Friday, July 8, 2016

My Book Collection

I love books. I've always loved books. The only time I would ever get in trouble in school as a child was because I would read under my desk or during recess, when I was supposed to be outside. My favorite place on Capitol Hill is a used bookstore that sells books for $1 and houses three cats. I've made innumerable trips to that place and bought innumerable books. Maintaining a book collection in a small living space is difficult, though. Every time I move, I have to get rid of some of my books or leave them at home. One day, I'll be able to house all of my precious book babies in the same place. In the meantime, this is what's on my bookshelf right now.

What I'm reading right now:
Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction by Patricia Adler and Peter Adler. I'm reading this for the Criminal Justice course I'm taking this summer on deviance and social control. It's a collection of essays and articles on the subject, spanning everything from theories of deviance to analyses of methods of research on deviance.
The City of Devi by Manil Suri. I started reading this book over spring break and have been cracking it open as often as possible since then. It's hard to read for fun when I'm also required to read for school.
Despair by Vladimir Nabokov. I love Nabokov: he wrote one of my favorite books, Lolita. I've been reading this since winter break. It takes a lot of attention to read, so I haven't been reading it as often as I would like.
The Stranger by Albert Camus. I first tried reading this in high school, but couldn't get into it. I found this copy for $2 at Twice Sold Tales and tried reading it again my freshman year at Seattle University. I was quickly overwhelmed with school work, and had to drop it. I finally picked it back up again when I needed something small to take with me to the beach.

Hilarious memoirs:
Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I ordered this book as soon as it came out: hence, the hardback copy.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. Another immediate order, another hardback copy. I read this in one night when struggling with a bout of depression-fueled insomnia. It helped with both the depression and insomnia.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. This is one of my favorite books! It made me laugh, cry, and want to write more.
Other hilarious memoirs I own: Bossypants by Tina Fey and Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh.

Fantasy series:
The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire. I've read the first two in the last year, and they are two of my favorite books I've ever read.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Confession: I've only read A Game of Thrones and seen the first four seasons of the TV show. I'm a terrible fan, but I was turned off by the sexual violence portrayed in the series. Still, I own the first four of these books.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I first read these books in middle school. I've reread them several times since then, and they still hold up. They're my favorite books. Every time I reread them, I get something new out of them. I call Luxe my dæmon.
Other fantasy series I own: Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

My favorite books:
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. This was one of the first books I read when I came back from Spain, so the Spanglish was much welcome. I actually stole this from my dad (please don't tell him) so that I could have a copy of such a meaningful book with me at school.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. This is the copy my mom bought for me when I was 15. I know what you're thinking: what was a 15-year-old doing reading a book analyzing the life and habits of a pedophile? My mom saw this on a list of classics, liked the cover, and picked it up for me to read for a book report. I'm super grateful she bought it for me, because it's some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I've loved this book since middle school, when I actually short stories inspired by Alice's adventures.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I was surprised to enjoy a book with heavy Christian themes written by such a notoriously Christian author, but I really enjoyed both the story and the writing.
Other favorite books: the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

Yeah... I haven't actually read any of these yet.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Other classics I own (and have actually read): Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Science books:
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Rmachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. This book is about mirror neurons, a subject I first learned about in my first biology-based psychology class. I was so excited to find this book at Twice Sold Tales to learn more about an academic subject that interested me.
Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond by Lawrence M. Krauss. I've always said that if I could study anything in the world, I'd study astrophysics. Unfortunately, I don't understand math well enough to fully comprehend physics, so I read books like this, that break physics down in an easy-to-read way.
An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain by Diane Ackerman.
Eureka! Discovering Your Inner Scientist by Chad Orzel.
Other science books I own: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics by Jennifer Oullette.

Spin-off books:
The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy: Wicked Wisdom of the West edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng.
Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore. I haven't read this yet, but it combines two of my favorite things to read about: Alice in Wonderland and quantum physics.
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials adapted by Nicholas Wright. This is the play version of my favorite book series.
Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman. After years of hoping for an expansion on my favorite book series, I stumbled across this tiny book on Amazon that details a little bit more of Lyra's childhood.

Books I judged by their covers or reputations.
Room by Emma Donoghue.
A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Fiction by Suzette Field.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! by Jonathan Goldstein. I literally just bought this because the author's last name is also Goldstein.
Other books I bought based on their covers or reputations: Aesop's Fables by Aesop, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

Follow me on Goodreads to see more of my book collection, including what I've read and what I'm hoping to read. Check out my friend Olivia's blog to get a taste of some of my literary inspiration.

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