Susan’s Book Talk: Two Reading Contests


Okay, I’ve got a TON of stuff for you guys the next few days (and none of it is fictional, scarily enough), so I thought I’d combine two posts into one.

First off is Kailana‘s request for the Blogger List of Books They Cannot Live Without. I don’t expect to see many, if any, of these titles in her final list; they’re too off the beaten path. But they’re right up my alley and they’ve all had an impact on me in one big way or another. (if you want to know how/why, ask. I’ll answer)

Susan’s List of Ten Essential Reads:
1. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green — Joshua Braff
2. Dragonflight — Anne McCaffrey
3. The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon — Richard Zimler
4. I’m with the Band — Pamela DesBarres
5. Cowboys are my Weakness — Pam Houston
6. Bright Lights, Big City — Jay McInerney
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood
9. East is East — T. Coraghessan Boyle
10. Fat Kid Rules the World — KL Going

All of these books have impacted me in one way or another. Many you’ll see in my Library Thing sidebar; I’ve included in my LibraryThing list only the books I’ve really loved.

And now… on to the other book-related list. That’s Katrina‘s Spring Reading Challenge. Check out the cool graphic in my sidebar and join in! Here, we’re supposed to list the books we want to read or finish before June 21.

Beware; you’re about to see that I’m not kidding when I say I have too many books! All but the first three arrived in my house between April 2005 and June 2005. I’d love to have them all read by the end of June, but c’mon. I’ve got a life.

Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson — Peter Ames Carlin
A Crazy Little Thing Called Death — Nancy Martin
Every Little Secret — Lila Shaara
A Darker Place — Laurie R. King
Deadhouse — Linda Fairstein
Cold Hit — Linda Fairstein
Dead Man’s Island — Carolyn G. Hart
The Chatham School Affair — Thomas H. Cook
Final Jeopardy — Linda Fairstein
Blood Harvest — Gary Gottsfeld
Track of the Cat — Nevada Barr
Talk Before Sleep — Elizabeth Berg
Where Serpents Lie — T. Coraghessan Boyle
Harvest — Tess Gerritsen
Bloodstream — Tess Gerritsen
Flashback — Nevada Barr
Deep Freeze — Lisa Jackson
The Puttermesser Papers — Cynthia Ozick
Buried Evidence — Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
The Second Silence — Eileen Goudge
Skinny Dipping — Claire Matturro
I’m no Angel — Patti Berg
Rain of Gold — Victor Villasenor
The Ladies — Doris Grumbach
Grime and Punishment — Jill Churchill
The Quality of Mercy — Faye Kellerman
Under Currents — Francis Fyfield
Shock Rock II — Jeff Gelb (Ed)
Imperfect Strangers — Stuart Woods

Hi, there. My name is Susan and I have a small book problem…



  1. Kailana

    March 23, 2007 7:57 am

    Thanks so much for joining in! I will add you to the list. And you are right, unless I am mistaken only two of your books have showed up on other lists, but that’s okay! Being an individual is a great thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 7:58 am

    Wow, you’re fast! I just finished leaving my comment for you!BR/BR/I hope this is the start of a great book friendship between us.

  3. karen!

    March 23, 2007 9:51 am

    Small book problem… lolBR/(not that I don’t have the same problem)BR/BR/I definitely need to check on Kailana’s request and think of my ten books

  4. cheesygiraffe

    March 23, 2007 10:16 am

    I’ve read 2 on your list and just yesterday I picked up Cowboys are my Weakness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 10:56 am

    Which one other than Fat Kid, Cheesy?

  6. Cari

    March 23, 2007 12:42 pm

    *waves*BR/It’s SKingList from the Relays, etc.BR/Just have to say I hearts; Handmaid’s Tale. Recently got a copy of Bright Lights…, and I need to read it. Like you, far too many books to even try and get my head aroundBR/BR/From your second list:BR/Deadhouse — Linda FairsteinBR/Cold Hit — Linda FairsteinBR/Final Jeopardy — Linda FairsteinBR/BR/You do realize these are a series? Start with FJ but you;re going to want them all now now now when you do ebcause they’re that good ๐Ÿ™‚ I may have a few others if you need them-need to have a looksee to see what scorpiomama hasn’t released.

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 12:51 pm

    Hey, Cari!! Thanks for stopping by!BR/BR/Yeah, I know the Fairsteins are a series. I think I’ve been reading them out of order from the get-go, to be honest. And would you believe, I’ve got them all except the new one? Or … I had them all. I’ve sent a few on their ways already.

  8. L^2

    March 23, 2007 1:04 pm

    IThe Handmaid’s Tale/I and IOne Hundred Years of Solitude/I are on my long list of books to read, but who knows when I’ll actually get to them. So many books, so little time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Linda

    March 23, 2007 1:34 pm

    looks like a lot of good books to read…I may have to print this list and see if I can find them at our local library and start readin’!BR/BR/Michele sent me today!

  10. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 1:35 pm

    I can’t vouch for the quality in any of the bottom list… they may turn out to be horrible! (at which point, I can stop reading, scratch them off the list, and move on to the next)

  11. Cari

    March 23, 2007 3:06 pm

    LMAO, sounds like me reading the Alex Cross series. I really am all over the place with those.BR/BR/I have Bad Blood which is the new one. Remind me when you get around to reading it if you haven’t tracked down a copy and I’ll send mine your way if I’ve read it.BR/BR/Silly school taking up far too much of my time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Rhonda Stapleton

    March 23, 2007 3:47 pm

    Oh man, I feel your pain. My TBR pile is getting HUGE now…LOLOLBR/BR/YAY for book addictions!!!!

  13. Stephanie

    March 23, 2007 3:51 pm

    I have Handmaid’s Tale on my list as well! I love Bright Lights, Big City. BR/BR/Yeah…I’ve got a book problem too. I have like 7 challenges going….and I work full-time, have 3 kids 10 and under, and have a calendar full of things to do. But that hasn’t stopped me yet!!BR/BR/Great lists…both of them!

  14. PI

    March 23, 2007 4:54 pm

    I have become less of a bookworm as I have got older and find I can read a book now – enjoy it and then forget it. Maybe I spend too much time writing. And I have always preferred non fiction.BR/Michele says Hi!

  15. Nise'

    March 23, 2007 6:51 pm

    Loved the end of your post… True of many of us I am sure. I have read the Fairstein books and liked everyone of them! I have her newest Bad Blood on my list!

  16. littlebirdblue

    March 23, 2007 6:59 pm

    IHandmaid’s Tale/I, for sure!BR/BR/If you ever get a chance to hear Ms. Atwood speak, do! She’s amazing. I also like her six-word story:BR/BR/BR/Longed for him. Got him. Shit.BR/–Margaret Atwood

  17. Katrina

    March 23, 2007 7:22 pm

    Wow, that’s quite a list for the Spring Reading Thing!! And I have to confess, I have a “book problem,” too — but I think that’s one of the best problems to have. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for being part of the challenge. Enjoy your reading!

  18. Amy Ruttan

    March 23, 2007 7:38 pm

    You don’t want to see my list, Susan. Should we join “Readers Anonymous” or something like that.BR/BR/Because of TT I ordered two more books from Chapters yesterday. INTO THIN AIR and SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET.BR/BR/Hello, my name is Amy and I have a book fetish.

  19. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 7:59 pm

    Amy, I ought to introduce you to my book friends. You’ll fit in juuuuuusssssttttt fine. (and instead of spending money on books, you spend it on postage to mail those books. And then you go out and buy more anyway, just because you can.)

  20. nessie

    March 23, 2007 11:19 pm

    I love your list. And understand the small book problem. My dad used to buy me 10 books a week on the condition that I would finish them all by the next week end. I always did. He really regretted the promise.

  21. Holly

    March 24, 2007 1:38 am

    I absolutely LOVED The Handmaid’s Tale. It was given to me by a friend and I was told I would love it. Being given to me by a friend with similar views as mine, I began it that night and read it during every bit of free time I had until it was finished. It was also the first thing I’ve ever read by Margaret Atwood and since then I have been completely in love with her.

  22. Rae

    March 24, 2007 5:53 am

    That’s quite the list, Happy Reading! =)

  23. Jean-Luc Picard

    March 24, 2007 9:36 am

    I know I enjoyed ‘Final Jeopardy.’

  24. Sanni

    March 24, 2007 11:58 am

    Ha! “Hi there. My name is Sanni and Iร‚ยดve a small book problem, too. So I enjoyed your list plus, because it offers many other great reads” =)BR/BR/Have a great weekend, Susan!

  25. Cheri

    March 24, 2007 3:01 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my reading list. You’re right – yours is longer. But I didn’t list fiction – I tend to read those as they catch my eye at the library, so I didn’t include them.BR/BR/Have a great time working through your list!

  26. cheesygiraffe

    March 24, 2007 3:03 pm

    The other book on your list that I’ve read is The Handmaid’s Tale. So tell me what’s great about Cowboys are my Weakness by Pam Houston? I may have to bump it up on my queue. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Robin

    March 24, 2007 4:43 pm

    Add me to the list of Margaret Atwood fans! I loved The Handmaid’s Tale, but I think I liked Oryx and Crake even more. BR/BR/I also read I’m With The Band years ago, definitely a fun read, and I haven’t looked at Mick Jagger the same way since ;-).

  28. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 24, 2007 5:10 pm

    Okay, so… I have to admit that Handmaid is the only Atwood I’ve really liked. Of course, I haven’t sat down with any of her books in years; being older and wiser will probably change the way I interact with her. (no, no need to send me any! Thanks!)BR/BR/Cheesy, as for Cowboys… Hmm. What can I say? I was 23 and single when I first read this collection. I was struck by its honesty, its lyricism, and just the mastery of the language. Plus, Pam’s life. To be an adventurer like that… Wow. I’ve read all of her books since then and as much of her non-fiction as possible; I wish someone would collect all the essays she’s done over the years and publish THAT. She’s just an outstanding writer.

  29. scribbit

    March 24, 2007 5:41 pm

    Grime and PUnishment cracked me up. Sounds like a novel about our life.BR/BR/I didn’t like The Handmaid’s Tale though. Not at all–but then that required reading in college and maybe that’s why.

  30. Dana

    March 24, 2007 6:04 pm

    Hi. I’m Dana and I am a bookaholic!! Just can’t stay away from books. Will try some of the books on your list ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 24, 2007 6:06 pm

    Dana, you know I’ll send any of them your way when I’m done with them! Just ask.BR/BR/Heck, that goes for all of you!

  32. crowwoman / rhian

    March 25, 2007 8:37 pm

    Ha! Sounds like i’m not the only one around who works for books, not paycheck. On a normal week i average reading 5-6 books, so you SO do not want to see my TBR pile. I admit lately though i’ve been a book whore and buying up everything i can get my hands on by the authors popping by my blog. Makes for a different reading experience than reading a book by someone you’ve never chatted with. Even going back and rereading books i already had by authors i now know, gives me a different perspective on the stories.BR/BR/I was surprised that the only book i’ve read from your top list was Dragonflight. I love all her tales.

  33. Deena

    March 26, 2007 11:36 pm

    LOL!! You should see MY book problem!! I sense some cozy mysteries in that list…are you a cozy fan too??

  34. musie..i forgot everything..

    April 2, 2007 7:20 pm

    i’ll trade you my ap book for any of the above..oh wait that’s not fair to want books you *want* to read, not ones i don’t. LOLBR/BR/i don’t have a small book problem..i have a storage problem. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Susan Helene Gottfried

    April 2, 2007 8:46 pm

    Musie! I’ve missed you!BR/BR/This may surprise you, but I’d take an AP book. It’ll help me understand my sports med doc! He uses lots of lingo that I understand at the time but when I try to explain it to my trainers or the Tour Manager, for-get it!BR/BR/That won’t help you pass the course, either. And you gotta pass, woman!

  36. Nancy J. Bond

    April 3, 2007 12:04 am

    A very ambitious list! Another book to keep in mind for a good read is Ami McKay’s “The Birth House”. I just finished reading it and it’s an amazing book. Congrats on being featured in the first TT Carnival!

  37. Sanni

    April 3, 2007 6:11 am

    Congrats on being featured in the 1st T13-Carnival – again I have to say how much I love this post! Please keep up the great work!BR/BR/xoXOxo,BR/BR/your German bookworm =)

  38. Susan Helene Gottfried

    April 3, 2007 7:26 am

    Nancy, Sanni, thanks for the heads up about the Carnival! I’m quite flattered and pleased to have made the cut.BR/BR/Nancy, it seems EVERYONE is raving about that book right now. A definite add to my wish list!

  39. Marcia

    April 3, 2007 2:03 pm

    Congrats on being chosen for first Thursday Thirteen carnival. So many books, so little time.

  40. Twisted Cinderella

    April 4, 2007 9:56 am

    Here via the TT carnival. There are some great books on here. I have to start getting to the library and the used book store more often.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *