Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dispatch From The Field: Joe Talks About His TBR List

Normally I round out the year by compiling a list of my favorite reads of the past year (that would be Beautiful Ruins, hands down) for all ya’ll, but the end of the year happened in the fog of flu for me, and I just didn’t get a year-end list done.  Instead, I’m looking forward to reading quite a few books in 2013. Most of these are already out, and are on my radar as books that I’m bummed I missed in 2012, but can’t wait to read them now. Some of them will be in paperback this year. Others are still in hardcover. So here goes:

Gran Cocina Latina by Maricel Presilla. I’m starting with a cookbook. I read them like novels from start to finish before I ever cook from them. My friends at the TC have said this is a beautiful cookbook, and satisfyingly huge.  And having read about this one on this blog just before Christmas, I’ve been excited about it ever since. And this morning, I heard the author on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and hearing her sweet voice on the radio has me salivating over this book. I believe this is the great Latin cuisine cookbook I’ve been waiting for.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  The sequel to The Name of the Wind has been out for almost a year now. But I’ve been excited about it for longer. So you know how booksellers love to tell customers about books… well even more than customers, they love to tell each other. And there were so many booksellers I worked with at the Tattered Cover that told me The Name of the Wind was amazing and I would love it. And they were all spot-on. More than fantasy, this book is a philosophical take on a young man becoming a legend in his own time. Fantastic! Part of the joy of the second book coming out is having a legitimate reason to read the first one all over again!

The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Another sequel here… this one to the amazing debut novel The Passage.  When I read The Passage, it was one of my favorite books of the year. I ripped my way through it, had dreams based on its contents for months (and they were often very scary!), and got as many people as I could to read it, and enjoy it as much as I did. I’m thinking this is a book I’m going to devour much like the first one. Cronin’s post-apocalyptic world was rendered so real in the first novel, and his characters’ plights I gladly took to heart, and I need to know what’s happened to them. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the first book becoming a movie. Do yourself a favor, though, and do not wait for the film version. Read these first two books of the trilogy. Then see the movie when it comes out…

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Put this on the list of “How did I miss this when it first came out?” Now I know that I was just saying to see the movie after you’ve read the book, and here’s an excellent reason. I’ve seen “Lincoln,” and loved it. But I wanted more context. I needed to know who everyone was. And I knew the answers were in “Team of Rivals”. As I was watching the movie, I kept thinking I wish I had already read the book. But now I’ve got a new plan: read the book. Then watch the movie again. I’m a problem-solver!

Jack Holmes and His Friend by Edmund White. I have been reading Edmund White since the early 1990’s, when I first came out of the closet and devoured every gay-themed novel I could find. White’s novels always rang true to me. Lately, I feel like he’s been on a roll: putting out fiction and non-fiction that has been excellent. So when I heard he was publishing a new novel this month, I got very excited. This novel is the story of the friendship between two men over the course of twenty years… but it seems like more than a story of friendship, it’s going to also be the story of a great city. Edmund White brings cities alive in his writing. I am very, very excited about reading this one.

And finally, the last book I’m really looking forward to reading is one that just came out in paperback: Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs. I’m recovering from the holidays (and honestly, since August when the weeding was essentially done in the garden) and have started a new eating and workout plan. I know that Jacobs  will provide some humorous insight to getting healthy. Not only will he make me laugh, but since I know that he does not do anything only partially… the information in the book will be well-researched (and most likely through first-hand experience).  He won’t steer me wrong as I navigate the huge world of diets and exercise.

So those are some of the books I’m excited about reading early this year. Some are in paperback, some are still in hardcover, all will be great!


1 comment:

Heidi_g said...

402Hi Joe! You're stack of books looks eclectic!

Here's mine:)

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
Rippler by Cidney Swanson
The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
Malaika by Van Herling
The Reckoning by Alma Katsu
Elly in Bloom by Collen Oaks