A book meme

More book stuff for Thursday:

I don’t know where this non-recurring meme got started, but it seems to fit in around here. I came across it from Mom-Not Otherwise Specified, via Bub and Pie.

Total Number of Books?
I honestly don’t know. Probably a few hundred – I may be an accountant, but I’ve never felt compelled to do a book inventory. Most of the ones on bookshelves at home haven’t been read yet – and still, I add to the stockpile. (I’m afraid of running out of things to read someday.) Many of the ones I’ve read are in storage or waiting to find new homes.

Last Book Read?
This is really “books read in the last month.”

The Big Over Easy, Jasper Fforde – This is actually a reading-in-progress. I wanted something light before I start my next Book Club read, and this one’s been on the shelf for a little while. I’m a big fan of Fforde’s Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair and its sequels – and a new one due out soon, yay!), which introduced Nursery Crimes division Inspector Jack Spratt, and this new series is focused on those cases. This is the first one, investigating the mysterious death of Humpty Dumpty. I’ll be reading the second, The Fourth Bear, next.

His Lovely Wife, by Elizabeth Dewberry – Book Club met to discuss this one last week, and my post reviewing it is here.

Interred With Their Bones, by Jennifer Lee Carrell – I reviewed this one for a MotherTalk Blog Tour. Follow the link in my post to see what other reviewers thought of it.

Last book bought?

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini – This one is for my next Book Club meeting, so I need to finish reading it by November 9th!

Digging to America, by Anne Tyler – It’s just come out in paperback, and she’s always been one of my favorites; I needed no other reason to buy this one.

Five meaningful books?

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott – I like Lamott’s novels, but I love her nonfiction. Her voice is so direct and down-to-earth, it’s like you’re just hanging out with her. This is both a practical and inspiring writing manual, and a book that was just what I needed to read during some very rough patches in my life.

A History of God, by Karen Armstrong – As I’ve gotten older, this former Catholic school girl has become more of a religion student than a religion practitioner. (I just try to live my life thoughtfully, morally, and charitably.) Armstrong’s writing has played a big role in that. A former nun, turned atheist, turned seeker and scholar, she makes 4000 years of religious history fascinating, understandable, and informative…and spurs me to think about it all even more.

Lamb, by Christopher Moore – While the premise of the “missing years” of Jesus Christ, as related by his best friend Levi (who is called Biff), could be dangerously irreverent, I’ve found this book to be smart, respectful, and frequently hilarious.
Brightness Falls, by Jay McInerney – I mentioned my affection for this book in my review of its recent sequel, The Good Life:

Brightness Falls is one of the few novels I’ve read multiple times since I left my 20’s. Russell and Corrine Calloway were a couple whose New York City lifestyle wasn’t much like mine – he worked in publishing, she was a stockbroker, and they were clearly part of the “over-privileged” class – but their lives as young adults in the 1980’s, with seemingly every possibility available, felt like mine at the same time, just out of college and getting started in the world. The stock-market crash of 1987 up-ended their world, as it did to many people, and laid the groundwork for a new decade that looked like it would be a time of retrenchment.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon – I would read the phone book if Chabon wrote it. This was his first novel, the story of Art Bechstein, son of a Mob accountant, and the summer after he graduated college. It’s beautifully written – a bit self-consciously so at times, but it is a first novel – funny, moving, and, for me, unforgettable.

I really haven’t played “meme tag” yet, and I’m not sure I’m ready to start. Like Mom-NOS did in her post, I’ll just invite anyone who’d like to play to do so – but please link back here so I can go and see your responses!

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