see you more regularly :)