Monday, May 17, 2010

Book 'em, Danno.

Quick apartment update: After a short trip home this weekend I returned with the cat, bedroom TV and a bookcase chock full of movies (a good recent chunk due to Movie Gallery’s bankruptcy. Their misfortune is my opportunity to stock up on awesome $2 movies. Winner.) Anyway, I’m one dining room table away from being officially moved in.

Now back to the matter at hand. Yes, it’s ridiculously overdue, but hey, better late than never, yes? I lurv books. Started at an early age. No, I didn’t want to learn to read like my sister did, who would spend hours perfecting every pronunciation, cadence and nuance of the Cat and the Hat, but I quietly watched other people until I understood it. And then I read. Different strokes, folks. The suddenly new hobby was only fueled by the fact that my grandmother was a librarian at Troy State and would always bring home books for us. I loved visiting her library. I remember her olive green rotary phone with the shoulder caddy, a heron-choking frog proclaiming to never give up pinned to the wall:

And I remember the exact locations of my favorite books...

This being one of them. Everything she touched turned to candy. She thought it was awesome until she got a tummy ache. Never understood the moral of that one…I coulda taught that girl a thing or two. Stop the bingeing right as the sugar sweats kick in. Geez.

As briefly mentioned, I promised categories. And so I present to you my top 3 favorite authors, favorite audio books and all-time-read-over-and-over again faves.

Top Authors

David Sedaris We all know my love of Sedaris. I won’t elaborate. I’ll just say: Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You are Engulfed in Flames. Buy them. Read them. Love them. Holidays on Ice, and David’s recounts of his time as a Macy’s elf named Crumpet will renew your Christmas tradition. Seriously. Only awesomeness can come from getting to know him.

Augusten Burroughs I tend to lump Burroughs and Sedaris in the same category: gay, funny, memoirists. But the fact of the matter is that Burroughs' background is much darker and disturbed, but he still maintains his humor, which is nothing but outstanding. I'd start with Running with Scissors then move on to Dry and Possible Side Effects. And if you're looking for a real feel-good-all-fuzzy-inside story, check out Wolf at the Table, a reflection on his absent father. In a word: Haunting. Buuhh.

Charlaine Harris The Sookie Stackhouse books are awesome. Wicked awesome. Devoted one of my first blogs to their awesomeness. A new book’s out—Don’t think I’ll be able to wait til it gets to paperback. Hardbacks are an investment, people.

Top Audiobooks

Harry Potter Series Jim Dale is a genius. Best narrator I’ve ever heard. There’s nothing worse than a poorly read audiobook, but thankfully you never have to worry about that with Jimmy. I spent many an hour crocheting and listening to the Harry books. That pretty much solidifies my cool status.

Kite Runner/A Thousand Splendid Suns Beautifully written and spoken. Seriously, if you didn't know compassion before, you will after.

David Sedaris Best voice and best writing style ever. I have audio versions of all of his books. Been to two readings, and will go to as many as I can. I realize this makes me intimidatingly cool. Please, don't feel threatened by me. We can still remain friends.

Honorable Mention: Julie Andrews: A Memoir of my Early Years—So I’m only on the second disc and Julie, at five years old, has already declared her mother untrustworthy and a hussy. Mary Poppins said hussy. This has got to be good.

Top Ultimate Faves

Jane Eyre Admittedly, I ready Jane Eyre at 12 for the Accelerated Reader points. It was either that or 15 Goosebumps books. I chose the more impressive looking. But it was the first book I fell in love with. I didn't become a Bronte fan. I became a Jane and Edward fan. Why am I single? I'm pretty sure it's because no man's every made me feel like Mr. Rochester made Teen Mellie feel. Obviously my standards are very high.

To Kill a Mockingbird I'm a Southerner. Do I really need to explain this selection? If you're from south of the Mason-Dixon line and haven't read it, we need to talk (ahem, Sister.). It's required reading for a reason. "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'." Oh God, it gets me every time.

Last Picture Show 1950s. Small town Texas. Coming of age. Secrets and scandal. Larry McMurtry. Can you really go wrong? If you're not a reader, watch the movie. It's just as wonderful. Also one of my all time faves.

And finally, I haven't read it yet, but I'm already anticipating its amazingness. Inside Inside by James Lipton. 1. It's a look behind "Inside the Actors Studio." (Winner) 2. It was mega-on-sale. (Double winner) Will report back when it officially enters the fave category.

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