I love the library. Growing up, I was the girl whose mother refused to drive in more than once a week. If I had been able to drive at seven — or see over the wheel, or reach the pedals, or drive stick — I would’ve gone down every other day.
Luckily, I don’t live with my mother anymore (though I still don’t know how to drive stick). I can bring myself to the library as often as I like, and since I’ve gone a little crazy requesting titles that sometimes means a few days in a row. I’m serious when I say “crazy.” Let’s put it this way: the last time I went in, the librarian was surprised I was only borrowing five books.
Those five brought my stack of borrowed books up to twenty-three, all of which I lugged up to Maine with me this past week. My goal was to get through half, and even though I didn’t, I came pretty damn close with eleven (more on those specific titles in a later post).
- American Rust by Philip Meyer
- Awake by Elizabeth Graver
- Bangkok Days by Lawrence Osborne
- The Best American Short Stories 2004 edited by Lorrie Moore
- Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni
- Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy
- Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe
- Breakfast with Scot by Michael Downing
- Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad
- Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer
- The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
- Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.
- The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser
- Genealogy by Maud Casey
- Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War by Evan Wright
- The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler
- Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
- The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
- Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability by David Owen
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- It Must’ve Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
- Little Children by Tom Perrotta
- The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
- Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Harper Fussell
- Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
- Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
- Unravelling by Elizabeth Graver
- What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
- The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
- You are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre
I’m not taking bets on how fast I’ll be able to read through my stack, but I will tell you that if I feel strongly about any of the titles, you’ll be hearing about it.
Oh, and here’s my new thing with reading: if I’m not captured by the end of the first page, the book goes back. There’s just too many books out there to read, and sometimes I just have to act like a mercenary.