Friday, July 25, 2008

Joy of Reading

I noticed my blog friend Quid had this thing called Shelfari on her site so I checked it out and have added it to mine. I've started with seven books I have read over the past couple of years which are a cross section of the types of books I enjoy.

My reading tastes are a lot like my musical tastes -- quite varied. I like both fiction and non-fiction, classical and modern. My top five of all time are listed on my blog profile. It would be huge for one to break into those five but Chasing Francis came very close. I absolutely loved that book.

I am not a fantasy fan at all. The Lord of the Rings just doesn't do it for me. I love C. S. Lewis, but am much more enamored with his apologetics than The Chronicles of Narnia or The Space Trilogy. So it may be surprising to see Wicked on my shelf. I only read it because I saw the play in New York City recently and wanted to see how the book compared to the stage version. It is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz (never cared much for it either; those flying monkeys scared me to death). I loved the stage version but the book is dark and weird. Well written but mighty strange. And light years different than the play.

And You Know You Should Be Glad is a delightful book on friendship by Bob Greene. I was so touched that I bought about six copies and sent it to my best "guy friends." I also e-mailed Bob Greene and told him how much I liked it and he responded. A couple of months ago he e-mailed me and told me about his newest, When We Get To Surf City, which I am reading now. It's about the 60s group Jan and Dean.

I read Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in high school and re-read it last year. It's a little depressing but really good. Her writing is similar to Flannery O'Connor and the dark southern genre.

Same Kind of Different as Me is the incredible story of a wealthy international art dealer and his friendship with a homeless man. The Blind Side is about an affluent Memphis, TN family who adopted an inner city African-American boy, sent him to a Christian high school and who now plays football at Ole Miss.

Wife and I share the passion of reading and have similar tastes, though our preferences occasionally differ. I absolutely love Jan Karon and the Mitford series, which she finds boring. She reads most of the stuff Danielle Steele and James Patterson churn out but I'm not a big fan.


Pam said...

I raced right over to Shelfari and got one too! How fun!

My reading tastes are quite eclectic! I run the gamut from poetry to bios and Tobi's to various genre of fiction.

I'm in the process of reading a number of slim poetry volumes as well as a wonderful bio called Posthumous Keats. I'm also reading a sci-fi novel called The Host.

You can browse my shelfari! :)

Hal Johnson said...

Interesting post, Bob. It might cost me some money, because when I leave here, I'm going to Amazon.

Kelly said...

Well, add me to the "Shelfari Club". I already had a list on my blog showing the 10 most recent books I'd read. Using Shelfari will be more fun.

I always enjoy seeing what you're reading and have taken several of your suggestions (and enjoyed them!).

quid said...

Very eclectic, Bob! (And I'm off to see Pam's next). I slogged thru WICKED before seeing the Broadway show, and enjoyed the show much more. I made the mistake of also reading the second book in Maguire's Oz series, the campily named "SON OF A WITCH". And after that, I'm not sure I'll read any more of Maguire. We share a passion for "To Kill a Mockingbird". I've been reading mostly frivolous stuff this summer; time to mix in a little more worthwhile reading.

Bob said...

No, one of Maguire's was enough; seems he wrote one before Wicked but can't remember what it was. Have you ever read Les Miserables? It is my all time favorite play, have seen it about six times. I got the book a couple of years ago and made it through about half. It was great and expanded on a lot of the themes in the play, but so, so long. I promised myself I would pick it back up but have not been able to make myself.

Thanks for introducing us all to shelfari!