on my shelf | a book list


the technical term for my condition is logophile. this term isn't used very often. the term that you're probably more familiar with is bibliophile. i love words and i love books. and not the kind on the iPad. that would make me a technophile.

i will always buy books. coffee table books, cook books, memoirs, non-fiction, even chick-lit. although, i must admit that these do end up on the iPad because i'm too embarrassed to sit in public holding fifty shades of grey. anyway, you name it, i'll probably read it. hell, i even own my old text books. that's really lame, i know, but, i studied really fun and interesting things that weren't going to land me a job. so...

and don't you just love how books look in a home? to me, a home feels sterile, uninviting, and incomplete without books lining shelves, sitting dog-eared on night stands, and decorating one lucite coffee table. you don't achieve quite the same affect of warmth with tablets or us weekly's in the bathroom next to the toilet.

my friend, sarah, asked me to list my top ten books, so, that's what i'm going to do. and while i declare myself a bibliophile, i have to admit that i'm no scholar, therefore, it's not necessary for me to make excuses for my literary eclecticism.
so, without holding you in any further suspense, in no particular order, here are my top ten books of the moment:

1. the good mother myth: redefining motherhood to fit reality, avital norman nathman. blogs and our culture of social media- which thrives on and can't live without- portray a false sense of the reality of motherhood. what i'm trying to say is if you're looking at those cookie-cutter blogs that paint life as one big happy place, without its' hardships and trials, you should stop and read this book. never compare your life- particularly your experience as a mother- to an edited version of someone else's.

2. magical thinking: true stories, augusten burroughs. hands down, my favorite writer of all time. if i ever possess a tenth of the talent that this man has, i'll do something successful with my life. he lives and breathes writing. not to mention, he's damn funny and has an amazing life story.

3. brain on fire: my month of madness, susannah cahalan. as someone who suffers from postpartum mental illness and is quite open about it, this woman's vulnerability is heart wrenching. my friend read two sentences of it before boarding an international flight and told me that i needed to read it. and i did. in three days.

4. silver linings playbook, matthew quick. books are almost always better than the movie and this one is no exception. i did picture bradley cooper through the entire book, but that's neither here nor there. i picture bradley cooper doing a lot of things. so. if you can read and you saw this movie, you'd be crazy to not read this book. it paints such a realistic and compassionate picture of mental illness. you can't walk away from reading that book without feeling an entirely new level of empathy and respect for people struggling with mental illness.

5. the red tent, anita diamant. even though its' topic matter isn't something that i'm familiar with or really even remotely interested in (the old testament), this is the first book that made me aware of the power of the written word. it is so beautifully and exquisitely written. i cried when i finished it because i finished it.

6. animal farm, george orwell. quite simply, it's a must-have and a classic. marlo will have every book he's ever written and i look forward to the day that i get to read them again with her.

7. female chauvinistic pigs: women and the rise of raunch culture, ariel levy. ariel levy is my feminist idol. basically, levy argues that women are just as much responsible for the blatant sexual depiction of women in the modern day media. also, if you have a daughter and don't want her to think that paris hilton or kim kardashian's rise to fame is a respectable path of life, read this book. she actually went around with the camera crew for the girls gone wild film and... well, just read the book.

8. dear scott, dearest zelda: the love letters of f. scott and zelda fitzgerald, f. scott and zelda fitzgerald. if you read any love story, you should read theirs. it was such a destined and passionate love, yet, also so maddening and tragic. also, i'm obsessed with all things zelda; that was one badass broad. i hold firm the position that she was the true literary genius in that coupledom.

9. food rules, michael pollan. it wouldn't be my list if it didn't have a book about food. i love food. i love food that's good for you. and i love it when things make sense. this book's sole purpose is to achieve all three of those qualities, simultaneously. his motto? "eat real food. not too much. mostly vegetables." see? it makes sense.

10. bringing up bebé, pamela druckerman. obviously, this book isn't for everyone. that goes for most parenting advice books, i think. however, this was the only one that i was able to read and not throw at a wall after two chapters. i also enjoyed her commentary and i'd even go as far as declaring it entertaining. again, it's primarily based on common sense and since common sense is my thing, this book was my thing while pregnant. to each their own.

notable mention: let's explore diabetes with owls, david sedaris. so fucking funny.

so, i guess that's that. what did you think? agree with any? disagree with any? are you embarrassed for me? did you stop reading the moment i gave up all credibility when i admitted to being a christian grey fan?

what are your favorite books? i'd love to hear them.

and read them, too.


Mo said...

I'd suggest Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It will make you angry, appreciate human worth but love love more than you may already. and it probably even make you cry. If you have the time it's a 24 hour read!

eye candy said...

i'm very interested in 7 + 8! i'm not an avid reader, but trying to turn that around this year. i buy books, i have an obsession. my favorite book is, "the great divorce" by cs lewis. and i'm currently reading "the feminine mistake" by leslie bennetts. see? my literary tastes are all over the place. xo

Anonymous said...

I like this post. Great list. I just finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, Lowland, it was pretty awesome. Embarrassed to say though that I read it on my Kindle!! Its just become the easiest way to read, on the subway on the way to work, sans bebe.


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