erica lori goldman

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44 books read in 2008?

The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon The first half took me weeks to read; the second half took two days. Literally, the VERY middle page is the turning point of the point. Very Chandler-esque, I gather, this whole book. Not my favorite. What's up, yid?
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant Jenni Ferrari-Adler, ed.  
American Gods Neil Gaiman Why is everyone Joe's colon?
"Truckstop" and other Lake Wobegon Stories Garrison Keillor and all the children are above average.
Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer Ohmigod was this story compelling and well-told. I admit that I would never have picked up this book on my own but soooo many people recommended it to me that I finally got it on And then I brought it to camp with me this summer and still didn't read it, and then even when I finally started it this week, I wavered at the beginning about whether I was going to commit to it. And then I got hooked and then I read almost the entire book in two days. Wow.
Pilgrims Elizabeth Gilbert This collection didn't contain the perfect short story or anything, but there were a few good moments.
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls  
"The Black Monk" and "Peasants" Anton Chekhov I'm not a big Chekhov fan. These stories did nothing to increase my fandom.
The View From Saturday E. L. Konigsburg Kid Lit. She is soooooooo good.
Foreskin's Lament Shalom Auslander Great. I went to see him read and have him sign books; I gave FIVE copies away as gifts and have already lent my copy out.
I thought again about Moses, and I realized what had troubled me about that whole damn story; it wasn't simply that God had crushed his life dream because of one lousy sin, though granted that would be sick enough--it was that He knew, God knew He'd never let Moses into the Promised Land... but He still let him wander around the desert like a schmuck for forty years searching for it. --Warmer, warmer, you're getting warmer, you're dead. God loves that joke.
Arthur and George Julian Barnes  
Rachel and Leah Orson Scott Card  
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Anne Tyler Um, Erica, if you don't ever like Anne Tyler books, stop reading them. Ok, but I was halfway to the airport before I realized I forgot to grab the book I wanted to bring with me, and this was in the trunk as emergency backup. Oh, in that case, ok then.
On Beauty Zadie Smith  
Have You No Shame?: And Other Regrettable Stories Rachel Shukert  
Consider the Lobster David Foster Wallace DFW is one of my all-time favorite authors. I can't believe he's gone; the world actually feels emptier.
And it is this, I think, that makes Kafka’s wit inaccessible to children whom our culture has trained to see jokes as entertainment and entertainment as reassurance. It’s not that students don’t ‘get’ Kafka’s humour but that we’ve taught them to see humour as something you get--the same way we’ve taught them that a self is something you just have. No wonder they cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke: that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. It’s hard to put into words up at the blackboard, believe me. You can tell them that maybe it’s good that they don’t ‘get’ Kafka. You can ask them to imagine his art as a kind of door. To envision us readers coming up and pounding, not just wanting admission but needing it, we don’t know what it is but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, pounding and pushing and kicking, etc. That, finally, the door opens... and it opens outward: we’ve been inside what we wanted all along. Das ist komisch.
Life of Pi Yann Martel  
A Million Little Pieces James Frey  
How Goodly Are Thy Tents: Summer Camps as Jewish Socializing Experiences Amy L. Sales and Leonard Saxe Light, fun, summer reading :)
The Tenth Circle Jodi Picoult My first Jodi Picoult, because I've generally looked down my nose at her as being not literary enough and too... Sophie Kinsella. Too girly, too easy, too candy. But I gotta say, this didn't suck. I read it in a few days, the perfect few days for it, needing to ignore my own pain by living in someone else's. A good vacation-from-your-head kind of book, in its suck-you-in ability (not in its light subject matter - rape? murder? fun!). Thanks to Marisa for lending it to me!
July (not much time to read at camp!)
What now Ann Patchett I love you, Marni. You too, Ann.
The Known World Edward P Jones I must say, the mind reels.
The Pursuit of Alice Thrift Elinor Lipman She's hit or miss... I'd say this was a miss.
The Genizah at the House of Shepher Tamar Yellin Another free book! Sent to me as an early review by Library Thing. The second book in two months to employ the expression "chalk and cheese" which I had hitherto never heard.
He had his books spread ostentatiously on the table when his guest arrived, to create the impression of a great scholar, though in fact he was nothing of the kind. Raphaelovitch had read a great many books in his time, but was hampered by his inability to remember any of them. All he could recall were the titles, of which he kept a careful list tucked inside his sleeve for emergencies. He read at speed, believing that the mind could retain more that way. Apart from the standard texts he never went over a book twice, since anything of importance must have been stored in his brain the way sedimentary rocks are laid down by time. On the other hand, any book, once read, became his possession, and he could not bear to part with it.
The Discomfort Zone Jonathan Franzen This is a memoir which I believed, until page 30 or so, to be a novel. Once the realization hit that it was actually non-fiction, I felt a deep disappointment, though if I had been enjoying the read, and I had, what did it matter? It mattered because I had been expecting all the bits of life I'd been ingesting to ultimately Lead To Something, the way they invariably will in a good piece of genre fiction, narrative fiction. A good Tolstoy, where all those different lives would ultimately been seen to be inextricably intertwined, a good Dickens in which the handsome stranger in part two is later proven to be the son of the widow of the powerful landowner sent to jail in part one, a good John Irving in which the beating begins in the first paragraph and doesn't ease up the slightest bit for the next 250 pages. I'd already read The Corrections, after all; I knew what to expect.
No, it's a memoir, and I still enjoyed it and read it to its finish, but without the expectations of It All Coming Together, and of course, it didn't. It wasn't fiction, it was Life. And the realization that accompanied all of this, that Life is actually life and that my own too, will be a memoir and not a novel, well, out of this hole I have not yet climbed.
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen I think I didn't like it as much as everyone else, but I liked it.
Lost in a Good Book Jasper Fforde "Thursday, that's not possible!"
"Anything Is possible right now. We're in the middle of an isolated high-coincidental localized entropic field decreasement."
"We're in a what?"
"We're in a pseudoscientific technobabble."
"Ah! One of those."
The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett So unbelievably good. 900+ pages and it ended too soon.
Imagine Me & You Billy Mernit  
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith  
Gigi Colette Absolutely lovely. Simply delightful.
Step-Ball-Change Jeanne Ray A simple pleasure to pass the time during jury dury; a wonderful little birthday present. Within the first few pages of this book, my theme song, my favorite song, was mentioned. And later, a delightful character named Erica! And of course, a dance teacher. Loved it. (Jeanne Ray is Ann Patchett's mother!)
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert I LOVED this book, despite its popularity :)
The Wisdom of Big Bird Caroll Spinney and J Milligan (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers
Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafón This book was not my style, exactly, in that it was a little too flowery (wayyyyy too many adjectives, wayyyyy too many similes, even for a metaphorphile like me), a little too gothic, medieval, something. I probably would have truly fallen in love with this book had I read it at a different period of my life, back when I was more into this style of writing. Despite all that, though, I did still really like it. You can't go too wrong with a mystery about lost books and secret authors, and there were many surprises and twists in the plot that I didn't anticipate. It was a book I could stay awake late into the night to read, and a book I could be excited to get back into after time away - that's a great review, from me. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd have made a character guide as I went along, though; I got a little lost in all the who's-who and what relationships everyone bore to one another. Thank you, Lewis!!
Diary of a Madman and Other Stories Nikolai Gogol Finally read all the other stories, in addition to "The Overcoat", again.
Me & Emma Elizabeth Flock Without giving it away, I'll tell you that this book uses a technique I've seen a lot lately, yet it never fails to surprise me! See also Good Cop, Bad Cop.
How to Eat Like a Hot Chick Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent Bought it. Read it. Hated it. Returned it.
The Break-up Diet . Annette Fix An advance copy that I reviewed for Library Thing. Hooray for free books!
Skinny Bitch Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman  
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out with an introduction by Lemony Snicket The first book ever for which it's been easier to type in the ISBN instead of the title or author to find it on amazon... I love McSweeneys.
Amphigorey Too Edward Gorey  
The Clique Lisi Harrison Um, don't ask. Unless you want to see my rendition of "My Favorite Things". Don't be confused: this book is not one of them.
Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier  

I have here lists of just about every book I've read in past years, though some years are nicely formatted and some are a big mess. One day I'll get them all looking nice, but when? Oh yeah, the 23rd...

Here we go. This is some thrilling stuff, folks! We have: 2007 and 2006, pretty clean, and 2005, very messy. We have 2004, also messy but slightly more interesting. Here is 2003 and 2002, which I think aren't as bad.

Hey, what's your favorite book ever? What would you recommend as a Great Book to just about anyone? E-me!

By the way, the reason these books are all hyperlinked to their pages on is that I'm an "associate", meaning that if you click through to amazon using any of the links on this page and then buy *anything* (even if it's NOT the item I have hyperlinked), then I get "credit" for having referred you in and I get some little percent of what you spend. So I LOVE IT WHEN YOU CLICK THROUGH! Please do it all the time, every time you want to buy something on amazon, come here first! You're the best!  

You can also use this link to Amazon's main page to buy anything and I'll get a kick-back, yippee!!

© Erica Goldman. e at ericagoldman dot com
People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading.    ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
Take me home.
Last modified May 2009