What is Beth Golay reading?
Currently reading: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi
- Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan
- You and Me, Me and You by Miguel Tanco
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
- Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
- A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman
- Setting Free the Kites by Alex George
- All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- The Mothers by Brit Bennett
- Moonglow by Michael Chabon
- Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
- Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives (Hear Beth’s interview with Tim Harford for KMUW’s Marginalia)
- The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff
- Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch (Hear Beth’s interview with Carol Birch for KMUW’s Marginalia)
- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (Hear Beth’s interview with Kate DiCamillo for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard (Hear Beth’s interview with Candice Millard for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (Hear Beth’s interview with Marie Benedict for KMUW’s Marginalia)
- The Nix by Nathan Hill. (Hear Beth’s interview with Nathan Hill for KMUW’s Marginalia)
- The Sadness by Benjamin Rybeck (Interview with Benjamin Rybeck for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Interview with Amor Towles for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church (Interview with Elizabeth J. Church for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai (Interview with Rebecca Makkai for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- This is Not a Confession by David Olimpio (Interview with David Olimpio for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal (Interview with Frans de Waal for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Dog Gone by Pauls Toutonghi (Interview with Pauls Toutonghi for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli (Interview with Carlo Rovelli for KMUW’s Marginalia.)
- Versions of Us by Laura Barnett (Hear Beth’s interview with Laura Barnett on the Marginalia podcast.)
- Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey (Hear Beth’s interview with Idra Novey on the Marginalia podcast.)
- Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma (Hear Beth’s interview with Kristopher Jansma on the Marginalia podcast.)
- The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown (Hear Beth’s interview with Carrie Brown on the Marginalia podcast.)
- The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Hear Beth’s interview with Geraldine Brooks on the Marginalia podcast.)
- On My Own by Diane Rehm (Hear Beth’s interview with Diane Rehm on the Marginalia podcast.)
- The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild (Hear Beth’s interview with Hannah Rothschild on the Marginalia podcast.)
- The Widow by Fiona Barton (Read Beth’s review.)
- The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe (Read Beth’s review.)
- Once Upon a Time by Marina Warner
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Watermark Book Club selection)
- White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen (Read Beth’s review.)
- The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Last Night’s Reading by Kate Gavino (Hear Beth’s interview.)
- Euphoria by Lily King (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Painter by Peter Heller (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal (Read Beth’s review.)
- The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Days of Awe by Lauren Fox (Read Beth’s review.)
- Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus with Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan (Read Beth’s review.)
- The Martian by Andy Weir (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Amnesia by Peter Carey (KMUW Literary Feast selection)
- Devotion: A Rat Story by Maile Meloy (Read Beth’s review.)
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Book of Memory Gaps by Cecilia Ruiz (Hear Beth Golay’s interview with Cecilia Ruiz.)
- The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Making Nice by Matt Sumell
- My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
- Home by Alice McDermott (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Rocks by Peter Nichols
- Longbourn by Jo Baker (Watermark Book Club selection)
- All Fall Down by Ally Carter
- The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson – read review
- The Magic of Tidying Up
- The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
- The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Quick by Lauren Owen
- Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio – read review
- The Son by Philipp Meyer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Above the East China Sea by Sarah Bird – read review
- The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis – read review
- The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Lost in Thought by Cara Bertrand – read review
- The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder – read review
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Watermark Book Club selection)
- My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff – read review
- Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald – read review
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
- The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness – read review
- Y by Marjoria Celona (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
- The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Someone by Alice McDermott
- The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
- The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
- The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Distancers: An American Memoir by Lee Sandlin
- Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson
- & Sons by David Gilbert
- The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
- Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine
- The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
- The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
- A Good American by Alex George (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Life After Life by Jill McCorkle
- Snapper by Brian Kimberling
- Home by Toni Morrison (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
- The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (review aired)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (review aired)
- Memoir of the Sunday Brunch by Julia Pandl (Watermark Book Club selection)
- In the Middle of America: Printmaking & Print Exhibitions
- Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
- Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The End of Space by Albert Goldbarth
- Y by Marjorie Celona
- American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (review aired on December 17, 2012)
- City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
- American Boy by Larry Watson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes (review aired on November 19, 2012)
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham (review aired October 22, 2012)
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (review aired on December 31, 2012)
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (review aired October 8, 2012)
- Leon and Louise by Alex Capus (review aired September 24, 2012)
- The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (review aired March 2013)
- Trapeze by Simon Mawer
- The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (review aired August 12, 2012)
- City of Women by David Gillham
- Gold by Chris Cleave (review aired July 16, 2012)
- The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (review aired November 5, 2012)–If a picture is worth a thousand words, then The Art Forger should be a tome. Yet B.A. Shapiro’s gift of finding le mot juste allows the reader become lost in a manageable 350 pages of artful imagery, vividly portrayed through an economy of words. Not only can you clearly see Claire Roth’s process of copying masterpieces, through her descriptions, the images of the paintings move from mental periphery straight into visual imagination where the nuances of the pieces are discovered… down to the varnish, brushstrokes, and craquelure. The unsolved Gardner heist provides the perfect backdrop for this thriller which will please art and literature lovers in equal measure.
- An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer (review aired June 18, 2012)
- Evel Knievel Days by Pauls Toutonghi (review aired July 30, 2012)
- The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Open City by Teju Cole (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (review aired June 4, 2012 and June 2013)
- Home by Toni Morrison (review aired May 21, 2012)
- Flatscreen by Adam Wilson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore (review aired May 7, 2012)
- At Home on the Range by Margaret Yardley Potter, presented by Elizabeth Gilbert (review aired April 23, 2012)
- Vestments by John Reimringer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
- Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
- Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
- Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
- Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
- An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields
- Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Room by Emma Donoghue (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness by Dominique Browing
- The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Watermark Book Club selection)
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr
- The Farmer’s Daughter by Jim Harrison (Watermark Book Club selection)
- When She Woke by Hillary Jordan–This futuristic novel examines what our already-divided society might look like if the polar political and religious views are carried to the extreme. In this world where church and state are no longer separate, a scarlet letter becomes scarlet skin (or green… yellow… orange) for the world to know your offense; offenders are tagged and can be located in real time with a simple internet search; vigilantes are given free reign to deal with offenders as they deem necessary; and those on the other side of the line drawn in the sand are labeled terrorists. With When She Woke, Jordan continues to pen eye-opening novels which leave her readers slack-jawed in contemplation.
- A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Art and Madness by Anne Roiphe
- The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
- Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow (Watermark Book Club selection)
- This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (Watermark Book Club selection)
- An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
- Vestments by John Reimringer
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Quickening by Michelle Hoover
- The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
- It’s a Book by Lane Smith
- The Physick Book of Deliverence Dane by Katherine Howe (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
- Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
- Ape House by Sara Gruen
- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Motherhouse by Jeanine Hathaway
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The White Mary by Kira Salak (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style by David Guas & Raquel Pelzel
- Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Beth’s great gift picks for wine lovers: Read the picks!
- Gardens of Water by Alan Drew (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins–This new book for young adults and teens will be released on March 2nd, and Rachel Hawkins will be here on Friday, March 5th for a reading and signing at 7:00 p.m. This is one that fans of Twilight, Blue Bloods, and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series won’t want to miss!
- The Little Book by Seldon Edwards (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
- The Reserve by Russell Banks (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
- That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo–A poignant look at marriage in all of its various states and stages. Fans of Straight Man will appreciate the humor, and fans of Empire Falls will appreciate the eloquence. Much better than any of the preliminary reviews would have you believe. I’m so glad I read it.
- Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
- American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
- Matchless: A Christmas Story by Gregory Maguire–This is “an illumination of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic The Little Match Girl.“
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Babycakes by Erin McKenna: Read review
- The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese — Still my favorite book of the year. (Updated October 30, 2009.)
- Disobedience by Jane Hamilton (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson
- An Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England by Brock Clarke (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
- A Long Way Home by John Grogan–I was one of the skeptics who thought Marley & Me was a fluke. But this guy can write. Mea culpa.
- 1000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing it In by Grip Design–Now this is what I’m talking about. No words. All photos. And they weren’t kidding when they promised one thousand!
- Design Matters: Brochures by Michelle Taute–At first glance, there was entirely too much text for me. I mean… I’m all about looking at the pretty pictures. But I read it anyway and was pleasantly surprised (and inspired.)
- Print and Production Finishes for Bag, Labels, and Point of Purchase by Carolyn Knight & Jessica Glaser.–This sounds incredibly sexy, right? Trust me. As far as graphic design books go, this one’s pretty nifty… especially if you’re into packaging or retail. Full of inspiration and eye candy, it will get you out of that design slump.
- Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld–Yes, I know. I’ve stooped to claiming juvenile picture books on my reading page. But with very few finishes these days, I take my victories where I can get them. This is a charming book to read to little ones who can be led to identify different items in the different shapes they see. And having the shapes available in the book is especially good if they’re too young to tell which cloud you’re talking about!
- Secret Son by Laila Lalami–Well I’m not the world’s most musical gal, but this one makes me want to break out into The Kinks. K-I-N-K-S, Kinks. This novel would make a fantastic book club selection. A boy of 18 living in the slums of Casablanca discovers that he’s the illegitimate son of wealth. It’s filled with prejudice and deceit.
- The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen–A smart look at several intelligent, yet confused, young men whose paths cross in a web-like fashion reaching Cambridge, Baltimore, Syracuse, Jerusalem, and New York City.
- The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
- Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Blood by Patricia Traxler
- Water, Stone, Heart by Will North
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Away by Amy Bloom
- The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall
- The Manny Files by Christian Burch
- Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick: Read review — The layers of deceit run deep in Robert Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife. Set in a land where long winters drive residents to unthinkable acts, a wealthy Wisconsin foundry owner gets more than he bargains for when he orders a mail-order bride. Determined to quickly change from new bride to wealthy widow, his wife is as surprised as the reader to discover the sexual intensity of this quiet man. Many secrets. Many lies. Very sensual. A good book for a long winter.
- Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (Watermark Book Club selection)
- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
- Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Sweetsmoke by David Fuller–This is SO good! I love the way that Fuller distinguishes the voice of the free man vs. the slave with his use (or lack) of quotation marks. Fantastic.
- Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo–Several of my co-readers read and enjoyed Guo’s A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, so I thought I’d try this one. My Olympic tribute (it takes place in Beijing), and… um… it’s short. Her straight-forward approach is quirky, irreverent at times, and really quite funny. I love the chapter titles: fragment 5 – a Mao drawer doesn’t prevent Fenfang from ending up at the police station; fragment 8 – Fenfang cuts herself on a piece of glass and thinks of Xiaolin; fragment 9 – Fenfang sits on the edge of a swimming pool but doesn’t get in; I’m currently in fragment 9. It appears that our protagonist is going swimming. I wonder if she’ll get in… (I’m finished now. She didn’t get in.)
- My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki–This was one of the “books I should have read a long time ago” selections for the Watermark Book Club. Apparently 17 other folks agreed, because we had 18 people there. (18!) An amazing book providing an in-depth look at the meat industry. As she did in All Over Creation, Ozeki was able to use her documentarian background to provide a human face to the numbers and statistics affected by hormone altered meat. This morning I was discussing with fellow grew-up-on-or-near-a-farm Watermarker Mark Bradshaw the different types of cows and which were easier to fatten. I said, “You should have read My Year of Meats. Holy cow!” An accidental funny… yet we laughed and laughed. (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Memory by Philippe Grimbert
- This beautiful little book is sad and lovely. In it the protagonist describes the discovery, and later memory, of his family’s lives in occupied France during and after WWII. I found myself repeating these motions throughout the book: read, pause, heavy sigh, mark passage with BookDart, shake head in disbelief and awe, take another sip of wine, continue to read.
- For Kings & Planets by Ethan Canin–I loved America America. Canin’s going to be at Watermark on September 11, so I thought I’d absorb as much as possible. Ethan Canin is just a fantastic writer.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows–I’ve never written as many letters as when I was reading this. Beautiful, sad, whimsical and–believe it or not–action adventure!
- The Boat by Nam Le
- Epilogue by Anne Roiphe–It feels a little like schadenfreude to say how much I enjoyed Anne Roiphe’s memoir about grief. To find ones soul mate at all is a feat to be admired. To be able to describe the loss one feels after 39 years of marriage is incredible. Damn, I love her voice.
- Between Here and April by Deborah Copaken Kogan–An amazing book, simultaneously beautiful and sorrowful. This look at tragedy, postpartum depression, and the despair a mother must feel to even entertain the thought of killing her young rather than leave them behind to fend through life without her… it was simply haunting.
- Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont–I can’t exactly remember how the question was posed. I vaguely remember that several members of the Watermark staff were out with an author following a reading. “What was the book that did it for you,” the author asked. “What book made you realize the power of literature?” I recall that my answer came easily. The book is still on my shelf. The exact book–branded with “Property of Garden Plain High School” inside the flap. A Separate Peace by John Knowles. So when a galley arrives promising in red 14-point type across the top–“A chilling debut novel in the tradition of ‘A Separate Peace'”–I had no option but to read it. (Read the rest of the review.)
- America America by Ethan Canin–Holy cow. Sarah Bagby sure knows how to pick ’em. I’m going to start ranking the books I read by the number of BookDarts I leave in them. I’m on page 298 and I count 7 so far. (I probably would have used more, but I forgot my can o’ darts at home. After 30 minutes of stewing, I broke down and bought a second can to leave at work.) – Finished. Final BookDart count: 13.
- Madam President by Lane Smith–Another great one from Lane. (We could use you in Washington, Mr. Smith!) Read Madam President aloud to your favorite little one, and you’ll be laughing along with them.
- Quilter’s Catalog by Meg Cox: Read review.
- The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Just Write by Molly O’Shaughnessy
- City of Thieves by David Benioff
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- A Curious Earth by Gerard Woodward
- The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block
- The Echo Maker by Richard Powers (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Big Plans by Bob Shea and Lane Smith–This book, written by Shea and illustrated by Smith, shows the mess and mayhem awaiting the world if the plotting of a little boy stuck in a classroom corner comes to fruition.
- Bicycle Days by John Burnham Schwartz–JBS was at Watermark on January 28th for his new novel, The Commoner. Bicycle Days is his first novel, which also takes place in Japan.
- The Story of a Marriage: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer–From the author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli. This novel will be released in May 2008. In the front of the galley is a letter from Frances Coady of Picador USA. Frances writes, “…this devastating love story comes with a warning–it often produces tears–and a plea that when you have read it you will not reveal its secrets to those readers coming after you.” By page 67 Greer had shocked me twice. Typically I might mark one or two well-written passages with a trusty BookDart. I’ve marked more than twenty in The Story of a Marriage.
- The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt–A compelling read about a psychoanalyst and his family… sister, mother, niece, and recently deceased father. Each struggle with ghosts from the past, and some from the present.
- The Driftless Area by Tom Drury (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chumamanda Ngozi Adichie (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb. (due out January 2008)–I picked this one up at midnight when I couldn’t sleep. I had to tear myself away and force myself back to bed. Great writing which reads so gracefully… I really didn’t want to put it down: Read review
- Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin–I actually listened to the audio book. It’s read by Steve Martin, which I think is the best way to “read” his autobiography. He plays the banjo here and there throughout… and nobody can do his timing any better! At $29.95, the audio book would make a great gift.
- The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan–From the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the new book is scheduled to be released on January 1, 2008. From the cover: “Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating. Now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time.”
- 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon by David Kuehls–I know… I’m pathetic. I’m pathetically slow, too.
- Salt River by James Sallis
- The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (to be released January 2008.)–From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of March. This novel was inspired by a true story about the Sarajevo Haggadah. In this fictionalized version, a rare-book expert uncovers pieces of the book’s history through its binding, and as she does so, the reader is afforded a backward glance at the stories of the people who make up that history. Well done.
- The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz (to be released January 2008.)–John Burnham Schwartz delivers again with this graceful look at a commoner turned Japanese Empress. Fluid prose. Extremely well-researched. Schwartz is so skilled at sucking you into total immersion, you have to remind yourself to breathe.
- The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
- Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen–A former Literary Feast book filled with humor, suspense, and a look at childhood before we locked the doors to our home.
- Magic Time by Doug Marlette (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Accidental by Ali Smith (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr–The author of The Shell Collector and About Grace receives a year-long fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. He and his wife leave Idaho with 4-month-old twin boys in tow for this unexpected gift adventure.
- The Middle Place: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan–Corrigan is diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37. She writes of her battle which occurs simultaneously with her dad’s battle with prostate and bladder cancer.
- Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter–Started it in July, finished in August. Can I count it twice?
- Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
- Run by Ann Patchett
- Red Weather by Pauls Toutonghi (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley
- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
- Richard III by William Shakespeare–Just finished this with the Shakespeare Aloud group. Now we’re on to A Comedy of Errors.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas–Actually, this one’s on my iPod. So if you’ve seen me spontaneously break into tears on the treadmill, it was probably only partially because I was running. This one made me laugh out loud (and I usually just laugh on the inside), but it especially made me sob.
- Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare–The “Shakespeare Aloud” group at Watermark (led by Mark David Bradshaw) just finished this one.
- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell–Actually… this was an instance where I actually finished a book I began a year ago. And the second half is wonderful! A great coming of age story set in rural England – from the author of Cloud Atlas and Number9Dream. (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Hick by Andrea Portes–This paperback original is due in May 2007. Here’s a link to my review.
- The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle–Great book. Take a look at my review.
- Sex Wars by Marge Peircy (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak–Even though this book was written for young adults, more adults are reading it. Extremely well written. The book is narrated by death (I like his personality) and takes place in Nazi Germany. Liesel is a young girl, the daughter of Nazi persecuted Communists, who now lives with foster parents in Germany. The first book she stole, The Gravediggers Handbook, was at the cemetery during her younger brothers burial (he died on the way to the foster home.) The second was picked out of the ashes after a Nazi bonfire. This book is over 500 pages long, but worth every minute. One of the few books I didn’t want to end.
- Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar–I read this one on Mark’s recommendation. I loved it. A great book for teens or young adults.
- Fallen by David Maine (Watermark Book Club selection)
- About Alice by Calvin Trillin–What a sweet book. And it’s even more heartbreaking to listen to the audio and hear Trillin as he speaks about the love of his life, Alice.
- The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl–This one was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year byThe New York Times. It felt as though I was reading it forever! At page 250 I was only half-way through but all-the-way hooked. Part erudite, part mystery, at times I felt it was completely over my head. Narrator, Blue Van Meer, moves every semester with her father, a perpetual visiting professor. During Blue’s senior year, her father decides to stay put for the entire school year before Blue moves on to Harvard. A film/cinematography teacher at her high school takes her under her wing and spatchcocks her in with the “Bluebloods,” the odd in-crowd at the school. The entire year is weird but completely engrossing. Good book.
- The Keep by Jennifer Egan–Another one I picked up because I’d heard some good things about it. Then the same day I began it, I saw that is was listed as one of the top 100 Notable Books by The New York Times. I think this is another one of those books that stick with you long after you’ve finished reading them. There are three stories going on here. One is the story of an inmate named Ray. Another is the story he tells through his writing class or two cousins, Danny and Howie, a near tragedy experienced in their youth, and a tension-filled reunion 20 years later. The final story is of Ray and his writing instructor, Holly. Through Ray’s writing, we know that he’s a key player in the story of Danny and Howie, but we don’t know who he is because he’s using a different name.
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne–I picked up this book because it made The Kansas City Star2006 List of Notable Books. I read it over Thanksgiving weekend, which was both eerie and serendipitous, because the book setting is also Thanksgiving weekend. While I was reading it, I couldn’t figure out why it was “notable” – but now I can’t stop thinking about it. Family secrets, Mark Twain, and a crazy cast of characters indeed make this book notable: Read review
- The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- March by Geraldine Brooks (last month’s Watermark Book Club selection)
I’ve looked back though my past Octobers… and I’ve never read a book during that month. What do you think that means?
- The Driftless Area by Tom Drury–Great book. I’m picking up the author at the airport for our event at the store… and boy, do I have some questions for him!
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger–The author of the short-story collection Lucky Girls, Nell Freudenberger is making her novel debut with The Dissident. I’m not sure if it was the family dynamic or what, but I felt as though I were reading Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. But in The Dissident it’s Cece, not Kiki, who holds this family together… then allows it to drift apart.
- The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen–I enjoyed Franzen’s “personal history” of growing up in St. Louis. I’m extremely curious about him as both the author of The Corrections and the one who said “no” to Oprah.
- Fallen by David Maine–Listened to this on the way to Pikes Peak. Wow, it’s good. Now I’ll be self-conscious of arching my eyebrow or shrugging.
- Saturday by Ian McEwan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Book of Writers Talking to Writers edited by Vendela Vida.–I haven’t made it though the entire selection, but I especially wanted to read the interview of Ian McEwan conducted by Zadie Smith.
- The Half Life of Stars by Louise Wener–Wener’s The Perfect Play was a hit with the Watermark staff. The Half Life of Stars was equally terrific. This one comes out in November, so put it on your “must read” list. (Wener is the former leader singer of the British band Sleeper. She’s witty, clever, and “brilliant.”)
- A Student of Living Things by Susan Richards Shreve–I love the cover. I’m not giving this book the respect it deserves, as I read it in fits and starts. The location is Washington DC, and the author gives us a glimpse of what the US would be like with terrorist attacks and bombings after 9/11.
- Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham (Watermark Book Club selection)
- I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter–This is a great summer read for teens, especially for those who enjoy spikes like Jason Bourne or Sidney Bristow. The author lives in Chanute, of all places, and we should be proud of this Kansan. Not only has she written a good book, it has been optioned for film by Walt Disney Pictures. Congrats, Ally!
- Brick Lane by Monica Ali–I had to take a road trip for work, so I popped in this audio book. I guess I’m on a “Bangladeshi living in foreign lands” kick. I like listening to this one rather than reading it. Trying to read with a broken accent is a bit trying.
- Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène–I’ve had this book on a stack in my office since Sarah handed it to me. Then Mark read it and said how great it was and I feel completely behind! I’m barely into it, and I don’t have a first impression just yet. A teenage girl lives in France with her mother, and her father has just left them to return to Morocco to marry a girl who might give him a son.
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green–I met John Green at a dinner in April 2005, just after his book Looking for Alaska was released. (It was recently awarded the Printz Award.) At dinner, he told us about this new book he was working on, about a boy who dated and was consequently dumped by girls named Katherine. There are 19 Katherines who dump this prodigy, and he sets out to discover a Theorem to explain why this keeps happening to him… and in the process, move from the ranks of prodigy to genius. It’s a fun book for teens, but adults would enjoy it too.
- The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri–The Watermark Bookclub selection for June. Sarah always said how much she loved this one, and now I’m so glad we selected for our June read. A wonderful story about a Bangladeshi family and their life in the United States. In the story, the grandfather said something like, “Read the Russians. They’ll never let you down.” Now I wish I’d read Gogol’s “Dead Souls” when our Watermark Classic bookclub read it… or “Anna Karenina.” Guess what’s on my stack now? (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld–Do not judge her books by their covers! First with Prep, and now with The Man of My Dreams, the covers for Curtis Sittenfeld’s novels are very deceiving. They are not the “chick-lit” implied, but well-written novels with dark undertones. Sittenfeld nails the anxiety of her characters. But with a verbally-abusive tyrant of a father, how can one notfeel anxious about finding the right person?
- A Writer’s Paris: A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul by Eric Maisel–[Sigh.] If only it could be true…
- Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose–A refreshing look at reading, taking the time to read word by word… sentence by sentence. Prose wraps up with a list of books to read immediately. The list is longer than I can tackle in my lifetime.
- Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer–An interesting memoir. Everything you need to know to raise chickens… oh, and it’s about life, too.
- The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life by Michael Dirda–A nice book full of quotations, reflections, and a glossary of the who’s-who you should know not only in the book world, but in life. Coming in May, this would make a thoughtful gift for the college graduate.
- Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore–A story of the American dream in the 1920s and 30s. This is Jennifer Gilmore’s debut novel, and she’s done a fantastic job. I wish I knew more yiddish!
- The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer–I enjoyed this more than I anticipated. Moehringer explains how, abandoned by his father as an infant, he was formed into a man by the men in his hometown bar. I think his two bosses from the bookstore in Arizona had more of a hand in forming him… perhaps this should be called The Tender Bookstore.
- Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker–Sarah’s so excited about this book, how could I not read it? This is a great story about love for a family. Tucker does a great job of keeping the reader interested until the bittersweet end. This would make a great bookclub read. (Tucker will be at Watermark on April 20th.)
- Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters by Kathleen Ragan–The latest selection of one of my reading groups. We meet every two weeks to discuss a limited (and quite do-able) number of pages. The stories of heroines in folktales collected from around the world are wonderful! Forget what Disney has taught our young women about waiting for their prince to save them… these women are cunning, clever, and true heroines.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen–I’ve barely begun this book with a striking cover. And while I know a book cannot be judged by its cover, the buzz in the bookselling world tells me I won’t be disappointed. Stay tuned. … Okay, I’m back. Elizabeth Gilbert told me that you know you have a good idea if you tell a friend about it and they laugh. That’s what I would have done if Sara Gruen had told me, as a friend, that she was writing a novel about a traveling circus in the 1920s. But your don’t read Water for Elephants for its subject matter. Just as you don’t read Life of Pi because you want to learn more about zoo animals, or The Kite Runner because you enjoy witnessing the rape of a young boy in Afghanistan. Sara Gruen’s book is of the same caliber as Martel’s and Hosseini’s. It’s the writing we’re celebrating here… and for Water for Elephants it’s a kick-ass party. (Publication due May 26, 2006.)
- The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee–Perhaps I enjoyed these essays of a bookseller in the bookstore world because of the nature of my business. (When Buzbee listed what could typically be found behind a bookstore counter, he nailed Watermark!) But I think that non-booksellers, too, would enjoy this glimpse into our unique realm. Coming in May 2006.
- Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire–The sequel to Wicked, this book was great. It was nice to visit Elphaba again, even if it was just through the memories of those who knew her.
- Some Fun: Stories and a Novella by Antonya Nelson
- The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberberk–This is a sweet novel about a dressmaker in a small town outside of Paris. The elements of sewing, Paris, and the art world sucked me in. I only wish the book would have been better. The non-Fairytale ending did redeem it a bit.
- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
- The Darling by Russell Banks (A Watermark Book Club selection)
- Writing Brave & Free: Encouraging Words for People Who Want to Start Writing by Ted Kooser & Steve Cox–I’d heard a lot of good things about Kooser’s Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets, so I thought I’d give this galley a run through. Kooser is the Poet Laureate of the United States and a Pulitzer Prize winner. His advice is both helpful and generous.
- Red Weather by Pauls Toutonghi–Coming in May 2006. This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. The writing is amazing. The humor is even better. Set in Milwaukee, Red Weather taught me more about the liquor industry, socialism, communism, and the proud people of Latvia. This is Toutonghi’s first novel, and he’s going to be one to watch.
- Tijuana Straits by Kem Nunn (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Pathways to Bliss by Joseph Campbell
- The Perfect Play by Louise Wener (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert–Coming in February 2006. Absolutely wonderful.
- Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Preservationist by David Maine (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Bookman’s Wake by John Dunning
- Broken as Things Are by Martha Witt (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The English Teacher by Lily King
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith
- The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
- The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips
- Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
- The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez–The concept was intriguing, but the writing and plot lacked something. I’m afraid I can’t recommend it.
- Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme by Chris Roberts–This London librarian looks at some forty of our favorite nursery rhymes and discovers this history of these verses lined with religious hatred, political bashing, and sexual undertones. Read review.
- Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks–Sarah Bagby recommended this book to me, and I finally got around to finishing it! Read Sarah’s review.
- Why Read? by Mark Edmundson–I was first introduced to Edmundson through his book, “Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference.” This is an “enjoyable” look at the way we teach, learn, and read. Read review.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Conjurer’s Bird by Martin Davies–Read Beth’s review.
- Straight Man by Richard Russo (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Hard Rain by Barry Eisler
- Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
- The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Wedding Planner’s Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore: Read review
- Saul & Patsy by Charles Baxter (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Hey, Cowgirl, Need a Ride? by Baxter Black
- Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte–Thought I’d give some sword fighting a try. I’m curious.
- The Zahir by Paulo Coelho–A famous novelist living in France is married to a war correspondent. After 10 years of marriage, she disappears. The Zahir is about the obsession which follows: Read review
- The Darling by Russell Banks
- Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia
- The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck (Watermark Book Club selection)
- A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewyeka
- Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson: Read review
- Sideways: The Shooting Script screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Rex Pickett: Read review
- Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick: Read review
- The King’s English by Betsy Burton
- Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld: Read review
- The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
- Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi: Read review
- A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George
- Learning Joy from Dogs Without Collars by Lauralee Summer (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
- City of Bones by Michael Connelly (Mystery Book Club selection)
- Tepper Isn’t Going Out by Calvin Trillin (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez–I’d never read it before, but it’s been on my stack for so long. A good friend re-read it with me so I could discuss it with when I finished. Sometimes you just have to stop and pull one off your stack!
- Orchard by Larry Watson–Our Watermark Book Club just read this for our November discussion. The overall consensus was that it is very good. Haunting, sad, a true look at human nature after the loss of a loved one.
- The Know It All by A.J. Jacobs.–Funny. Interesting. It was nice to see that I’m not the only one who feels they’ve become more and more stupid as they grow older. This thirty-five year old decided he would read the Encyclopedia Britannica from start to finish.
- The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks (next month’s Watermark Book Club selection)
- Wicked by Gregory Maguire (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Perfect Play by Louise Wener–I learned a lot about Texas Hold ‘Em! In this very British novel, we follow a young woman on her quest to find her father, who abandoned her years ago for a poker game. Great characterization. Loved it.
- The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery: Read review
- Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Codex by Lev Grossman
- The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
- Separation Anxiety by Karen Brichoux
- A Disturbance in One Place by Binnie Kirschenbaum (Watermark Book Club selection)
- All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki–(Re-read. Watermark Book Club selection.)
- The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
- Educating Waverly by Laura Kalpakian (Watermark Book Club selection.)
- In Summer by Jeremy Jackson
- The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler: Read review
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Watermark Book Club selection.)
- Desserts That Have Killed Better Men Than Me by Jeremy Jackson: Read review
- The Cornbread Book by Jeremy Jackson–(Re-read. Loved it again.)
- Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Watermark Book Club selection.)
- The Last Goodbye by Reed Arvin
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz (Watermark Book Club selection)
- The Last Girls by Lee Smith (Watermark Book Club selection)
- I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Blessings by Anna Quindlen (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Three Junes by Julia Glass (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Coffee & Kung Fu by Karen Brichoux (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver (Watermark Book Club selection)
- Step Ball Change by Jeanne Ray (Watermark Book Club selection)