On the top shelf are books I own and need to read because they were 1) given to me by friends with good taste, or 2) purchased in a burst of inspiration. Here they sit, unread.
Allow me to point out a few that feel the most urgent (based either on the number of years I've owned and never read them, or the amount of excitement involved in their acquisition). In no particular order:
- Telling the Truth (Beuchner). A good friend and fellow writer gave this to me. The subtitle is "The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairytale." Holy cow, how did I even forget that I owned this? I found it while reorganizing after the move.
- Musicophilia (Sacks). I've read the first several chapters: it's all about how music and memory are intertwined. Fascinating. But my attention span is shamefully short.
- Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's: One Daughter's Hopeful Story (Kessler). The title is unbearably sad, even though the word hope is in it. Having "Alzheimer's" and "Daughter" in the same sentence just hits too close to home, so I haven't picked it up since I bought it in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in '08 (the bookstore is the only thing that makes that airport bearable, by the way. Blech).
- Little Heathens (Armstrong-Kalish). Read a great review. I think it's about triumph and creativity and family solidarity during the Great Depression. Ironic.
- My Family and Other Animals (Durrell). A favorite of my Mom's; I think she read aloud from this book when I was a kid. The title alone is worth displaying.
- Tender at the Bone (Reichl). A memoir about food.
- Thrumpton Hall (Seymour). Another memoir, this one about a big house.
- The Piano Teacher (Lee). I can't remember what this is about.
- The Help (Stockett). Lot's of buzz going around about how great it is; I'm borrowing this copy from a family member.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Larsson). OK, is this the first in the series, or the second? I can't figure it out. Has anyone read any of these?
- Lenny Bruce is Dead (Goldstein). I read Goldstein's other book, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible, and loved every word of it. This guy's sense of humor is priceless.