Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear, Santa

I love to read. Most of my time during the school year is taken up reading what is required of me, which, trust me, is a lot of reading. I try to read a chapter a night of a book just for pleasure, but when I go home for breaks I go book crazy. My favorite genre is non-fiction. I love essays like David Sedaris, and every Christmas I re-read his Holidays on Ice, with the literally side-splitting tale of his time spent as an elf at Macy's. I have read everything by him, and have already purchased his newest book: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. I also love non-fiction books about very specific topics, like The Hot Zone by Richard Preston - all about the Ebola virus. But my favorite right now is Stiff by Mary Roach, an investigation into cadavers and what physically happens to our bodies after we die (especially if we donate our bodies to science), which was the starting point for my Christmas list of books - hence two of her other books making the list.

1. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace: the namesake essay of this book is about whether or not lobsters feel pain as they are dunked into boiling water. The other essays range from his experience attending "The Academy Awards of pornographic film" to a scathing review of Tracy Austin's autobiography.

2. Spook by Mary Roach: two of the six books on this list are by Mary Roach - I truly love her writing. This book, in contrast to Stiff, tackles the spiritual elements of death. Roach asks doctors to sheep ranchers to try and discover what happens to us after we die, and whether or not there is an afterlife.

3. Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin: as I've shared in previous posts, I love to cook. And this book, by Laurie Colwin, is a collection of essays about cooking and food. The book is filled with her own experiences of tasting an ingredient for the first time, foods she likes and dislikes, and how to prepare her favorites.

4.You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin: Yes, this book is fiction. But it sounds so beautiful. It is the story of a young widower, Victor Aaron, coming to terms with his wife's death. He discovers note cards in his deceased wife's room, filled with memories of their relationship - often angry and bitter. And Victor is forced to realize that his preserved memories may be inaccurate. 

5. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee: this book sounds like Gossip Girl and Less Than Zero were put on a collision course with each other. Think Upper East Siders with serious moral bankruptcy.

6. Bonk by Mary Roach: here, Roach explores the intersection of science and sex - as the title states. On the larger scale, she seeks answers as to how understanding anatomy, physiology and psychology of sexual response can help us pursue greater marital happiness. But on the smaller scale, in her very own hilarious voice, she investigates some of the most bizarre things I have ever heard - which probably should not be mentioned here. You'll just have to read it!