23 August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Neglected to Review

Thanks for this week's topic, The Broke and the Bookish, because I was kind of a spotty blogger last year, and I read some things that I liked a lot, and never reviewed them.  I also relish the opportunity to talk about books-before-blogging, so I like this week's topic:  Top Ten Books You've Read, but Never Reviewed.

From 2010:

5.Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook:
I love No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel, and I knew that he was considered a quite good food writer.  As someone who will happily spend a vacation eating out of my price range , at places where I have to put in work to get a reservation, I really enjoy this book about the world of chefs.  However, if names like Wylie Dufresne or Ferran Adria don't ring a bell, the book might be a little name-droppy for some readers.

4.Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
This was a reread in 2010.  I was teaching it at the time.  At this point in my life, Atwood's portrayal of a futuristic American is my favorite dystopia.  The writing is rich, profound and beautiful.

3.Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
I'm not really sure why I picked this one up; someone must have recommended it to me.  I always enjoy reading about neuroscience and this little book doesn't disappoint as a book about the brain.  I felt the author's personal journey of healing after a stroke was also emotionally powerful as memoir.  In the end, what I really took away from the book was a set of tools to apply to my own life.

2.David Nicholls, One Day
I don't really think I need to say much about what this book is about, what with the upcoming movie and the buzz and all.  I really enjoyed it, and it was a great vacation read for me last summer.

1.Chris Cleave, Little Bee
This is another heavily reviewed book, with some major fans and also detractors.  I loved the book, and it was over too soon for me.  I found the narrative voice -- Little Bee's-- to be super engaging and lively.



Books-before-blogging:

5.David Sedaris, Naked
I think I've mentioned before that I think Sedaris is better listened to than read, so this is my #1 recommendation for an audiobook.  He's hilarious.

4.Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park
This is my favorite Ellis book, although it isn't a particularly good place to start if you've never read Ellis before.  This book is part pseudo-memoir, part noir, part metatextual investigation.  Good stuff.

3.George Eliot, Middlemarch
The blogging world seems to love sprawling Russian novels, so why not a sprawling British novel?  My memories of reading Middlemarch (very slowly) after graduating from college, are some of my fondest.

2.Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
I don't have a very straightforward relationship with science fiction.  Sometimes I really like it.  Sometimes I think it is boring.  Sometimes I think it overly complicated and I have a hard time visualizing the world that the writer is trying to portray.  I didn't feel that way about this.  I would actually really like to give it a reread.

1.Nathaniel Hawthorne, Selected Tales and Sketches
As much as I love my blog's namesake, I probably like Hawthorne's short fiction (or "tales" as he calls them) better.  If you haven't read any, start with "The Birthmark," "Young Goodman Brown," and "Rappacini's Daughter."  Then read the rest.

15 comments:

  1. Interesting list! I've been told I should read Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

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  2. I've read almost all David Sedaris's books, but have never listened to any of them on audio... I've always heard that he's better listened to than read, but mmain problem is that I don't have a CD player in my car (which is where I would listen to audio books).

    And the Handmaid's Tale is wonderful! I need to reread it, though, because my memory is getting a little hazy on the details.

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  3. The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite Atwood's. I also LOVE Middlemarch! It's one of my top ten very favorite books. Nice list! I'd like to check out Lunar Park - so far I've only read Glamorama.

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  4. I did reread Philip Dick's Androids a couple of years ago and it was still fabulous. I also reread Handmaid's Tale and it was also still fabulous. Those really, really good reads always hold up.

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  5. Very well rounded list! Everyone keeps telling me I need to read something by Phillip K. Dick! The Handmaid's Tale was a great book.

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  6. Oh, great list! I was just thinking about "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" earlier today. I was talking to the hubby, complaining (again) about wanting a dog. I know we can't have one right now, but I really want one. He said that he wished he could have an android dog that you could just switch off when you didn't have time for it. He's never read that book, but I immediately thought of it.

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  7. I haven't read any of these. And I must admit that only two sound familiar. I've been meaning to read Handmaid's Tale for over a year now, and I hope to brave Middlemarch some time...

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  8. I have issues with Bret Easton Ellis, but I really did like Lunar Park- definitely sort of interesting and 'oooh!'ish, and less annoying then a lot of his other novels.

    I also love and adore The Handmaid's Tale, and yet didn't review it either- definitely need to review it sometime though because it's AWESOME!

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  9. Oh man, Middlemarch is one of my FAVOURITE books ever. I read it for a class in college and then just absolutely fell in love with Dorothea (who I wanted to end up with Lydgate SO MUCH). I'm feeling the need for a reread coming on now...

    I'm also with you on the The Handmaid's Love and Anthony Bourdain love. I haven't read Medium Raw, but his Kitchen Confidential is great.

    Thank you for stopping by my list, and I'm a new follower of yours.

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  10. Someday I'll learn to let my brain catch up with my fingers.

    ...The Handmaid's Tale love... Sigh.

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  11. I am so grateful to Margaret Atwood for Handmaid's Tale. I think it is the first book that my daughter read that she actually got all charged up about and she still talks about her reading experience with the book.

    I am one of the those people who didn't like Little Bee, I think in part because of the comparisons to The Kite Runner, which I didn't see,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    -Anne
    My Head is Full of Books

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  12. The Handmaid's Tale is another great one that I don't have a review for. Glad to see it make your list. Middlemarch is on the TBR stack. I'm hoping to get to it this year.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential is a good read too, if you like books about food.

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  14. Thanks for visiting my blog on Tuesday. Your list is great - and makes me realize how few books for grown-ups I read these days.

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I love your comments. Thanks for making me a happy blogger.

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