Friday Book Chats: Books on my Amazon Wish List

For the past two years that I’ve been living in Korea I’ve been doing the majority of my reading on my kindle. Like most big readers, I have a list of “to-read” books that only gets longer. My strategy for deciding what to read next is simple. I keep an Amazon Wish List with all of the kindle books I want to read. Every day I check my list to see if anything has gone on sale. When a book drops to the $1.99 – $3.99 price range, I’ll buy it. Then, when I finish a book, I choose my next read from my list of recent purchases.

Getting a library card is at the top of my list of things to do once we arrive in Columbia, and once I have access to library books I imagine I’ll be cutting back on my kindle purchases significantly and my Amazon Wish List will probably be converted into a Library Request List. In the meantime, I thought I’d share what’s on my wish list. (OK, I’m not sharing everything on my list because there are 67 books on it, but I am sharing a lot!)

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (author of Ender’s Game). Fantasy. One of my good friends from college recommended this to me a while ago thinking I would like it because it’s a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. He’s right, that’s right up my alley.

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. Fantasy. I’ve heard this fantasy trilogy is a bit dark but also amazing. The main character is an apprentice assassin.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Fiction. I watched the movie version of this story of an accomplished professor who is struck with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The movie was really thought-provoking, but also difficult to watch because it was so sad so I think I’d have to be in the right mood to read it.

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Non-fiction/organization. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews of this book. I can’t tell you how many bloggers, youtubers, etc I’ve heard talking about it. I can’t quite imagine what could be so life-changing about a book on organization, but I’m intrigued!

Euphoria by Lily King. Biographical Fiction. This has been on my list forever. This is a novel inspired by the life of Margaret Mead, one of the most famous anthropologists in history. It’s essentially a love triangle in a tropical jungle. As a bit of anthropology nerd, I’ve been dying to read this for a long time, but it’s always so darn expensive. Library it is!

My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman. Non-fiction. Spiritual memoir/Christianity. This has been highly recommended to me by a respected friend and I anticipate it being a slow, savored read. This is a spiritual reflection on what a viable contemporary faith looks like.

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. Fiction. This came out earlier this year and is a companion book to Life After Life. I’ve read a lot of Atkinson’s books and I love them all. I think she’s a tremendous writer.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg. Non-fiction/Memoir/Food. I really enjoyed Wizenberg’s second book, Delancey, which was about she and her husband opening a pizza restaurant. This is her first book which is more memoir, telling the story of her life centered around the kitchen. You know how I love food books.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Non-fiction. Vegetarianism. This book explores the ethics of eating animals. While there are plenty of books on vegetarianism out there, I’m interested to read this one because I already like the author. I’m not sure that I’d ever be vegetarian – my body doesn’t process starches well so trying to be a vegetarian with no starches would literally leave me with fruits and vegetables, but ever since reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma I have become very interested in becoming a more conscientious consumer, something that will be more possible for me in the upcoming months as we move back to a land with options and labels.

Upcoming Releases:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Non-fiction/Creativity. Gilbert shares her approach to the creative life and gives tips for attitudes, behaviors and habits to make it a success. I’ve heard really good things about the content. Release Date: Sept.22

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Non-fiction. Spiritual memoir. This is probably my most-anticipated book of the year. I am deeply moved by much of Bolz-Weber’s unconventional writing and speaking and I have high expectations for this new book. Release Date: Sept 8

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. Non Fiction/Humor/Memoir. I loved Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Her writing is smart and funny and I love her personality, or at least the personality that she projects in these books. Release Date: Sept 15

The Lake House by Kate Morton. Fiction. I have loved all of Morton’s previous books which are rich and atmospheric. This book is about a woman putting together the pieces of  the unsolved disappearance of her brother decades before. Release Date: October 20

What’s on your To-Read list?

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14 comments

  1. Hi,
    What’s on my to read list is a lot.
    Since I will visit indonesia in november I want to read some books/novels about indonesia. having read ‘the tea lords’ by Hella Haasse and ‘the song and the truth’ by Helga Ruebsamen, I still want to read ‘the hidden force’ , by Louis Couperus, ‘From sugar to tobacco’ by P.A. Daum, and some other novels about indonesia.

    Besides that I recently got my hands on a booklet from Selma Lagerlöf (from Sweden, first female nobelprize for literature) called ‘christ legends and other stories’, and I still want to read ‘we’ by David Nicholls and ‘the promise’ by Chaim Potok, which is a sequel to ‘the Chosen’. I also want to read ‘Eating decent, a self-experiment’ by Kate Duve (german) about a woman who changes her diet on organic products, becomes a vegetarian, a vegan and later a fruitarian.

    a friend of my told to read something from Nabokov, but haven’t decided on that one yet ;). some other books from Jhumpa Lahiri then the ones I read and very much liked (‘the lowland’ and ‘in altre parole’) and also still want to read ‘the circle’ by Dave Eggers

    k.r.
    Ben

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    1. I think it’s really cool that you read books from such diverse authors. I would like to get better about reading more international books. I don’t think I read a lot that wasn’t written in English originally. It’s not intentional, I think those are just the books I hear about most in my circles. You’ve got some really good choices here. Also, I’m kind of jealous that you will go to Indonesia in November! I’ve only been to Bali, but it was a great experience!

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      1. Most books I read are originally or translated in Dutch ( about 80%), although I do read in English( about 19,5%) and sometimes in French ( I think less than 0.5%). I am not intentional reading foreign writers, but they happen to come on my path. But I must say, I’m often curious to read foreign authors and reading one leads to another. If you like I can give you some recommendations from international (non American) writers I like.

        I am really looking forward to going to Indonesia, where I will visit Java and Bali. On Java we will do a tour over the island and in Bali we will stay in Kuta (near Denpasar) for a few days.

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      2. Ah, I see. That makes sense. 🙂 There are relatively few books written in your native language so you would naturally look to more international authors. I read a lot of British, Irish, and Australian writers, but relatively few writers who don’t write in English. Bali is lovely and I think it’s very different from the rest of Indonesia since it is the only Hindu island. I stayed in Ubud which has become very touristy, but is still a beautiful and interesting place to explore. The whole island is quite small (it takes maybe 2 or 3 hours to drive from end to end) so it’s easy to see different places even on a short trip.

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      3. I guess you’re right, but it also can be a social/cultural thing. in the Netherlands lots of cultures are present in a relative small country. refugees, immigrants, whatsoever bring parts of their foreign culture, also with books and writers. And Dutch people have a long history with focus on trade with foreign countries, and are influenced by their colonial history. Writers like Kader Abdolah, who writes Dutch, but takes a persian atmosphere in his books (read ‘My fathers Notebook’) leads me to writers as Amirrezvani (‘equal of the sun’) and Hosseini (‘the kite runner’, ‘and the mountains echoed’)

        By the way: two books I really need to recommend to you and the rest of the world (maybe you already know them) ‘crusade in jeans’ from the Dutch writer Thea Beckman and ‘The letter for the king’ of Dutch writer Tonke Dragt. Both of these stories are youth literature, but very well worth reading!

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  2. You will LOVE the downtown Columbia library. It’s one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever visited, and it consistently gets national awards for being awesome.

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  3. I like your Kindle book selection process! I use GoodReads as my means of keeping track. I don’t read as much as I would like. I have so many things I want to do and read and see that its more of a chaotic whirlwind in my mind! I just wait until something in that whirlwind stands out…lol! Is that approach the best? I don’t know but hey!

    When you talk of Columbia is that South Carolina btw?

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    1. I use GoodReads too, but my Amazon list is more economical since I don’t have to search through a bunch of titles on my Goodreads list and try to find a deal. And yes, I am talking about Columbia, SC

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