All of the gifts that they gave
Can’t compare in any way
To the love I am now
Giving to you
Right here”–Morrisey’s “It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore”
Like Morrissey, I am a Baby Boomer, though would he call himself that? Yes, “all of the [birthday] gifts that they gave/Can’t compare…,” but I’m a birthday bibliophilic materialist, and when my husband told me he bought my gift at the Hy-Vee, I knew he needed help.
If he rides his bike ten miles to the edge of the strip mall zone, he’ll find himself at a bookstore.
And if anyone else would like to buy one of the books on my Top 10 Books I Want to Read This Fall list, we can share–and, oops, I just sent them the link!
Here is The List.
1. Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints. The comedienne Phyllis Diller just died. She made me laugh in the ’60s: she mocked being a housewife, constantly smoked cigarettes in a cigarette holder, wore feather boas and zany hairstyles, and referred to her husband as Fang. I can’t afford this 1966 paperback: $20 to $69 at Amazon.
2. John Fowles’ The Magus. I loved The French Lieutenant’s Woman and enjoyed the movie with Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep. And I keep coming across “summer reading” recommendations of The Magus, and there’s also a movie with Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, and Candice Bergen. According to the overview at B&N, “The Magus is the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching assignment on a remote Greek island. There his friendship with a local millionaire evolves into a deadly game, one in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas must fight for his sanity and survival.”
3. Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars. I love science fiction, and this is said to be set in a post-apocalyptic world where the hero lives at an airport, flies a 1956 Cessna, and has a dog.
4. Nick Hornby’s More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself, a collection of his witty book columns from The Believer.
6. Kingsley Amis’s The Old Devils. NYRB is reissuing this 1986 Booker Prize winner. I love Amis’s books, especially Lucky Jim and Take a Girl Like You.
7. Louis MacNeice’s Roundabout Way. According to Capuchin Classics, “This picaresque, comic novel wittily satirises the social mores and youthful idealism that prevailed in London and the Home Counties between the wars, and will be a treat for the considerable number of MacNeice devotees across the Anglophone world.”
8. Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance. The Wall Street Journal recently recommended this in an article about books about sin. According to Paula Fredrickson, “This panoramic novel, with its finely drawn ensemble of characters, arcs across cultures and continents as Wouk explores the global paroxysm that was World War II.”
9. Lisa Alther’s Washed in the Blood. I loved Alther’s ’70s masterpiece Kinflicks, and other comical novels, but haven’t come across her recent historical novel. Amazon says, “This unique three-part novel assumes that, regardless of what Americans learn in school, the Southeast was not a barren wilderness when the English arrived at Jamestown. It was full of Native Americans , other Europeans, and Africans who were there for various reasons.”
10. Eowyn Ivey’s first novel, The Snow Child, was recently nominated for an award, though I can’t remember what award. A couple creates a child out of snow in Alaska: supposed to be beautifully written, etc., etc.