I went to one of my favorite local independent bookstores yesterday. The Boulder Bookstore is a great place to visit to a. get a sense of Boulder, 2. Find great titles, 3. Get books on sale, 4. Find great used books, 5. Get inspired. Check out the Boulder Bookstore online at http://boulderbookstore.booksense.com

After browsing the shelves for something like 3 hours, I came up with a short list of books to read. These aren’t all new titles, some are definitely “classics” and others I’ve just been wanting to read for years!

  1. John Shors (Beneath a Marble Sky) has come out with a new title: Beside a Burning Sea. I love his titles, or perhaps the way his editor has come up with titles. Beneath a Marble Sky was a top read for me last year and I’m excited to read Shors’ latest release.
  2. Two beading and jewelry books I’m looking forward to gaining inspiration from are Wire Style by Denise Pick and Simply Modern Jewelry by Danielle Fox. These books both had some great styles and nice instructions for getting started. There are so many (SO MANY) bead books out there, like all other craft books. It’s very helpful to look these over before adding to my own personal library. One of the elements I love about Boulder Bookstore is that they have chairs all over the store, on every floor and they encourage you to sit, read, and browse. It feels very library-esque in that regard. It’s also a little like going to Whole Foods and getting to try the samples of bread, cookies, hummus, teas, cheese, mini pizzas, etc.
  3. I have not yet read Irene Nemirovsky and have two of her titles on my wish list now: Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood. Especially after reading Chris Bohjalian’s Skeletons at the Feast, I became interested in Nemirovsky’s works.
  4. Snow by Orhan Panuk. This has been on my list for 5 years or so. I was in a very small book group for a little while and this was one of the titles that we had hoped to read. Our small book group disbanded because of life happenings, but for a while, we all shared book thoughts via email. There’s something very special about sharing books and impressions, thoughts, through a book group. It’s about connecting with people, with words, with language, with your own thoughts, feelings, and memories and learning about other experiences that can bring wisdom and knowledge and understanding. I hope to be in another small book group at some point down the road….
  5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and other works by Marquez. If I could swing it, I’d love to read these in the native Spanish. Maybe in 30 years! But, the writings in the original language are said to be the most poetic and descriptive. I may just have to settle for the translation. And no, I have not seen the movie version of Love in the…. I always try to read the book before seeing the movie. I did not do that with No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy though. I still plan to read a bit more McCarthy sometime soon, but only when I’m emotionally and mentally ready to handle the darkness. I really valued the Border Trilogy which I listened to on audio book last November. I didn’t expect to be moved emotionally and yet I was. The writing struck a deep chord inside. Very interesting experience.
  6. Three music books I’m planning to read are Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks (I own this book, have not read it yet, and whenever I go to the Boulder Bookstore, I’m left feeling like I REALLY need to read this book soon), and This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature(2008) also by Daniel J. Levitin. So, I’m very interested in music therapy, sound therapy, and songs as therapy and these books are definitely up that alley. I’m amazed at when I’m having a bad day, feeling crummy, or feeling tired and exhausted, that I can either pick up my own instrument, not feel like practicing, and then an hour later, I don’t want to stop. Something within our brains and neurons responds positively to music that influences our endorphins and other brain chemicals. The same can happen with a really great recording or by attending live music. It’s a fascinating experience and one worthy of more research and practice.
  7. The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason. This was recommended to me 2 years ago after I read a non fiction book about piano tuning. I always thought of my piano tuner as the most introverted person in the world, and yet very interesting….. what was beyond the plinking and plunking of all those strings and the very act of tuning the piano, all fascinated me when I was younger. Still does. Also, opening the piano case seems to reveal great mysteries and secrets yet untold. This is why I like to read about piano tuners.
  8. The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve been making my way through Hemingway for 3 years now and always want more. The Garden of Eden may be slightly (or more?) libidnous, but quite intriguing nonetheless. The story line is one man in love with two women and one women in love with them all. Something like that. It seems to be somewhat autobiographical for Hemingway, at least as described in his memoir (part fiction?) A Moveable Feast. I’m also planning to read a rather large collection of his short stories. I never really appreciated short stories until just a few years ago. Now, I’m addicted to the short story genre and hoping to write a few of my own….
  9. I’m also planning to read Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m rereading The Great Gatsby in the form of an audiobook right now and am reminded by how much I am in awe of Fitzgerald’s writing filled with deep anguish and the moral dilemmas of boredom and deception.
  10. I ended up buying two books at the Boulder Bookstore: Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya and The Plague by Albert Camus. I can’t believe I never read Bless Me Ultima in High School or college. This has long been on my list of books to read and I’m 11 pages into it as of this moment. I also have yet to read Camus and what better title to read that fits my interest in the plague?

Well, that’s it for now…. I have many books waiting here by my desk for entry into the GreyCatBlog. Stay tuned for more great books! Happy Reading!