Thursday, September 17, 2009

BBAW: Book Discoveries

Today's Book Blogger Appreciation Week topic encourages us to, and I quote, "blog about a book you read only because you discovered it on another book blog. Preferably, this will be a book you loved! You might also write a bit about the blog you discovered it on!"

People often ask me how I work full time, have the hellish commute that I do (1.5 hrs. each way), write a blog, and read 38 (and counting) books in a year.

I don't really know. I just know that, for whatever reason, book blogs and book blogging somehow make me want to read more. The 38 books that I read so far this year? That is the most I have ever read in 12 months as an adult. Definitely since Betty and Boo appeared eight years ago.

Ten books this year (11, if you count the one I am reading now) are ones that caused me to inwardly shriek with delight when seeing them on the library shelves, because they were ones that I had read reviews of or seen mention of on other blogs. It's almost as if you, trusty book blogger friend that you are, were standing right there with me, whispering "Read this ... you might like it. It's really good."

I wish I could remember the specific blog that I first these books on, but I can't. There are, however, two exceptions. I found out about The Alchemy of Loss, by Abigail Carter, from Abby's blog of the same name . Some have compared this to Joan Didion's A Year of Magical Thinking (which, for some reason, I really did not like and could hardly finish). I don't know. I thought Alchemy was such an exquisite book and a lovely tribute.

There was also Louise Erdrich's short-story collection, The Red Convertible, which I have the lovely Beth Kephart to thank for not only introducing me to a great collection of stories, but an author who is becoming one of my favorites.

And here are the others. If you wrote a review of any of these in the past year, please consider yourself hugged and thanked!

1. The 19th Wife - by David Ebershoff
2. Matrimony - by Joshua Henkin
3. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - by Tiffany Baker
4. The Story of a Marriage - by Andrew Sean Greer
5. The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal - by Lily Koppel
6. This Lovely Life - by Vicki Forman
7. Looking for Alaska - by John Green
8. Tomato Girl - by Jayne Pupek

and 9. (reading now) Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St. John Mandel.


Nymeth said...

I discovered John Green thanks to the blogosphere too and he quickly became one of my favourite authors. I don't know what I'd do without book bloggers!

IMOK said...

I guess this would be the time for me to let you know I'm packing Loving Frank for a trip abroad beginning next week. All because of you! Your review intrigued me.

Since I don't consider myself a "reader," just someone who tries to read a book every so often, I need to rely on other's recommendations (preferably somebody I know!).

I'm looking forward to learning a bit about someone who I'd always heard of, but really know nothing about!

Abigail said...

Thanks for the shout out Melissa. Oddly, I just wrote about Joan Didion today in my post...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the other one that isn't keeping close track of where I hear about all of the wonderful books out there!

At least I remember the books :-).

Thanks for sharing your list.

JoAnn said...

...and I have you to thank for The Red Convertible! I listened to the audio of The Story of a Marriage (wonderful reader!) and loved The Red Leather Diary, too (pre-blogging). I'll need to check out the others on your list.

Beth Kephart said...

All right, then: How you read the early Erdrich? The Beet Queen, in particular. Because your piles look much too small and I think you need another title to add in!