I suppose it’s about time I gave these their own fancy little clickable category.
1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Most of the people I meet tell me that their least favorite book in a trilogy is the middle one (Catching Fire, The Two Towers, The Subtle Knife). “Nothing happens!” they cry. I am just the opposite: the second novel of a trilogy is usually my favorite because all of the players are on the board, the climactic ending with everything tied up in a neat bow is a book away, and the only thing left to do is play with the characters. No exposition, no dramatic speeches illuminating the grand moral of the thing, nothing but pure plot.
This particular “middle book” is rich with interpersonal stuff : Katniss realizing she and Haymitch are more alike than she’d like to admit, both Katniss and Peeta realizing she has been jerking him around intentionally or otherwise, Gale formally throwing his hat in the ring even as he has been relegated to cousin status), a shocking shift to the established order of The Hunger Games, great new characters to show Katniss new sides to herself and a world she assumed she understood, and a pretty awesome arena (even if it is a dastardly death trap).
Any book I haven’t read is a terrible temptation to play hooky, but this one in particular seems like one I’d have to read cover to cover without so much as a bathroom break.
3. The Path of Druidry: Walking the Ancient Green Way by Penny Billington
A day without work seems like the perfect day to spend doing spiritual exercises and re-connecting with nature, with the bonus of researching my novel.
4. The Mabinogion by Old-Timey Welsh People
I have been a mythology nut since I discovered my first D’Aulaire’s in sixth grade (and I was really into fairy tales before that). Having exhausted Greek and Norse myth, and dabbled in those from Senegal and Vietnam, I am now reading Welsh myths, and I’d love nothing more than to loaf about all day and enjoy them.
A big, beautiful book I’ve only had the chance to flip through since I picked it up. The contents range from southwestern tall tales to Native American myth and the fabled Paul Bunyan.
6. The History of Printing in America by Isaiah Thomas
Why do half of my choices sound like homework? I bought this massive tome from an old salt rocking rainbow suspenders at the International Printer’s Fair in Los Angeles (I bought one of his letterpress prints, too). Several printmakers saw me carrying it around and stopped to tell me it’s a great read, I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Probably because it’s so long. With a whole day, I think I could make a dent.
7. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
I have been reading a page or two of this novel between appointments and I am always reluctant to put it down. It truly is the funny version of The House of Mirth. Still hoping that crazy Lily Bart will get it right one of these days.
8. Le Ventre de Paris by Emile Zola
What could be better on a layabout day than reading a book about all the delicious things to eat in France (with a wedge of brie and sleeve of crackers at one’s side)?
9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
If the day in question were a rainy one.
10. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Nothing makes me feel more devious than shirking my duties, so a long book packed with devious people avoiding their duties seems just the ticket!