Sunday, March 29, 2009


This is odd: last year I posted a list of books I had read (and finished) over the course of one year, not counting anything I re-read, or began but did not finish. The total from March 2007 to March 2008 was 17, as is this year's total. Maybe 17 is the magic number......

The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters - Chip Kidd
Married: A Fine Predicament - Anne Roiphe
Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital - Dr. Heidi Squiers Kraft
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan
The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History - Katherine Ashenburg
Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex - Mary Roach
The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Children for Fun & Profit - Jill Conner Browne
A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father - Augusten Burroughs
Fidelity (Poems) - Grace Paley
Rock On: An Office Power Ballad - Dan Kennedy
Self-Loathing for Beginners - Lynn Phillips
The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work - Jon Gordon
The Film Club - David Gilmour
I'm Looking Through You; Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir - Jennifer Finney Boylan
Ugly: The True Story of a Loveless Childhood - Constance Briscoe
Hurry Down Sunshine - Michael Greenberg

Lots and lots of memoirs and nonfiction. It's funny, I guess I never realized that I don't read a lot of fiction. I think it's just that people fascinate me, and I really enjoy reading about what brings a person to his/her particular perspective on things. There are people who have done extraordinary things, lived through extraordinary circumstances....sometimes there is truth out there that is far wilder than anything anyone could conjure up.

Of course, if anyone is reading great fiction right now, do tell....I am always looking to add to my long long list of stuff I may or may not ever get to read but will try anyway......

Oh! and in the strange-that-I'm-finding-this-right-now department, here's what I found in the library browse room yesterday:
Elsewhere, U.S.A.: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms and Economic Anxiety - Dalton Conley

You know, it's not as though I have any sort of nostalgia for the 1950s. At all. In the first place, it would be impossible since I wasn't alive then and have zero experience with that societal model short of what I've learned through history classes, pop culture absorption and general anecdotal knowledge. In addition, I am well aware of the evolution our culture has undergone in terms of opportunities for women, and god knows there would be NO WAY I would want to move backward! But I think that the working world (and therefore family life) in this country is evolving in a fairly negative way. I mean, let's be honest: I manage the college financial aid process for a couple of relatively small schools. Why on earth would it be necessary for me to be available on demand? Is there really such a thing as an true emergency in my industry, where someone in my position is concerned? No.

I am not the only one determined to maintain balance in this weird world; I have friends, both male and female, for whom the work-life balance is more of a challenge than I think it should be. For me the question is: continue to push back so that the hamster wheel spins at a reasonable speed, or just get off? I have my ideas.......


phil said...

Destroy the wheel! And then read 'The Learners', Chip Kidd's follow up to Cheese Monkeys. I also recommend 'Crooked Little Vein' by Warren Ellis.

Lori said...

Excellent, I will check those out. Is it librarything or goodreads that you're on?

Sri said...

Also, read Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Quite entertaining and an easy read.
Add to the list: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. He won the Booker price last year, but it's also a good book. Some Indian references in it, but I'm there for that :-)
Between Phil and me we've read about 20 books this year, so we can recommend more books than you'd like!