what are you reading?


i’ve been reading a lot the last couple months, visiting the library every couple of weeks, and also attempting to power through my massive backlog of books (i’m kind of overboard with the book-collecting, oy!). i had slowed down with my book consumption around the time that poppy was born in 2008, and for most of her first year because i was so excruciatingly tired and couldn’t really seem to find the time, but this year i’ve been blessed with more and more blocks of free time and thus, my reading appetite has returned with a vengeance.

primarily, i like to read non-fiction: biographies, food, science, history, culture/sociology and any combination of the previously mentioned. i especially love books that focus on subjects relating to health/medicine.


here’s what i’ve been reading lately/have finished this year/hope to start and/or finish soon:

isabella blow: a life in fashion by lauren goldstein crowe — just finished it yesterday! also have blow by blow by detmar blow and tom sykes in my possession but haven’t had a chance to crack it yet; the reviews on the latter are not so good but i’m going to read it anyway for compare-and-contrast purposes.

the food book by james trager — found this @ a thrift store in NYC before we moved from there last year; it’s a book that concerns itself with food history and trivia. one of my favorite thrift book finds of recent years.

kitchen confidential and medium raw by anthony bourdain — i have a bit of a crush on anthony; i love his sense of humor, bravado, potty mouth, punk rock ethos and acerbic wit. the way he slices and dices and skewers the (in)famous and drops drug/counter-culture references with abandon in his shows has me in stitches. after reading both of these books and watching just about every no reservations ever made, i think he’s incredibly intelligent, and kinder and more humble than many people may think. he may not be everyone’s cup of tea but i devoured his books (with relish). the nasty bits is on my bedside table. i read the first two back-to-back, so i thought i’d take a little break from anthony and come back to him later, after i’d read some other books in the backlog.

the mother tongue: english and how it got that way by bill bryson — started this last year, finished it this year. all about the history of the english language…where it came from, how it’s changed, who uses it, where it’s going. lots of funny anecdotes about english told in a light, entertaining way. i think languages are an incredibly interesting subject; i don’t know any other language besides english fluently (i wish i had a million lifetimes to learn them all!), but find the subject of linguistics (in general!) fascinating nonetheless.

AIDS doctors: voices from the epidemic: an oral history by ronald bayer and gerald m. oppenheimer — found this one at the local library while browsing around. as said above, i have always had an interest in books about medicine, infectious disease and the like. it’s an incredibly poignant, personal historical narrative the story of AIDS via the words of doctors who have worked with people who have/had been stricken with the disease over the last 30 years. very compelling read; enlightening as well, as i grew up in the age of AIDS, the 80s and 90s, when the disease was front page news and the subject was omnipresent in the minds of many. it’s interesting to read about it’s discovery and treatment retrospectively.


other books on the nightstand:

plagues and peoples by william h. mcneal (about how infectious disease has affected the course of history/humanity)

the omnivore’s dilemma by michael pollan (just bought this yesterday; have heard a lot about it to date)

bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex by mary roach (loved stiff.)


because i am always on the hunt for good books (and always curious about you!):

what are you reading right now?

what kinds of books do you like to read?

please share!


  1. Krissy

    Interesting reads! I’m also intrigued by Michael Pollen’s books. I’ve seen interviews with him and he seems absolutely fascinating.

    I actually prefer fiction so my suggestions wouldn’t really be of much interest to you. I’m a teacher-librarian in an elementary school so I actually feel terribly guilty about reading “adult” books these days which won’t really help me when suggesting books to students. That said, I’m fortunate to work in a K-8 school and I enjoy reading much of the YA novels that are perfect for gr. 7s & 8s.

    The bottom line: books are wonderful! Enjoy catching up on your to-read list.

  2. tricia

    krissy: oh, you can tell me, i do read some fiction but just not as much as the non-fiction stuff. feel free to mention/recommend anything, fiction or otherwise!

  3. meligrosa

    love how your books look so inviting +by color codinglands, no less ❤
    my GFs and just started a book club at the end of summer. so far we have read girl with the dragon tattoo, piano teacher, a spot of bother & tipping the velvet.
    bikes, books and babes – our club is called

  4. laura

    oh, these sound really interesting! (:
    i also love reading, especially in winter, and they have some fantastic books in our university’s library.

  5. P

    I am reading The Cider House Rules by John Irving, Not the Girl Next Door (a biography of Joan Crawford), and two mangas: Bow Wow Wata #1 and Pichi Pichi Pitch #1.

  6. sarah

    I’m a classic literature girl myself – modernist works of Proust, Woolf, Joyce, I have Don Quixote sitting on my shelf to read, along with a few amazing finds at the local secondhand bookshops: a couple volumes of Hawthorne (including one of short stories), a beautiful Peter Pauper edition of Francis Bacon’s essays and an illustrated copy of Goethe’s Reynard the Fox, which I have always wanted to read (I love medieval bestiary tales).

    It’ll be a fun winter break!

  7. Cherry

    Oooh, love this blog post.

    I currently am reading Room by Emme Donoghue (awesome irish writer), Luella, a guide to english style, and a book about Esther from the Bible.

    Really lusting after Patti Smiths book Just Kids and The Count of Monte Cristo.

  8. Toosdai

    thank you for sharing your books! it is that time of year, as previously mentioned in the comments above, for snuggling inside with a good book. our public library has a massive book sale twice a year, and so i recently picked up a barbara kingsolver essay collection, graphic novel on aventures in paris, l. frank baum biography, david bryne essay collection, bob dylan autobioraphy, jimi hendrix biography, janis ian autobiography, the joy of sex and the beatles by bob spitz. all for $9!

  9. susie_bubble

    I like re-reading books seeing as I don’t have time to get really stuck into new ones… though I might change that… I’m reading some autobiographies of Rudolph Nureyev and Lee Miller…

  10. jungle dream pagoda

    Just read “I shock myself” the autobiography of artist Beatrice Wood…the “Mama of Dada”.
    I actually read lots of biographies of varied types of people…the Carol Channing bio was fun!
    …..but the author I love most is Francesca Lia Block.She is classified as a young adult writer…..but wow….her style is just so lush. you would love her descriptions of the way her characters dress…where they live….and what they eat.!
    …and they are always a speedy quick read with an extra groovy dose of grrrl power.

  11. Sherri Lynn Wood

    I’m reading “The Mill on the Floss” by George Elliot and I just picked up poet Eileen Myles newest book “Inferno” OMG – She’s a living genius. A modern day George Elliot perhaps. You gotta read her. Love this post.

  12. Swan

    alo! well i just read kelly cutrone’s book and loved it. and just also read 2 of quentin crisp’s books.

    here are some other vaguely recent reads from my library list…
    Born round : the secret history of a full-time eater / Frank Bruni.
    Close up and personal / Catherine Deneuve ; translated by Polly McLean.
    The evolution of a Cro-Magnon / John Joseph.
    A freewheelin’ time : a memoir of Greenwich Village in the sixties / Suze Rotolo.
    Half empty / David Rakoff.
    Heteropolis : Los Angeles, the riots and the strange beauty of hetero-architecture / Charles Jencks.
    Sag Harbor : a novel / Colson Whitehead.
    Status anxiety / Alain de Botton.

    and i look forward to reading this…
    Imperial bedrooms / Bret Easton Ellis.

    and william gibson’s new book.

    bye 🙂