Life + Style

October 22, 2010

Reading List

So I've always been a really good reader.  
No really.
Better than average. 
It's on the short list of things I can do better than my husband.
My high school English teacher was big on lots of reading and lots of annotating.  Even now when I'm reading leisurely, I find myself mentally highlighting quotes or making mental notes in the margins regarding any particularly "pithy" parts.
I can spot some symbolism a mile away.
Thanks Mrs. Gallo!
What do I do with this talent, you might be asking yourself.
Nothing as of late.
But now that BabyGirl is getting a bit more manageable and sleeping a bit more consistently I find I have a little time left in my day to read.
This past week I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett and South of Broad by Pat Conroy.  
They were sufficiently full of old-school southern elitism.  
I liked them both.
I was much more impressed with The Help as the other was a bit too melodramatic and quirky for my taste.  
The Help, on the other hand, was shockingly accurate and true to it's characters potential to be rooted firmly in reality.  My dad was raised by a black woman while his mother hosted bridge club and got her hair done for the Knoxville Junior League.  His own parents loved him fiercely, but, there is something unique about the bond formed by the woman who feeds you supper in the kitchen while the rest of the family holds cocktail hour in the living room before a late dinner in the dining room.  She still calls him at least once a year to check in on him.
This was my first Pat Conroy book.  Having spent over seven  years living in Charleston plus another three in Pawleys Island, it's shameful that I have never picked him up before.  It was enjoyable reading, but overall not my favorite plot.  Prince of Tides is next.  I told Matthew he could start it first, so needless to say, it might be awhile.
The next on my list was Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult.  Quite possibly my favorite contemporary author of all-time.  I love every single one of her books for their thought provoking and controversial story-lines.  If you haven't read any, email me and I will give you a list of the order in which you should read them.  If you're a fan like me, you'll love the book club discussions on her website.  And no, I haven't read her latest novel, House Rules, so please don't comment about it or give anything away.  I'll get to it soon enough!
Currently, I'm a third of the way through with House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III.  It's a bit depressing so far, to say the least.
That being said...
What books do y'all recommend?



  1. I have read all those except House of Sand and Fog! I LOVED The Help and Handle with Care and thought SOB was good but you are right it was so quirky. It makes you rethink crazy parents - that's for sure. Can't wait to chat with your sister. I hope she is getting settled in Nashville. She will love living here.

  2. The Help was one of my all time faves! I could take or leave SOB. I'm currently reading, and enjoying, Shanghi Girls.

  3. Don't judge Pat Conroy by SOB ....... it is clearly his weakest so far.

  4. Loved Lit by Mary Karr.. Its not Southern or elitist but is beautifully written and real. And have you seen the new books that Penguin Classics and White's has come out with? Gorgeous fabric-covered classics. I am hoping makes a nice The Tale of Two Cities for someone to give me someday... xxx

  5. The Help is the most amazing book I've ever read. Loved it. The other book I've read lately that I am re-reading again w/ a highlighter is The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.

  6. Whitmore-don't worry, I'm not interested in ONLY southern and elite just so happened that those two were. The fabric covered classics sound awesome. I can't wait to re-read everything I read in High School. Pretty sure I'd get so much more out of them now.

    Thanks for the other suggestions!


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