All 6 Novels by Jane Austen
I have seen all the BBC adaptations of Austen’s novels and, while entertaining, they are the sappiest, most over-sentimental TV films I have ever seen (short of anything made by Hallmark Channel, that is). However, I have read that the novels are satirical—something which fails to translate to the screen. I love the idea of Austen’s stories as satire and have wanted to read them for a long time. I have no excuse; Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are sitting idly on my bookshelf, but for some reason I have let them collect dust.
Search and Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google, Inc. by Scott Cleland with Ira Brodsky
Hidden political agendas, threats to democracy, unethical business practices, information collection, unchecked power–it sounds like something from a spy novel. Since I’ve never cracked the spine I can’t say how well documented it is, but I am nonetheless obsessed with this book which, when I finally get around to reading it, will no doubt satisfy the latent conspiracy theorist within. Not that I’m going to free myself from Google’s shackles because of it, though I might start using Bing as my search engine. A little bird named Excessive Advertising told me that people preferred Bing’s search results 2-1 in a blind side-by-side comparison.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Do you ever watch Bones, see the half-decayed masses of human flesh voyeuristically displayed on stainless steel and think, “That is seriously the coolest thing ever!” No? Well, neither have I (not that I would cop to it if I had), but I do find the role of cadavers in scientific study fascinating. Reviews of Stiff were mostly positive and many commented on Roach’s dry sense of humor. I’m sold.
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
I’m the rabid environmentalist in my family, always lecturing about buying organic and the injustices of GMO-engineering mega-corporations. (Monsanto, I have your number!) I’ve read my fair share of environmental books, but have yet to read the book that played a major role in kick-starting the whole movement. I keep stopping to admire the pretty redesigned green cover at the bookstore, and then pass it over for something else.
Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical
I love books by Evangelical women who don’t “fit the mold,” so to speak. This one is at the top of my to-read list—along with A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, Angry Conversations with God by Susan E. Isaacs, and Dating Jesus by Susan Campbell. There are just not enough books by snarky feminist Evangelical women in this world to satisfy me.
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough
Paris, belle Paris! Comme j’aime à lire autour de toi! (Yes, this is a Google translation. Don’t judge.) Paris is an endlessly fascinating city, I’m sure more so during the nineteenth century when it hosted the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mark Twain. And what better person to write about it than my favorite popular historian, David McCullough? Now if I can just finish up John Adams, which I have been reading incrementally since the nineteenth century, I might just have a chance to tackle this one.
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
This mega-bestseller has sparked a lot of controversy. Beloved among the college crowd for its honesty and depth, it is the anathema of many conservative theologians. Thinkers I respect have fallen on both sides of the issue and I have been dying to read it for myself since 2010, but I haven’t found the time… yet.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books on your TBR list are you obsessed with?