Book Club

I want to do a virtual book club. How ’bout I list what I’m reading (if you spoil the end I’ll never forgive you) and what books I’ve recently finished then we can talk about them in the comments section below?

Sorry to get all totalitarian on you, but hey, Oprah has a book club and she calls the shots. But please don’t hesitate to make suggestions in the comments. I may add your recommendation to the list. Let me know what you think . . . . 

Currently reading:

Recently finished:

  • A Life In Parts – Bryan Cranston
  • Love Life – Rob Lowe
  • The Secret Man – Bob Woodward 
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  • Everybody Behaves Badly – Lesley Blume 
  • Tippi – Tippi Hedren
  • The Oath – Jeffrey Toobin 
  • American Heiress – Jeffrey Toobin
  • The Run of His Life – Jeffrey Toobin
  • Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • Sounds Like Me – Sara Bareilles

Books always good to discuss:

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  • Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  • The Circle – Dave Eggers
  • Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
  • Barbarian Days – William Finnegan 
  • The Voyeur’s Motel – Gay Talese
  • The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls 
  • Big Sur – Jack Kerouac 
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand 
  • Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand 
  • In Dubious Battle – John Steinbeck 

45 thoughts on “Book Club

Add yours

  1. A few recommendations for you…

    Anything written by Martin McDonagh. Though, note, he’s not for the faint of heart. Brutal dark humor that will likely offend, depending on your bent. You will hate yourself for laughing. His work is probably what inspired me to write plays. A brilliant professor intro’d him to me in the class where I learned how to be a playwright, and he is my forever favorite.

    Moon Palace by Paul Auster. Or literally anything written by Paul Auster. I also love the Invention of Solitude. Moon Palace is my favorite book of all time, and Auster is my favorite writer ever. So much goodness there. I’m reading his new one now, but haven’t gotten too far. It’s an epic.

    Jack Gilbert – poetry on love and etc.

    Robinson Jeffers – poetry about Big Sur with lots of jagged edges. Beautiful and stark and raw.

    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. Short stories perfected…lots to think about regarding loneliness.

    Oh, and because I’m a weirdo, I’ve been devouring Danielle Laporte’s stuff lately.

    Not sure if you do Goodreads or not, but feel free to connect with me there. 🙂


  2. Hi, Did you finish reading brain on fire? I loved that book! I enjoy reading about people’s lives and how they overcome/ deal with their illness/disease.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I first read it a year or so ago. Then after reading your comment I went back and read it again to figure out why I liked it so much. I enjoyed it because there were a lot of parallels between her life and mine (including things that my family experienced). It gave me validation and insite into how interesting the brain is and how it reacts when attacked. Up until chapter 24 she does experience a lot of negativity and lashes out. After that things do get better. Don’t worry no spoilers in case you decide to finish it some day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. CUTTING FOR STONE. Abraham Vergese is professor of med, a teacher at Stanford. I did not know that when I read this book. He spoke at the IACFS conference in SF in 2014. I missed it. I have a fossil crush on him.

    The PIANO TUNER – opening page has the best image ever written, well, in my limited scope….You will know what I mean when you read it. BTW, I have copies of these books. Want me to send?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stumbled here via Discover by Krista. You’re really brave. I met several peeps struggling with Chronic fatigue and at first I just didn’t get it. Thanks for sharing your life. As a writer too, i resonate with how life-giving writing is indeed.
    O, this will sound strange, but I’d like to offer to mail you my book, in the hopes that i will be of some cheer. Get in touch if you would like it. Take care non-whiskey.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this idea of sharing books. I will check out some of the ones you mentioned for sure. I just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and Outlander. I like to mix up genres. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, I’m kind of a fish out of water here.
    I’m currently reading my friend’s unpublished manuscript “How I Got My Scar.” She has a Ph.D. in English Literature.
    Additionally, I just finished Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” and am going to be listening to the audiobook for “Furiously Happy” because reading is just too much sensory overload.
    Hmmm….if I started a book club, I’d have people reviewing adult coloring books. But like one book at a time.
    Well, there’s always got to be one weirdo in the room, and hello….that’s ME!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful. We’re all weirdos here. I had to kick the normal people out. Funny, your mention adult coloring books, I’m not really into coloring them, but I still buy them and love to look at all the intricate lines. And that must maybe me the biggest weirdo of all. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely not like PB. Any Franzen book is good. I am 50 and married a long time – and thought Freedom was for people my age and situation. My 21 year old son read it and really liked it too – so perhaps of interest to all.


  7. A great idea for a blog. Sorry, I haven’t read any of the books on your list, as do struggle with reading. I hope you don’t mind, I noticed a comment about reading problems & I just wanted to add something that has helped me along.

    I couldn’t read at all for a few years & still have difficulty with reading books, retaining the story line, detail if technical etc etc. A reading window was suggested as I was experiencing sensory overload from the other lines of text. Basically a card window that just allows a small amount of text at a time (for paper books that is) & noting where I left off & tabs & round-up reminders. & like with everything, stopping before you tire…even if it’s just a paragraph a day. Hope you don’tind me sharing. & Once again, a great idea for a blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the same trouble with reading, super hard as books have been central to my life since early childhood. Which means I HAVE to read! My lifesavers: recorded books on my smart phone and my beloved PaperWhite e-reader (I can blow up the typeface and set it to an easy-on-the-eyes glow, for reading in low light). I reserve material for both devices online from my local library. It’s actually kind of fun to “browse the stacks” from the comfort of your own couch!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. SO many! I don’t know your taste in literature, but happy to share what I’ve enjoyed. For listening, I prefer fiction to non-fiction, because the narration is usually a lot better. Faves for both the writing and narration include: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Sympathizer, The Underground Railroad, Never Let Me Go, Oryx and Crake, The Blind Assasin, The White Tiger, A Fine Balance, The Little Red Chairs, White Teeth, Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies. I am currently listening to The Name of the Rose for a second time—it’s very dense for a listener suffering from brain fog! A caveat: Most of the material on this list runs to dark… unfortunately most “serious” modern lit does. When I need a break, I listen to Armistead Maupin’s Tales from the City series, which is the best silly good fun I’ve found so far in audiobooks. They’re read by Frances McDormand and Cynthia Nixon; both of them go to town with all the voices. Would love to hear your suggestions too!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Just finished “When Breath Becomes Air” and I thoroughly enjoyed it – very inspirational. I liked the fact that we got an inside view of the medical world from a literary enthusiast. The worlds blended well.
    I listen to audio books also, as the brain fog interferes with concentration visually.
    Just downloaded a David Eggers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I admire your resolve. I’ve been trying to get through a Pynchon novel for ages… I find him as taxing as David Foster Wallace! I’ve decided to try something simpler this month – Dostoyevski.

    Hope this finds you as well as possible today, dear brother.

    Much love,

    PS I’ve a favourite that I might recommend – it’s a little slow, but it is perhaps a favourite of mine. “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. I wonder what you’d make of it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, I found that a treacherous read. I’ve still not figured out what the plot is, as such!

        Have you any suggestions as to how to read and negotiate the whole ‘brainfog’ part of the condition – I’ve been trying to get back into a bit of academic reading but it’s something of a nightmare. But then, others have nightmares more treacherous! you’d think at twenty-seven and ten years of being sick I’d have figured out something in terms of the ME, but without sedatives to calm my nervous system down reading on some days is an absolute slog. But enough complaining; life’s too short!

        Ishiguro had a kind of edifying effect on my life as he broadens things for me – a little like Orwell and Chomsky did in the end! If you’re into audio-books perhaps Ishiguro is best heard there, merely because he is rather slow in his wiring and it’s all first-person narrative, so that might make a difference of sorts.

        Hope you’re having a splendid day thus!

        Much love, and God bless in the meantime.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Great advice and insight. I was just going to say maybe try an audiobook for the brain fog. It helps me understand the text a lot better. Probably be hard to find academic writing on audio but maybe. Also if you have an Apple product you can have Siri read the academic text. I do that a lot. Thanks again for the suggestion I’ll see if I can find Ishiguro on Audible.

          Oh and you’re 27? I’m 28. Wonderful. Where are you located?


        2. Hey. I got your email but it didn’t give me one to reply to. WordPress can be funky. That’s cool you’re in London. How long have you been there? I’ve always wanted to visit Europe. And you’re going to school in London or online?

          And don’t worry about the Theo-speak, I’m not one to censor.


    1. I thought it was great. She is an excellent writer and an even better researcher/historian.

      I read she had a book and movie deal for it before she ever wrote a word. Interesting because she was pretty much an unknown writer. And then of course she brought awareness to MECFS but in the interviews I’ve read she never talks about what treatments she had tried. This must be on purpose I’m just not sure why. Perhaps I’m just more open than she, and of course nobody is looking at me under a microscope.

      How did you like the book? Did you read Unbroken?


      1. She does talk about using very gradual desensitization to overcome her most debilitating (non Pain) symptoms, eg. severe car sickness (that would start 1 minute into a drive) – she started driving an extra minute every week and now can do road trips.


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