Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lit: Books I'm Looking Forward To

I'm working up the nerve to tell my husband that I need to retire soon. I know it's fiscally irresponsible and it will mean he'll have to work extra hours to make up the difference. Still, it's the only way I'm ever going to make it through my every expanding list of books I want to read. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, I'm adding more books to my wish list this week. For an industry that's supposedly dying, the publishing industry keeps putting out a lot of new product!

Just in time for football season (isn't it funny how that happens?) is The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian:

COLLEGE FOOTBALL has never been more popular—or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million.

But behind this glittering success are darker truths: “athlete-students” working essentially full-time jobs with no share in the oceans of money; players who often don’t graduate and end their careers with broken bodies; “janitors” who clean up player misconduct; football “hostesses” willing to do whatever it takes to land a top recruit; seven-figure black box recruiting slush funds. And this: Despite the millions of dollars pouring into the game, 90 percent of major athletic departments still lose money. Yet schools remain caught up in an ever-escalating “arms race”—at the expense of academic scholarships, facilities and faculty. 

Because it's Paris and because someday I'm going there, Paris by Edward Rutherford: 

Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties , passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city—from the building of Notre Dame to the dangerous machinations of Cardinal Richlieu; from the glittering court of Versailles to the violence of the French Revolution and the Paris Commune; from the hedonism of the Belle Époque, the heyday of the impressionists, to the tragedy of the First World War; from the 1920s when the writers of the Lost Generation could be found drinking at Les Deux Magots to the Nazi occupation, the heroic efforts of the French Resistance, and the 1968 student revolt.  

Paul Harding won the Pulitzer Prize for his debut novel Tinkers which I will get around to reading soon. Of course, I might as well have his latest, Enon, waiting to follow that up.  

Here, in Enon, Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy. Grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of Tinkers), Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England, its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey. Along the way, Charlie’s encounters are brought to life by his wit, his insights into history, and his yearning to understand the big questions. A stunning mosaic of human experience, Enon affirms Paul Harding as one of the most gifted and profound writers of his generation.
What have you added to your wish list lately?


  1. Are you really thinking of retiring, Lisa? Won't you miss work? Your recent reading looks challenging i.e. Black and Blue and now Enon. I have a pile of library books that I want to get through slowly. However, your reviews often help me add to my pile of TBR books so, like yours, it's never ending!

  2. Paris and Enon are ones that I have been meaning to read. great picks - enjoy

  3. Not sure if my previous comment went through... just ignore this if it did.

    I listened to an NPR interview yesterday focused on The System... sounds like fascinating reading. I think a lot of the same criticism can be leveled against big-time college basketball, too.

  4. I hear you about the retirement. There's just not enough time in the day for me to read, do my art projects, visit with my grandchildren, and work. Somethings gotta give. These books all look wonderful. Adding to my ever-growing list...

  5. I want to try that Paris book! I had it from the library and then had to take it back. Someday!

  6. I've had my eye on that Paris book ;) One of these days I hope to get to it! Enon...I've heard nothing but amazing things about that one.

  7. Enon is on my list. Paris looks amazing. Did you ever read Rutherford's New York? I haven't but often wondered about it.

  8. To retire and spend every spare moment reading . . . That sounds divine! These books do sound interesting. I've always wanted to read something by Rutherford.

  9. I read Paris a few weeks ago and absolutely LOVED it! I hope you find the time to read it soon as I would love to hear your thoughts.

  10. I'm really looking forward to Paris too. I really enjoy Rutherford's book, having read most of them, and a few multiple times. Right now, I'm reading Madame Tussuad, which is just whetting my appetite more for Paris.