Do you have a book wish list like you keep your grocery list? I find lists of books I want to read in every room of the house and all over my office. I have scraps of paper with titles and author names; I have a small notepad of titles and authors – one in my purse and one in my backpack; I have lists on the kitchen table; I have lists tucked inside magazines and other books; I have lists in my bookshelves and on my nightstand; and I have book lists on my computer and on Facebook. I have lists in my head and on this blog too! I might be sounding a little like a pack rat (I actually admire and am fascinated by these little creatures!). The point is, there are so many books to read, I feel compelled to keep track of them. I never know when I’ll encounter a rainy – or snowy – or sunny – day when all I have to do is read and can devour a whole tome in an afternoon.

I recently finished several books that I will be blogging about in the coming days: Obit by Jim Sheeler (fantastic read – get yourself a copy and get ready to be inspired by tender real-life stories), Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (another inspiring read – will make you want to DO SOMETHING to help!), Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovksy (prescient, beautiful writing, and a 20th C. classic to keep near and dear), and 2 children’s books, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. The children’s books are ones that I’ve read as a child and then re-read every 3-5 years for the wisdom, wit, and formative thoughts they provoke.

On my list to read in the coming months include Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, The Oxford History of the World by J.M. Roberts, A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Truth be told, there are more titles on my wish list than this, but this is a start. It’s your turn: What are you reading right now? What titles are on your wish list? Where do you get your book news? What makes you decide to read a book – a trip to the library? the bookstore? the internet? on Facebook or Twitter? other blogs? your family or friends? your bookgroup? Leave a comment on this blog or send me an email at greycatblog[at]gmail.com and I’ll post your responses here.

I also subscribed to Bookmarks Magazine and also enjoy reading book news and reviews at BookBrowse.com. The latest issue of Bookmarks Magazine (Mar/Apr 2009), explores “best of” lists which I covet. this issue contains “Nationwide Best of 2008 Analyzed.” The list uses informatics to show the top titles and number of times the titles have been cited as well as the source cited within. Some of  the titles that jump out to me include A Mercy by Toni Morrison, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, and The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

Bookmarks also has a fabulous “New Books Guide” which is helpful to plan book-full months to come. Some notables include Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips, The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich, The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee, and Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories by Azar Nafisi (of Reading Lolita in Tehran fame). I also recently learned that Lisa See, a favorite author of mine, has a new novel coming in May 2009 titled Shanghai Girls.

Well, stay tuned for more book reviews and provoking thoughts about reading and books. I look forward to hearing from you. Happy Reading!

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