No blog post yesterday because my internet was out. *Gasp* what was a girl to do? I had a brief moment of a quickened heartbeat that turned to relief because if the internet was going to go out it couldn’t have picked a better time since I am on quarter break at school. And then I felt almost giddy because the internet was out and there was nothing else to do but read.

The cable guy appeared this morning and it turned out our eight-year-old modem had met its end. So now we have a new modem that is faster than our old one because it searches the available data channels and picks the one with the least traffic instead of just cramming its way into one channel like our old one did. Shiny.

Today is a cold, gray, rainy day and we are expecting the rain to turn into slushy snow tonight. What better time than to do a meme I picked up from Litlove:

Ten Books I Absolutely Had to Have But Still Haven’t Read

  1. Pinkerton’s Sister by Peter Rushforth. When it first came out it made a bit of splash in the blogosphere and it sounded soooo good and it still does. And the author died suddenly and Dead Language, a companion volume came out so I had to have that one too. I still want to read both of them, I really do.
  2. Remember the New York Public Library Lectures in the Humanities Series that featured the seven deadly sins? There are seven little books of about 100 pages on each of the seven deadly sins written by the likes of Francine Prose (Gluttony) and Joseph Epstein (Envy). Had to have them. Had to. They ended up scattered around my shelves and then I decided I had to gather them together and I would read through them one a week sometime. They are still neatly arranged awaiting sometime to come around.
  3. Back when I was reading through Emerson’s essays I had to have a copy of Emerson Among the Eccentrics by Carlos Baker even though I had just read a well done biography by Robert Richardson. Can’t have too much Emerson! And you can’t. But you can have too much of a good thing and I was just going to take a little breather before getting to it. Now I’m on an extended breather apparently.
  4. Since I mentioned biographies, back in, gulp, November 2006, when Leonard Woolf: A Biography by Victoria Glendinning came out I wanted it bad. I bought it right away as an early Christmas present for myself. I was going to read it over the holidays. I didn’t say which holidays though.
  5. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. A book about the year I was born. Had to have that. Also had to have April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Death and How it Changed America by Michael Dyson because that’s my birthday and I’ve always somehow felt a little sad on my birthday thinking about being born the same day such a great man was killed. Bookman even gave me both these books on my birthday and I was so excited to have them. I still am.
  6. Sex Wars by Marge Piercy. She’s a favorite author so of course I had to have this book and got it in hardcover and there it still sits, waiting patiently.
  7. Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg. Margaret Atwood mentioned this in one of those collections where authors talk about favorite books or neglected books or something like that. It sounded so good. I looked everywhere for a copy and finally found one and I was so excited. But apparently I wasn’t excited enough, or maybe I am just extending the excitement in a sort of weird attempt at delayed gratification or something.
  8. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. When I heard about this it sounded right up my geeky hearted alley and I got a copy in hardcover. I was going to read it right away I really was, but I must have been distracted or something. And I know it has gotten mixed reviews since then but I still would like to read it.
  9. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Seems like a year or two ago this was a hot book in blogworld and so many people had such good and interesting things to say about it that I had to get a copy for myself. So, you fellow bloggers who read this one, this is your fault!
  10. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. This one hasn’t even been on the list a year so it barely qualifies. But I had to have it when it came out. There was such a hullaballo and the Time cover and I had never read Franzen before and I didn’t want to miss out on something big. Yeah, that balloon has deflated. I’ll still read it for sure but the sense of urgency is way gone.

So there is the list. Notice how I squeezed in a few more than ten? And if you were here looking at my bookshelves I could point out many other titles that should be on this list but we’ll save those for another meme another time.