BOOKS I LOVE SO MUCH I GET JEALOUS WHEN SOMEONE IS EXPERIENCING READING THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME
I'm sure this is a list I'll add to but these are the books that leaped out as I glanced at my bookshelves. Each is magic in its own way.
- •The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman https://www.nytimes.com/books/97/10/19/reviews/971019.19konnert.htmlA stunning narrative of culture, science and journalism.
- •Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver https://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/18/specials/kingsolver-animal.htmlMy first Barbara Kingsolver novel, and I'd argue it's the best of her many gorgeous books.
- •The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell http://www.avclub.com/review/sarah-vowell-ithe-partly-cloudy-patrioti-5889Sarah Vowell is who I would be if I could just be smarter, funnier and more on point than anyone else in the room.
- •Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/12/entertainment/la-ca-maria-semple-20120812I'm never sure how to describe this book but it's one of the funniest and saddest and most delightful novels I've ever read in one sitting.
- •Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/entertainment/books/2002/08/25/the-write-stuff/e3adcc36-479f-4a20-9ba5-3964d80a898c/For anyone who aspires to write, you should have a copy of this as page-worn and underlined as your copies of Bird by Bird and On Writing.
- •Columbine by Dave Cullen http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-ca-dave-cullen5-2009apr05-story.htmlNo one I've given this book to ever thinks they want to read a book about the Columbine school shootings and their aftermath and then when they do they can't stop talking about how blisteringly revelatory this book is. Narrative journalism at its best.
- •The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/14/books/what-remains.htmlThis is a novel most readers know about or have read and has been raved and recommended for years, but I still think of it as one of "my" discoveries. I read it, along with many bookstore colleagues, as a manuscript, not even a bound galley. And we hand-sold and raved this first novel to about 200 people in the few days it was out before the reviews came out and it went big. It, and Alice, deserve every bit of the praise. And, if you ever host a book signing for her, she likes purple sharpies.
- •I'm A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson https://www.nytimes.com/books/99/05/30/reviews/990530.30gleickt.htmlSome of the sharpest, wittiest, funniest essays you'll ever read.
- •Straight Man by Richard Russo https://www.nytimes.com/books/97/07/06/reviews/970706.haven.htmlRichard Russo is a genius and no where more so than in this novel.
- •The Devil's Candy by Julie Salamon http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/18/movies/books-of-the-times-how-hollywood-s-bonfire-crashed-and-burned.htmlThe best behind-the-scenes book about filmmaking you've never read.
- •Inkheart by Cornelia Funke http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/nov/22/featuresreviews.guardianreview31This book takes the feeling you get when you're fully transported into the world and characters of the book you're reading and makes a whole book just about that feeling.