Bookshelves with books! That’s my idea of comfort in one’s home. And on those shelves beloved oldies with worn pages, marked paragraphs, and fly-leaf notes. I don’t ever want to lose such friends, because sometimes it’s a joy to go back and read a paragraph and let the feeling of the work flow again. Also on the shelves are future reads by favorite authors who feel like close friends. And even better, sometimes future reads are authored by someone I have never read, someone who will speak to my heart, my thoughts–staying with me for days afterwards.
One Hundred Books
Just before I entered college, all the freshmen were given a list of books to read. There were 100. And though this was not required, the suggestion that we familiarize ourselves with these works was certainly there. Since then, I have enjoyed looking at similar lists and reading from them. Time Magazine has such a list entitled Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels. Interested? Take a look here. From that last I have pulled some of my favorites which line my bookshelves:
My all time favorite novel: THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald (I own a Scribner Library Paperback Copyright, 1953) Remember this one? Its cover is grey and green. For crazy Gatsby fans, and a future favorite, there’s something else to own: So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan.
Others from Time’s List: Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird, Toni Morrison Beloved, William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury, Robert Penn Warren All the King’s Men, Philip Roth Portnoy’s Complaint, John Updike Rabbit Run, Joan Didion Play It As It Lays, Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping, Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Don’t Know What to Read? Book Lust
Sometimes I’ve found myself at the library, standing in the fiction aisles and just being overwhelmed. If someone has not recommended a book or you haven’t recently read a book review, or you can’t remember a title it helps to have something like Book Lust in your back pocket. Book Lust by Nancy Pearl shouts out: Recommended reading for every mood, moment and reason. It is truly a book of fiction lists, but compartmentalized to suit your needs. So you will find lists of books under headings like: I love a mystery; World War II fiction; Russian Heavies; Mothers and Daughters. Etc etc.
With the thousands and thousands of books now available as ebooks, it helps to read reviews and recommendations. You can always:
- browse Amazon and read reviews of titles you are considering;
- join Goodreads. After reading and rating at least 20 books, the site will begin to recommend books to you based on your likes and dislikes. Though the site can be confusing to use, you can list books you have read or want to read. And you can join book club discussion groups.
- find an online book club like this one I belong to: http://fridayfictionfriend.blogspot.com Every Friday you receive an email recommending a new book. And each week a different reader or author makes the choice. This week SILVER SPARROW written by Tayari Jones;
- browse the shelves for new fiction at the library–this is a great way to support authors who don’t get a lot of press and you never know what jewels you might find;
- make what I’m reading or what I want to read a favorite discussion topic; In a world of You Tube and unstoppable global news it is sometimes hard to sit down and talk about books. But when you make the effort it is so worthwhile. Last night at a party I did just that with a couple and it was stimulating and fun;
- check out Boomer Highway!! you can search my blog for book recommendations by typing books into the search bar or checking out the following links: Armor for the Journey: Inspirational Book for Aging Boomers; Armor for the Journey: Books for Boomers Part 2; Boomer Highway’s Summer Fiction Picks; Boomer Highway’s Holiday Gift Ideas Nonfiction Books;
Here are the titles currently on my future favorite list:
ASTONISH ME by Maggie Shipstead; THE ART OF FALLING by Kathryn Craft; A PARIS APARTMENT by Michelle Gable, A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD by Anne Tyler; LILA by Marilynne Robinson, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr. And I highly recommend: REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS by Bret Anthony Johnson.