Sunday, July 30, 2006

Read All About It! - read all about what?

Good Morning All. I am skipping church this morning to get caught up on mental health...seems ironic to say but whatever.
One thing I admire and slightly envy is the list of "smart people" books that I read about on other people's blogs. Maughry being the main one that does this. Bean you said you were reading some book that I have never heard of. The truth is I really do want to be a reader. I have thought up ways to become a good reader: 1.) pick a book I am interested in and 2.) read it. But that plan does not ever work. So now I am going to use a new strategy: 1.) pick a book someone else is interested in 2.) commit 30 minutes a day to reading it.

The last book that I read in ful was:

(Do not be alarmed: I read this book WAAY before Summer 2005 which is when I met Mr. M.)

I loved this book. The reason I loved this book is because I had been on so many terrible "going nowhere" dates that left me running to my cell phone every time the phone rang hoping it was "that guy" - but it usually was my mom calling to ask if he had called. Yuck - so glad I am not out there anymore. Today I would say that no-one should take this book TOO seriously because if you don't have common sense that screams at you "He just isn't into me because he isn't calling me, he isn't dating me, he is having sex with someone else etc." then maybe you just need an ego boost and some self respect. However, Greg Behrendt, one of the authors of this book, also co-wrote one of my favorite HBO television series: Sex and the City.
(Some of you may be rolling your eyes, but I know for a FACT there are some of my readers who know that "Sex and the City" is FABULOUS!

Back to my original topic, while books like "He's Just Not That Into You" are entertaining, I feel that at this point in my life : 24.5 years old, married, working, schooling, etc. this book choice is unsuitable.
So my question is: Where do I begin to choose a grown-up book?
1.) I would like to learn about Christianity from a way less "Ten Steps to Being a Better Christian Woman" point-of-view
2.) I would like to learn more about current events/cultural issues.
3.) I do not like books that are 600 pages (yet) 200-300 pages gets me excited about reading.

WAIT...I did all this blogging about the fabulousness of Greg Behrendt and I just remembered that since I have been married to Mr. M I have read:...AND LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS BOOK...

Granted, I read this book about ten years after everyone else but none the less, I can say it was easy for me to follow, exciting to read, and made an impact on my spiritual growth.
So, I am looking for a list of suggestions from anyone with the knowledge that I loved "Blue Like Jazz" who would like to recommend some starter grown-up books. P.S. the books you recommend do not have to be classified "Christian/Spirituality".
Just throw a few favs. out there for me.


Mary said...

I liked Blue Like Jazz and also read it about 10 years after everyone else. I think of all the books on Christianity that I have read (and I read LOTS of "smart books" on theology in highschool and college - martin luther, rc sproul, cs lewis, you name it) I have to highly recommend Anne Lammot's Traveling Mercies &/or Plan B. I'm not sure theologians would describe them as smart, but I thought they were very realistic and honest (not to mention two of the most hysterical books I've ever read).

As far as literary books go, don't give me too much credit. I get almost all of my favorite from Mr. H. I think if you are not into reading and would like to be, you should read books you enjoy. I enjoy funny books so I like authors like David Sadaris, Augusten Burroughs, Anne Lammot, and Dave Eggars.

I also enjoy great stories so in that vain I'd have to recommend White Oleander, The Corrections, The Lovely Bones, A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius (funny & great story... our favorite book), and anything by Wally Lamb. Jodi Picoult is also a good place to start. I wouldn't call it great literature, but it is quick easy reading that is usually hard to put down. (but I'd say she is a chick writer... nick probably wouldn't like her)

I never read until I got out of college because I spent all my time trying to make straight A's. I never associated reading with something fun. Lane's passion for books rubbed off A LOT and now I possibly read more than he does. I'm sure law school will change that. I think the important thing is not to put pressure on yourself to read something you don't like because other people think it is "smart." You'll just quit if you do that.

One suggestion is go to a bookstore you love.. pick up four or five books that look interesting to you. Sit down and read the first chapter of each. Pick the one you have the most trouble putting down. This is usually how I buy books. Sorry for the long comment, but I feel like I use to feel the exact way you do and now I love reading. Mostly due to Mr. H. (thanks lane!)

Mary said...

PS (I think Sex in the City is one of the 'smartest' shows to ever be on television as far as the writing is concerned so don't apologize for liking it.)

Also, that was the longest blog comment ever. I should've just sent it in an email :-) Sorry.

Stephanie said...

(I'm not so sure why you HAVE to read ... if you don't like reading, it's ok. Seriously).

But, if you really WANT to do this -

Mary and I have the same taste in fiction, so I agree with what she just said. I would add "The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver, and it's sequel, "Pigs in Heaven."

I liked Donald Miller's sequel, "Searching for God Knows What," as well (if not better than) "Blue Like Jazz." I think that my only suggestion that hasn't already been mentioned.

And there's nothing wrong with plain old Scripture for spiritual growth. The only way I ever got seriously interested in reading Scripture was to read it as a story, rather than an assignment.

That's all I know ...


Mary said...

Lane and I listened to Freakonomics the audio book on a roundtrip to Nashville one weekend. It was SO good. I also found the chapter about teachers really interesting. Didn't they compare them to sumo wrestlers who cheat as well?
I also really liked the chapter on gangs and how they work like McDonalds. Fascinating stuff. I like those kind of books but would usually rather read a novel so Lane and I started getting stuff like that to listen to on long trips.

I think everybody can find something they enjoy reading and it is so much better for you than T.V. or movies. I have no doubt I scored better on the LSAT because I had been doing SO much reading when I was out of work last summer. It helps with my concentration.

Liz said...

Hi Laura - Liz here. We haven't met yet, but I'm part of the HC crowd. For book recommendations, Barbara Kingsolver is hard to put down and Brennan Manning is also great. I just finished reading Into the Nevernight by Anne De Graaf. It is 400 pages (fairly close to your range) and I read it in just over 24 hours. I was SO captivated by this book I almost missed my subway stop one morning on the way to work!! I am not usually a big fan of Christian fiction, but this one I would put a huge stamp of approval on!! Mary's idea of sitting in a good book store and reading the first chapter of a few books is what I tend to do as well (though sometimes I end up spending a whole Friday night curled up in the chair at the bookstore like the dork I am!!) Let us know what you start out with and have fun!!!

Heather said...

I actually want to read He's Not That Into You. Not for me so much as for advising my girls. I have read some wonderful excerpts.

Oh, book suggestions. I could write all day about books. I will make an effort to restrain myself. Some recent faves:

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

Prep by Curtis Sittenfield

I keep a list of every book I read. Have been doing so for over a year now. I always have more suggestions. :) I may have just revealed what a dork I am.