books, Chicago Tribune, dr jekyll and mr hyde, geneen roth, Grandma, Mary A Osborne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
If you like to read, this challenge will intrigue you: write a list of the last five books you’ve read. Then consider what your list might mean to someone else.
John Warner figures that out in his weekly Chicago Tribune column titled The Biblioracle. From the lists emailed to him, he assesses what the person likes to read—for instance, a list may show that the reader “likes solid characters” or “doesn’t mind going down a weirder path”—and then recommends what to read next.
Warner’s column came to mind last week as I was thinking about this belated Monday post. I was far from home, “house sitting” my young adult, self-sufficient grandchildren. and had thought I’d have lots of time to read. I didn’t, however, because it was much more fun hanging out with them as they dashed in and out between their active work and school schedules.
But I did squeeze in reading three books. So, pretend for a moment that you are a Biblioracle and are figuring out what you think I may want to read next.
Timothy Kurek’s The Cross in the Closet, the story of a young white male, a Southern Baptist, who goes undercover for a year as gay to experience that life first hand.
Mary A. Osborne’s (author of Nonna’s Book of Mysteries) Alchemy’s Daughter (forthcoming, second in a series of three), a story of a young woman in fourteenth century Italy torn between convention and desire.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story of a man who changes personalities back and forth between good and evil.
Because the Tribune’s Biblioracle has a list of five to work with, I’ll add two books I bought while on a shopping spree with my granddaughters that included a thrift store. I’ve not read them yet, but the titles seem to tell their story.
Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
Lewis Smedes’ Standing on the Promises: Keeping Hope Alive for a Tomorrow We Cannot Control
At the end of the week with my grandchildren, I spent the weekend with one of my sisters living nearby. We are known to talk for a week straight, so we had to talk fast.
Of course we talked books. She was my high school American Literature teacher in 1958. I told her my idea for this post and gave her my list of titles. She volunteered her recommendation for my next read: John Grogan’s (author of Marley and Me) new memoir, The Longest Trip Home, the story of a spiritual struggle.
Do this exercise for yourself. Do you see a pattern in what you choose to read, or do you like to skip and hop among the variety of selections?
If you’d like to make a recommendation for me, let me know by clicking on comments at the bottom of this post. Happy reading!
Mina Vander Pol said:
I just finished reading The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It was very interesting-especially for people involved in medicine. You may have already read it. True story.
Lois Roelofs said:
Thanks for the info, Mina. I’ve read good reviews and my book club in myy building read it this year and liked it. Unfortunately, I took a hiatus from our club this year becuase of taking my class with all its readings. But it will now go on my reading list for sure. I also read about her diligent promo efforts that gave the book the wide attention it deserved. It raises serious ethical questions.
Marianna Cranem said:
What a fun challenge. Maybe it will become an app like Pandora that predicts my taste in music for my i-pad.
Lois Roelofs said:
Yes, fun! It’s sort of like Amazon’s predicting what we might like based on our history with their books site.
Norma Osterhouse said:
I just finished reading the book In the Shadow of the Banyan. It’s fiction but based on the author’s experience in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge came in power. She has absolutely beautiful metaphors. She has won many awards for this first book of hers.
Lois Roelofs said:
Thanks, Norma. I hadn’t heard of this. I’ll be sure to add it to my list. I like when I learn from different cultures. And I’m envious when writers write great metaphors. My mind doesn’t work that way!