Sunday, January 09, 2011

Bookshelf

In order to procrastinate from washing my hair, I am putting together this post of all my favourite books. Not included in this list is the Tomorrow series, but I think you get it by now that they ARE FANTASTIC. So, in no particular order other than that which was easiest in MS Paint, I introduce to you my favourite books.

The Flying Book by David Blatner
As you may know, I like planes and airlines. A lot. If I could have any job, starting tomorrow, I would be a flight attendant. But regardless of your level of interest in aviation, I would recommend this book to anyone who travels on airlines, particularly those who are afraid of flying. It's a small, hardcover, non-fiction book, and it's just full of facts about flying. It writes in very clear language, all about what happens during a flight, explaining every beep and bump. Check out the (rather ugly in comparison to the actual book) website here.

The Journals of Sylvia Plath edited by Karen V, Kukil
Not going to lie, I am a bit of a 20-something female cliche. Sylvia Plath blows my mind. I was first introduced to her work in high school, when we read Mirror in a junior English class. Since then, I have collected a bunch of her poetry books and a couple of her novels, but this big fat book of her journals from 1950-1962 has pride of place on my shelf. I've only read it from cover to cover once, but it's a book I can pick up frequently, turn to a random page, and read a few paragraphs of genius. My copy has a bit of underlining, so it's not in great condition. So many fantastic quotes. "What is more tedious than boy-girl episodes? Nothing; yet there is no tedium that will be recorded so eternally." I have a pretty battered copy of The Bell Jar, which is being made into a film starring Julia Stiles as Esther... ah mah gahhh...

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I would hope that if you are female of similar age to me, you have already read this book or at least seen the movie. I didn't hate the cinema adaptation, but it's just nothing compared to the book. I didn't feel much attachment to the characters on screen, whereas in the book I was sobbing out loud for them. Yeah. Have read this book at least five times, and always cry. If you haven't read it, do so as soon as possible. It's literally about a time traveler (and his wife), but it's a total love story, with minimal science fiction.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
To be honest, I bought this book after I saw a .jpeg of this quote on a Tumblr: "I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." That is probably the best paragraph in the entire book, but it's still pretty great, especially for teenagers. ALSO, in true 21st century style, it looks like it's heading for Hollywood.

Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
I've read quite a few Bryson books, but as an English nerd, this one is far and away my favourite. It's a non-fiction, written in his almost-conversational, easy-to-read style, but absolutely packed with the fascinating history of the English language. Yes, fascinating.

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
This book is one I got through this blog, and you can read my review on it here.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This is almost definitely my favourite book of all time. It is a novel about a tattoo artist who finds a manuscript of an academic study written by a dead blind guy of a documentary which doesn't exist. Keep up. It's the most bizarrely formatted, fascinating, skin-crawling book I've ever read, and the most terrifying moments are about a house. I don't know what else to say about it while keeping this to a paragraph; there's just too much. I found it quite hard to find when I bought it in 2007, and there are a lot of different versions. It wasn't cheap either, when I finally tracked down a copy. But it's absolutely worth it, I promise. Read it in winter.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
I heard about this book when it first came out, on Newstalk ZB of all places. When I worked at a bookstore in 2007, I bought it with my staff discount. It's a post 9/11 story told through the eyes of a little boy named Oskar, whose father died in the Towers. It's not the most fantastic book I've ever read, but it sure has its moments. It is definitely super duper quotable, and surprise surprise, it's been made into a film. "Songs are as sad as the listener."

Noughts & Crosses, Knife Edge and Checkmate by Malorie Blackman
When I worked at that bookstore, this trilogy was flying off the shelves. I bought all three books and was blown away. The author is English, but the story is set in a non-specific country of some sort of parallel universe, where the dark-skinned "Cross" people are rich and powerful, and the light-skinned "Noughts" and peasants and servants. It follows a family from each race, who are intertwined through several generations. Again, these are books for teenagers, so they are an easy read but with some pretty powerful content.

2 comments:

Sonya Zombiee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looking for Alaska is my absolute favorite book! I finally got a copy of it for this past Christmas.
I actually didn't even know it was going to be a movie. I've heard John talk about Paper Towns becoming one far more than he's mentioned Alaska.
I'm not sure how I feel about this now. Hahah.
And I've been wanting to get a copy of The Journals of Sylvia Plath, too. For some reason I just haven't gotten around to it. (Possibly because my book list is sooo long.) And once again, I was completely unaware of the movie bit!

Kat said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hah! Go Looking For Alaska! I managed to pick up a copy for $3 in Whitcoulls Cuba St a few years ago. After I bought it I opened it up to find it was signed. Made my day. I love John Green.