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5 Things I Freely Admit I’m Reading

October 8, 2010

I once knew a girl who was quoted saying, “I’ve never been on an airplane and I don’t see any reason why I ever will. Everything I need is within driving distance [of Starkville, Mississippi].”

I know. Right?

So, the way I feel about that statement is similar to the way I feel when I ask someone “What are you reading?” and they don’t have an answer. I mean, I’m not trying to be smug here. I used to hate to read. But isn’t reading one of those inevitable activities you take up as you get older? You know? Like, crossword puzzles? Squeezing vegetables in Whole Foods to determine ripeness? Pretending to have a discerning palette when the sommelier pours you a taste of wine, when in reality you’d drink battery acid if it got you tanked?

Yeah, so now I love to read. Here’s what’s on my nightstand. I try to focus on just one book but, it never fails, I’m always toggling between four or five books at once in their various formats. Also, suggestions are welcome for what to read next. My amazon wish list is nothing but coffee table books (Go figure).

1. Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden

Man, rich people are just really screwed up. I don’t mean people with money. I mean, the people you can actually call rich without sounding like you think anyone who can afford a new Z71 with leather seats is “rich.” Burden is an heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and had one of the most entertaining and often hard to believe childhoods bouncing around her grandparents’ (Momsie and Popsie’s) various properties. I listened to it on tape in the car but I highly recommend reading if you need to feel better about any dysfunction in your life.

2. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modern Bestiary by David Sedaris

It’s not news I’m a Sedaris fan. This latest by the author explores the idiosyncratic nature of humans…by casting them as furry woodland creatures! Admittedly, I just purchased this but I’ve sneaked a chapter or two. It’s got adorable illustrations and it’s the same voice of Sedaris, just spoken by animals.

3. The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alicia Drake

I mean, did you read the title? What could possibly suck about this book? I was told long ago that I needed to read this but have been putting it off. So, when it was my turn to choose the book for my book club (more on that later – my nonfiction class is now a book club), I went for it. First we read The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. It was about serial killer who roamed the hills of Florence and the quest to discover his real identity. Heavy stuff. Leave it to me to force everyone to read about YSL, Lagerfeld and coke-fueled fashion parties in a time when no one knew any better.

4. True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd

Years ago, my friend Catherine Coker gave me a copy of The Official Preppy Handbook. I loved it so much I was excited when one of the original authors set out to create this, the sequel (Anyone notice a theme of vapidness in my “scholarly pursuits” yet? Geez. I hope I’m not embarrassing myself). Anyway, this is much less a read and more a reference. It’s a farcical look at the world today of people who consider themselves “preppy.” Highly entertaining and highly evolved – well, for a book with more pictures than words.

5. The Real Housewives of DC Recaps by Richard Lawson

Gawker.com is easily one of my favorite websites. It’s sort of like Saturday Night Live. When the cast is good, it’s really good. Richard Lawson regularly writes these very, very long recaps of this terrible, terrible show. I don’t watch the show but I don’t smite its existence because then we wouldn’t have these updates. He’s the kind of writer whose work I read and suddenly get very jealous that someone is so imaginative. Seriously, I know it’s not a “book” but you must read them. It’s imperative.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 10:05 AM

    You need to read Tom Franklin’s newest book Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.

  2. November 2, 2010 12:42 AM

    Hey. I have a z71 with leather seats.

  3. December 27, 2010 12:59 PM

    Lovely. I’ve added a few of those to my wish list.

    If you haven’t already, I recommend reading City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (who also wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). It’s a nonfiction piece about the burning of an Venetian opera house and the odd characters he meets throughout the city. Very engaging.

    Also – this is my first visit to your blog. Good stuff!

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