For once the Friday Five plays to my strength: my love of books.
So tell us what you're reading, what you would and would not recommend--five books or authors! And if you don't want to do that freestyle, here are some questions:
1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them.
I recently read True Grit (Charles Portis) and was amazed at the swift plot, the sharp language and the clear characterization of the novel. It's held up well. I've also read The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Lee), The Partly Cloudy Patriot (Vowell), and Bucolic Plague (Kilmer-Purcell).
2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read?
I'm currently working on It Must Have Been Something I Ate (Steingarten) and Pillars of the Earth (Follett), as well as well as A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation (Rouse). In the soon to be read pile are Weekends at Bellevue (Holland) and Deadly Sins- a collection of essays from the New Yorks Times Book Review.
I have a continuing ed event in February combined with a little vacation and I'm looking to read Storyteller (Sturrock) (the biography of Roald Dahl), The Outlander (Gabaldon) (can it REALLY be as good as I've heard) and Hillel:If Not Now, When (Telushkin).
I also just received notice that I'm going to get a copy of Fortunate Sons (Leibovitz) to review, so I'll have to get to that at some point.
3. Have any books been recently recommended?
I recently crossed my 1000th book threshold (since 2002) and received many recommendations including The Boneshaker (Milford) and Shantarum (Roberts).
4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best?
I like travel narratives (Bill Bryson), historical/Biblical fiction (a la The Red Tent) and well-written biographies (Edmund Morris's Theodore Rex).
5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?)
I really enjoyed reading My Life in France, Julia Child's autobiography. Her voice has such enthusiasm and a great deal of joie de vivre shone through the book. It helps to know some French.