Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer Reading 2009- Muggles, Magic and Memoirs

Oh, what a summer it has been...

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed fantasy literature. When the Harry Potter series came out, however, I never read them. When I moved into adult literature, I left my love of fantasy behind- it seemed like "grown-up" fantasies never made me believe the way the children's books did (Lord of the Rings was an exception). After a while, I began craving a good children's fantasy. This summer, I read the first Harry Potter satisfied that craving. My only regret is that I didn't read them when I was younger: then I could have grown up with the stories like so many other 20 somethings.

I read both of A.J Jacobs' books: The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All. I can't pick which is my favorite. All I know is that they are funny, informative and unique. I love non-fiction that gives you a smorgasborg of related facts, that twist and turn through a labyrinth of information- it's not everyone's cup of tea but it is my nirvana.

My least favorite book of the summer was The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant- I love The Red Tent and figured this would be as good. Instead, it seemed to me like nothing much happened. The characters were interesting, but I felt as if she did nothing with them, except move them around the town. Maybe I will come back to it later...

I am winding up the summer with a pile of biographies several books deep. I am reading The Autobiography of Miles Davis which was ghostwritten by Quincy Troupe and Robert Kennedy by Evan Thomas, but since I own those, I am reading them very slowly. Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera was part of the pile and I finished it last week- I learned quite a bit about the history of Mexico.

Now, I add On Writing by Stephen King (I picked it from the library shelf on a whim- far different from any writing book I have ever read and so good) and Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama which is also engaging- I think a good biography makes the people in it as engaging as characters in fiction would be. President Obama's Grandparents are funny people and truly normal. His mother is sweet, interesting, intelligent- she seems like a real heroine.

The best biography so far is Ron Powers biography of Mark Twain- I love Mark Twain anyway, but this book was the best biography I have ever read. At the bottom of my biography pile is Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein- which I can't wait to start.

Can anybody recommend a good biography?

1 comment:

Miss_Nobody said...

Hey there,its been a long time,I missed your awesome posts!I basolutely LOVE Harry Potter,and I grew up with him,been waiting for the books to come out after the fourth one every year,and it was always worth it.I don't know much about biographies, but I can recommend you some to quench your fact thirst,though not entirely non fiction,they are based on a several socio-political backgrounds and some are fictionalised versions of a true story-The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth,My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk,Snow by Orhan Pamuk,Letters from a Father to a Daughter and Discovery of India both by Jawaharlal Nehru(it contains accounts of both Indian historical situations as well the whole world scenario).Happy reading!
I'll be posting on my new blog.See you there :)