What Are You Reading These Days?

If you are always on the lookout for a book to add to your list, you might like those interviews of celebrities or successful industrialists who mention the latest book they have read.  The New York Times always conveniently tucks one into page two of their “Sunday Review.”  This week, Kate Murphy obliges with her interview of Patricia Fleet, the voice behind the AT&T announcements.

What is Fleet reading?

A book I really enjoyed was recommended to me by the manager of the liquor store in this podunk town in Kentucky.  She didn’t have the cabernet sauvignon I was looking for but recommended a book – “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.  It is fantasy and I’ve never like fantasy, but this just grabs you.”

When someone asks me what I have read, I usually draw a blank – one of the reasons I write lists and comments – to remind myself not only of what I read, but whether or not I liked it.

Francine Prose, author of My New American Life (which I would have forgotten had I not reviewed it), notes that this problem strikes her too.  Her response to “What are you reading these days?” in an interview for The Atlantic on her book Reading Like a Writer:

“…whenever anyone asks you for a book recommendation or what you’re reading, everything just flies out of your mind; you just can’t think of a single book you’ve ever read…So now at least I have this list and I can say, Go look at the list. Don’t ask me. Read the list!”

I can relate; I have a long list.

Still looking for ideas?  Prose concedes:

“… let me look at my desk and see what’s on it…

I’ll just add those to my list of books to read – thank you very much.   What’s on yours?

6 thoughts on “What Are You Reading These Days?

  1. My list is a book unto itself – a little black book specifically. But I just read Clara and Mr. Tiffany thanks to your review, and really enjoyed it. Now on to Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety. (As a Canadian I wasn’t exposed to Stegner in school, we focused on the Canadian authors such as Atwood, Margaret Laurence, W.O. Mitchell, Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler mostly).

    • Thanks for your author recommendations. I’m a fan of Atwood and Alice Munro, but not familiar with the others. Mitchell’s “Who Has Seen the Wind” is in the “closed stacks” of our library system, but lots of Richier books (with a Canadian theme) available, and I’ve just ordered The Stone Angel by Laurence. Thanks for broadening my scope!

  2. What am I reading? Like you, my mind usually goes blank. Now, however, prepared for the question, I can say I have started on a Frances Trollope kick. I am reading a biography and finding her an admirable if somewhat elusive person. After that, I plan on Domestic Manners of the Americans and a novel entitled The Widow Barnaby. Her books were popular in her day. I very much enjoy Anthony Trollope’s novels and now am getting to know his mother.

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