This weekend I’m heading home to celebrate my dad’s birthday. I don’t have a car in Madison right now, so I’ll be making the five-ish hour trip on the MegaBus. While I always intend to do work on the trip, I inevitably end up reading instead — who wouldn’t use an excuse for hours of uninterrupted time when you can’t be expected to do anything else?
I used to let people vote for one book I’d read each month, but had to stop at some point when reading obligations (book club, school, review copies) got to be too much. But since this is a special occasion, I get to bring the voting back!
Here’s a list of some books on my shelf that I’ve been wanting to read. Leave a comment with your vote and, if you want, a reason I should pick that book for my busy journeys this weekend. Included for each is a link, summary, and note about why I have it on my shelf.
Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni: “Both a love story and a reporter’s first draft of history, Honeymoon in Tehran is a stirring, trenchant, and deeply personal chronicle of two years in the maelstrom of Iranian life.”
Why I Have It: I got this book because I loved Lipstick Jihad, the first memoir by this author. It’s also on my Women Unbound Challenge list.
In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnenfeld: “In Hovering Flight is, in brief, the story of the struggles and triumphs of bird artist and activist Addie Sturmer Kavanagh, ornithologist and musician Tom Kavanagh, and their daughter, poet Scarlet Kavanagh. It’s a novel about mothers, daughters, and art; about illness, death, and burial; about fragile eco-systems and tenacious human relationships—all explored through characters who are inspired by the lives, and particularly the songs, of birds.”
Why I Have It: I got this book in a giveaway, I think, because the premise sounded awesome. I wish I knew who I got it from.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl: “…is a buoyant combination of comedy, tragedy, mystery, and romance, a story of disturbing secrets and the eccentric high school student who uncovers them. In vivid prose sprinkled with literary and cultural references, Pessl weaves a complicated tale of self-awakening in a postmodern world.”
Why I Have It: l love the title of this book and got even more excited when I saw that each chapter is based around a great work of literature — an English nerd’s dream! Plus, the first chapter was too dark and funny to not get.
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox: “A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death. So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his.”
Why I Have It: I found this book at a library sale for a couple dollars and was drawn in by the first few paragraphs. I don’t know much more about it than that.
The Book of Illusions by Paul Aster: “Vermont professor David Zimmer is a broken man. … After his wife and sons are killed in an airplane crash, Zimmer becomes an alcoholic recluse, fond of emptying his bottle of sleeping pills into his palm, contemplating his next move. But one night, while watching a television documentary, Zimmer’s attention is caught by the silent-film comedian Hector Mann, who had disappeared without a trace in 1929 and who was considered long-dead. Soon, Zimmer begins work on a book about Mann’s newly discovered films (copies of which had been sent, anonymously, to film archives around the world).”
Why I Have It: I few friends (and bloggers) mentioned loving Paul Aster, so I got this book on clearance one time promising to read him. That was like two years ago and it’s still sitting on my shelf.
So that’s that. What book(s) should I bring to read on my bus odyssey this weekend?