Thursday, July 06, 2006

Self-Improvement Summers

for some reason, summers always make me want to change my life for the better - you know, get outside more, exercise, learn new hobbies, improve my mind, etc. all those things that I don't have time or energy for in the winter, due to too much studying and too much grey/wet/cold/freezing weather (the winter adjectives change according to which city and/or country I happen to be in at the time!).

this summer has been no different, especially since moving back to Canada was such a huge change to begin with - or change back, maybe? hard to say. Anyway, I've managed to get the exercise part in thanks to the local Curves-esque 30-minute circuit training gym. And i've done the new activities thing: I picked strawberries and turned them into 2 batches of jam (now I'm waiting for the raspberries to be ripe so I can use up the other half of my jam jars!); planted pumpkin seeds and herbs in pots, some of which will be planted outside once we get the garden sorted; and we joined the tennis club, which i guess counts as both a new activity and the outdoor thing....

but now i need to improve my mind, for which I am asking your assistance - in Newcastle, when I was sans television, I was able to do a ton of non-school related reading... now that its summer and the tv is crap, my goal is to turn it off in the evenings so that i can get more reading done. But, I need books to read! So I'm asking all of my friends to suggest books for me to read - something you've read and loved, something you hated, something you want to read but haven't got round to it yet. suggest anything and I will do my best to get hold of it and read it! meanwhile, all the suggestions you give me will be put into my book list so you can see if I'm reading your book yet! (ps: I read really fast - especially on weekends at the cottage, so feel free to recommend several books!)

Sound good? cool!

here's the start of my list, based on the few books that have already been recommended to me:

1)The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
Mike brought this one on our trip to Greece, and I read about half of it on the flight home, after finishing Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (a book I totally recommend!)

2) Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
My friend Jeff, husband of my good friend Tiffany, suggested this one, after a discussion of book #3 on my list...

3) House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
Poosibly one of the most twisted books I've read in a long time... its a commentary, written by a blind man, on a movie about a house that's bigger on the inside than the outside; the commentary was found by the neighbour of the dead guy, who added footnotes before publishing the work... its so twisted that i only got halfway through the first time I tried to read it. so I sent it to Vancouver for my brother to read, so that when I try to read it the second time through I'll have someone to discuss it with! But I won't get it back till I go out west in August, so this one may not be read for a while

Who wants to suggest book #4?


Elizabeth said...

I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini a couple of months ago. It was really moving and I totally recommend it. It's about this little boy who grows up in Afganistan in the 1980s during the Russian invasion. They move to America and start a new life, but his past kind of follows him. Here is the New York Times Review.

glittrgirl said...

I keep going back and rereading Perfume by Patrick Susskind.