Top Ten Tuesday: LC's Most Anticipated Books of 2011 and a review of David Sedaris, Holidays on Ice

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated books of 2011.  Here are the 10 I'm most excited to read:

10. Beth Revis, Across the Universe : I'm not exactly sure why, since this isn't my typical reading, but I got my ARC of this book today and I'm super psyched.

9. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights:  I can't believe I haven't read this, and I'm excited to read it in 2011.

8. Bram Stoker, Dracula:  This is a re-read, but I am looking forward to reading it again in light of all the current vampire hype. I remember having a lot of provocative thoughts about how vampires represent society and consumerism, and I want to revisit those ideas.

7. Dave Eggers,  What is the What : In my opinion, Dave Eggers should write more books because I always really enjoy reading them.

6. Cormac McCarthy, The Road:  Theoretically, I will be teaching a Literature of the American West course in the Spring (if I can get enough students to sign up).  We will be reading this and I'm really excited to discuss it, even though I've read it in the past. It is always an interesting experience to discuss something with students and to see their perspective.

5. Jean M. Twenge, Generation ME: I heard about this book at a training a couple of years ago, and picked up a copy a few months ago at a used bookstore, and I think I'll read it in 2011, or maybe the end of 2010.

4. Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon:  I have read two Toni Morrison books - Beloved and Love.  I have mixed feelings abut Toni Morrison, because I LOVED Beloved, and felt really lukewarm about Love.  However, this is my hubby's favorite and hoping to have the scale tipped to the loving Toni Morrison side.

3. David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas:  I've been hearing good things about this one for years, and am looking forward to reading it.

2. Louisa Mae Alcott, Little Women:  I read this as a child (or at least half of it, I don't really remember) and I want to revisit it as an adult, because I have very fond memories.

1. Jonathan Franzen, Freedom:  Despite the hype, or maybe because of it, I'm counting down to Jan.1 to start this one.

I also finished a Christmas book this week for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.

I read David Sedaris, Holidays on Ice, which is a collection of Sedaris' holiday-themed essays.  I really like Sedaris, but I don't necessarily like reading him.  I'm a big fan when he is on This American Life and I've also listened to audio versions of his books and enjoyed them.  Mainly, I think the fact that he reads them himself gives real personality to the essays, and then reading them on the page, they fall a bit flat for me.

My favorite essay in this collection was "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," which is an incredibly snarky send up of children's holiday productions.  Only Sedaris could get away with making fun of children acting, and I actually laughed out loud while reading this.  I also enjoyed "Christmas Means Giving," which was less typical Sedaris.  This is a story about two families trying to outdo each other by showing who can give more to those in need, which is a pretty funny satire of American consumerism. 

The most well know of the essays is probably, "Santaland Diaries," a more typical personal essay about the time Sedaris spent working as a Macy's elf.

Bottom Line:  I would recommend it, although it is certainly not heart-warming.  However, I would say to listen to Sedaris read it instead of reading it yourself.


  1. My favorite Morrison novel is Paradise. If you really enjoyed Beloved, I think you'll like Paradise a lot. The two are thematically similar, especially in terms of social commentary. (I wrote my undergraduate thesis on this. I'm a little obsessed.)

    I agree about Sedaris. I saw The SantaLand Diaries performed once and absolutely loved it, but reading his books has always been sort of meh for me. I guess maybe his humor doesn't translate as well in written form.

  2. Just stopping by to say hi! I also teach English! :)


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