without a definite route

book club

on October 6, 2011

recently, i have rediscovered a love for whiling away hour upon hour with my nose in a book. since emmit was born, i’ve mostly read and reread things i’m comfortable with. i’ve been in a rut filled with harry potter and elizabeth bennet. not a terrible rut, per se, but not challenging either.

after going on a cruise last february where i kind of read like it was my job, i can’t get enough of words. in the last several months i’ve read more than i have in the last 7 years. i also found my library card, which: yay!

at the moment, i am halfway through a pretty good ya series that is totally engaging, but not something that will stick with me long after i finish. i’ve been trying to figure out what to read next. and so, when i finish the mortal instruments, i shall embark on a new mission: read some actual “literature.” i’ve asked several trusted reading friends for recommendations and i’ve looked on the internets at several lists (1001 books to read before you die!) and have come up with a little bit of a plan:

i have a list of 50 books. i am going to read them.

i shared this list with friends, laura and carol, and they are oddly excited to hop aboard this book club for one, making it a book club for three. except not really a book club with assignments and deadlines. i’m not much of a joiner and deadlines make me a bit sweaty so we’ll see how it goes. the idea of having people – smart, awesome, funny, insightful people – to talk to about what i’m reading is definitely alluring. a little more daunting is that laura wants to blog about it… together. bring on sweaty and nervous-making. i know how uptight i get when online reviewers don’t keep up with what i deem to be an appropriate schedule. i’m seeing how writing about reading feels with this post then will make up my mind later. for now, we have a private blog set up where we’ll work it all out. maybe i’ll share some things from there.

so the plan…


  • poisonwood bible by barbara kingsolver
  • cold comfort farm by stella gibbons
  • pillars of the earth by ken follett
  • crime & punishment by fyodor dostoevsky
  • trainspotting by irvine welsh


  • dune by frank herbert
  • elementary particles by michel houellebecq
  • autobiography of alice b. toklas by gertrude stein
  • i capture the castle by dodie smith
  • anna karenina by leo tolstoy

 & after that…

  • remains of the day by kazoo ishiguro
  • satanic verses by salman rushdie
  • war of the worlds by h.g. wells
  • the lonely passion of judith hearne by brian moore
  • middlesex by jeffrey eugenides

& after after that…

who knows? maybe i’ll need a break and go back to working my way through doctor who on dvd. or maybe i’ll need an easy palette cleanser and return to harry and elizabeth. or maybe i’ll be on a roll and will continue making my way through the list of 50. there are no rules to this. just what catches my fancy.

while i’m at it, any thoughts about the 15 starter books? how about any recomendations?



11 responses to “book club

  1. ellembee says:

    “Bring on sweaty and nervous-making.” You hated the pretty-speak in Uglies, eh?

  2. ellembee says:

    Me too! Me too! My new contract gig is going to require a HELLUVA commute, which means I’ll be doing a LOT of reading. Bring it on.

  3. ellembee says:

    Also: are you still reading The Nine Parts of Desire? And I know I’ve texted it to you already, but I do think you would enjoy The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll.

  4. Loni.Found.Herself says:

    I’m picking up Cold Comfort Farm tomorrow morning. We should definitely share our thoughts on it after we read it.

  5. Carolstreet says:

    Just started Poisonwood Bible. Won over by her prose already. A seismic shift of style from the Hunger Games, for sure.

  6. nampenda says:

    Can I just give you my thoughts and opinions on various books whether or not I’ve read them? I was in a malarial haze when I read Poisonwood Bible so my thoughts might be mudddled but oh will I give them. I really just want to steal your list and read it on my own. -Annie

    • ramblinjaq says:

      ‘malarial haze’ is totally a band name! as a listoholic, nothing would make me happier than if other people use my list. that somehow justifies its existence beyond my own craziness. i haven’t started reading anything from the list yet, i’m finishing up the ya series i started last week (shadowhunters! vampires! demons! oh my!) then on to poisonwood bible. i look forward to your thoughts, muddled and otherwise.

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