Wanna Swap?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009
We could start our own little book club. Say we post or tweet a little blurb about the books we're reading then I mail one to you and you mail one to me? We get to choose which one we want to try and we get a month to read and send it back or pass it on again. Are you game?

Recently I finished The Liar's Club by Mary Karr (winner, PEN/Martha Albrand Award), From Our House by Lee Martin, The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen, Barcelona the Great Enchantress by Robert Hughes and On Michael Jackson by Margo Jefferson (Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The New York Times).

The Liar's Club is by far the best but certainly the most disturbing. Karr writes about her childhood and her dysfunctional family. She adds in humor along the way but some of the tales include details that make you shudder. I laughed out loud, cringed and even cried. Certainly worth a read!

From Our House is also a memoir about Lee Martin's childhood. His father loses both hands in a farming accident and all 192 pages discuss his quest to try to become friends with his dad and break through the anger. This book isn't that special because really, this is everyone's story: family dynamics. There are struggles but we all have struggles.

The Discomfort Zone is a memoir written by Jonathan Franzen. (Wow - should I move on from the memoirs already!?) I do adore this book because it chronicles his stages of adult life and relationships. Franzen writes about how he grows to know himself more. In the end, he falls upon an intense love of the hobby, birding and the way he writes about his discovery inspired me to pursue my own hobby. An easy and inspirationsal read.

In Barcelona, the Great Enchantress, Robert Hughes writes about the history of this city, his home away from home and drops suggestions on places to go and things to see. I was relieved after reading the book to find in almost the last chapter information that yes, folks in Barcelona will speak Spanish even though their official language is Catalan. (I'm going for a visit and although I tried, I find Catalan very hard to learn.)

On Michael Jackson is a very quick read with an interesting perspective. (I read this one as research for an article I'm writing for Avantoure.) Jefferson who is an excellent writer, parallels Jackson's life with that of a circus freak. She believes he was a man who was never a boy and lived a life no one understood in order to compensate.


Michael said...

Check out http://bookmooch.com, it's similar to your exchange idea. You post books you are willing to give away, then other users request them. For books within your own country, you receive 1 point for sending (you pay shipping). Then if you find a book you want, it costs 1 point and they send it to you (they pay shipping). You get a freebie point or two to get started, plus you get .1 points for each book you add to your "inventory" to give away. So far I've sent out almost 80 books and received around 50.

Denae said...

This sounds good Michael! Thank you. I'll check out your blog.

Michael said...

Eeek, my old, outdated, and no longer in use blog!

Teri's Blog said...

I would love to, but I get my books from the library, so I can't really give them away. :(

Denae said...

Me too, Teri! Mine are either thrift store or library. I just picked up "Plainsong" today from the library.

Desiree Mills said...



GREAT Book....
They are making a movie of it soon with Johnny Depp acting as Gregory David Roberts.
You can believe that a person can go through so much in one lifetime.

Denae said...

Des - love it! Thanks. This is a great one. Michael - don't worry, I didn't look at your blog yet afterall. ;)