Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not My Beloved

I want to do another reading project. My Year of Reading Dangerously capsized my reading life, dumping me out of the latest Anne Tyler novel (which, OK, yes, is #1 on my To Be Read list) and into a whole mess of books I otherwise wouldn't have cracked.

No more danger this year. This year, love.

But not my love. My love is old hat. I know what moves me; I know what shakes me. Instead, I want to get my hands on yours. I want to stray. I want to commit a little bibliophiliac adultery; I want to wade into someone else's passion. What grabs you? What can't you extricate from your heart?

Leave me a comment with your title. Or, failing that, the title someone you love loves. If I haven't read it, it's going on the list.

Um. Hopefully there are at least 12 of you out there...

26 comments:

wombat said...

Heyo! Ok, so do you means books that I loved reading, books that I would love to read again any time, or books about love? I got books in all categories, sistah!

Anne said...

More the first two. I'm looking for something you feel that stupid passionate swooping for. Even if it's unwise. And/or the warm glow of companionship. Any kind of love.

Andrew said...

I hesitate to foist this upon you, but you did ask.

My favorite author since I was a teenager is Robert Heinlein, one of the grandfathers of science fiction. If you haven't read it, you should read Stranger in a Strange Land.

If you have read it, then you're really in trouble, because I'm going to make you read Time Enough for Love, which is Heinlein's novel about love. It's Heinlein for Heinlein lovers. It's not an easy book, but it fits too well into your theme to not give it to you.

Samantha said...

I am going to cheat, and recommend one book that is actually multiple books. Ha! Pray, read Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block. It/they are crazy and beautiful and magical, and I just love them. They're YA, so none of them should take you very long. There's a last one (if you get through and are still interested) that's not part of that collection entitled Necklace of Kisses, too.

Mara said...

I was going to say I didn't have anything to recommend because you've already read all my favorite books, but then I remembered "Intuition" by Allegra Goodman. I don't know if this is cheating though, because I did like it a lot, but even more I think it's the kind of book you would love. Also, you seem to be going for trashy, and this isn't really.

Anne said...

Yay librarians! Mara, I've actually read intuition and it was GREAT!!! Hmmm...This is proving harder than I thought. Come on people!!!! If not a book you love, a book someone you love loves....

Mara said...

Okay, I thought of another one. It's called "The Body in the Cornflakes" by K.K. Beck. This is a book my dad loves (or did at one time, when he read it), and he recommended it to his friend Kathy. She brought it back to him and slammed it on the table, and said, I read it, and I hated every word. Ha! Take that challenge, Anne!

Dan said...

I'm sure you've probably read it, but "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth is one of the best novels I've ever read about life as a musician, elevated to a painfully poetic level. If you've read it (which is likely), I'll suggest another--I found a lot of good books myself over the course of the past year.

Sinden said...

Momo by Michael Ende

Anne said...

Dan, I actually have not read that book! Excited to put it on the list. Alright folks, I need seven more of you to step up!

Anne said...

Note to self, collected in the field: Thirteen Clocks, A Prayer for Owen Meaney.

Ellie said...

I dunno, Anne. It is possible that you have read all my favorites.

Joseph suggests "Assembling California" by John McPhee. Some people love nonfiction.

Have you read "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper? I love it with the kind of love you mean. I feel as though the books I've loved most are those I encountered when I was a child. I'll think some more, but I just keep coming up with Robin and Ursula. Hmm.

Noa said...

Hi Anne,

Since you've probably read all of my top loves (Middlemarch, Tale of Two Cities, Love in a Time of Cholera, Anne of the Island, etc.) I thought I'd recommend two excellent books that you probably have not read or even heard of.

First, I want to recommend 'Someone to Run With' by Israeli author David Grossman, since I think the plot is really well-built and intricate. However, I read the novel in Hebrew and just now read on Amazon that the translation was less than stellar (the idioms are translated too literally, apparently). I would try reading a few pages and seeing if you find the translation too jarring.

The other book also deals with non-American culture, but this time written by an American. Blue Boy, by Rakesh Satyal, is a story of a young Indian boy growing up in Ohio who, in an effort to come to terms with being different, convinces himself that he is a reincarnation of Krishna. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that the author is a good friend of mine from Princeton. Nonetheless, I really recommend the book. It's really beautifully written and honest.

Noa said...

Another recommendation occurred to me: Love, by Toni Morrison. One of the best last pages of any book I've read (and the other benefits of Morrison, which I know are kind of hit or miss, depending on person).

Also, given your fear of fluff, may I recommend one of my comfort reads: Circle of Friends, by Maeve Binchy.

Samantha said...

I remembered that I had already recommended Tam Lin by Pamela Dean on another post. So you could add that one if you wanted to. Also, I will second The Dark is Rising series.

Susan said...

I third the Dark is Rising series. Also, in addition to the Thirteen Clocks, I would suggest again The Spellcoats (the third book in the Dalemark quartet). And finally, I thought of an actual adult book that surprised me by how much I liked it, and would love to read again if I ever get the time: The French Lieutenant's Woman, by John Fowles.
Happy Reading!

Kivie said...

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Also, Love in the Time of Cholera, but I assume you've already read that.

Anne said...

Oddly enough I've read Wao, but not Cholera. I'm adding Divisadero, Ondaatje. I think I still need one more...

wombat said...

Ender's Game and the subsequent three books in the first quartet. I read them over and over and over and over...

Anne said...

Janey: been there, done that! Got another one? I think I'm still one short!

Kivie said...

Eco: Name of the Rose. My favorite novel.

Jaya said...

If you're still looking, I suggest Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer. Or if you prefer fiction, Frost in May by Antonia White, or Extraordinary Women by Compton Mackenzie (though that one is a little hard to find in the U.S.) There are more, but I'm trying to restrain myself...

Kivie said...

...and if you still need one more, try McCullough's biography of John Adams (the founding father, not the composer). Just for a change of pace from all your novels.

Anne said...

HAHAH!!! I think you guys have put me over the edge! Now I will compile a list. Should be an interesting one. Ostensibly, love is less dangerous than danger, but I picked those danger books myself, so it's possible I was letting myself off easy.

Kivie: I've read the Eco...great book. I've not read the bio, though. But should I really be trusting your recommendations after...SHOGUN?!?!?! ;)

josh said...

Anne, the sad truth is that I don't do enough reading for fun anymore, because the only books that I can remember falling in love with are from my wild youth browsing through the sci/fan section of the local library.

The reason I haven't replied is that I haven't been able to decide whether to try and give you a book that I read more recently (but probably didn't love) or a book that I loved but haven't read in a very long time and don't know how it would hold up.

But you asked for it ... so, if you still need books for your list I've got one for you. As a child I reread "Redwall" by Brian Jacques more times than I would care to admit, and still think of it quite fondly, although I haven't read it in well over a decade, so I make no guarantees as to how it would hold up.

Anne said...

I've read Redwall! And liked it. They do go downhill from there, though...Josh, I imagine having a newborn does curtail the reading time. Loving all your pics!