My Library of 2008

I’ve become a pretty avid reader in the last six months. I’ll always be a firm believer in reading because I know that it makes me a stronger designer. My mind automatically tries to draw parallels between the story and things in my life, regardless of the subject-even if I’m reading a short story about a crack addict in Harlem. It might be the egoist tendencies to relate everything to me, but it certainly makes for interesting patterns when I do recognize them, and they’re always inspirational when I discover them.

I feel like I’ve come across several books I’ll be going back to for years to come, they’ve really affected me in the best way a book can. I’m going to highlight two:

My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead

My Mistresses Sparrow is Dead edited by Jefferey Eugenides. (also a stunning cover)

An anthology of love stories and not the kind of Jane Austen “live happily ever after” love story or chick lit, but a really nice array of short stories, men and women can both enjoy. He captures Love in every way it’s experienced, within families, between a husband and wife, ancient love in old couples, love full of emotional baggage, unconditional love, love that brings bliss and also the well known kind of love that throws you to the deepest depths of pain. It spans from old Russia to modern day, and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone. Another plus is, all purchases also help to support 826, a fantastic non profit that helps kids develop their writing skills.

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I was going through a kind of rough spot at work, and this was particularly thought provoking for me. It helped me take a good hard look at what I have been doing and what I want to be doing. A rigorous read, this is definitely no beach book.

The Others of 08
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, it’s why I’m a proud recepient of  a weekly seasonal (and delicious) vegetable box
The Alchemist by Coelho, a quick thoughtful read
White Teeth by Zadie Smith, I really hated this book. I didn’t believe or feel invested in any of these characters.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, a truly hilarious laugh out loud book
Slouching towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, beautiful prose an easily accessible anthology
The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Murakami, a weird swim between dreams and reality
Kafka on the Shore by Murakami, same, but such a page turner!
Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik with Peter Mortensen, I designed the book cover for this one so I’m obviously biased, but I believe in the power of widespread empathy and I love all of the case studies and stories from the designers and executives.
Started and Never finished
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I guess you have to have a connection to motorcycles or a sense of hands-on tinkering in order for this to resonate. I don’t have either, so I quickly lost interest within the first 50 pages.
Freedom Song, absolutely loved the first short story, really didn’t like the second, thus never made it to the third.
The Inheritance of Loss, I like quiet moments and the stories that can be told in the details, but this moved a little too slow for my taste.
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2 Responses to My Library of 2008

  1. stelladelray says:

    For the longest while I wanted to be Dagny and then be John’s and Howard’s lover. Good book, but probably the wrong one to read during a rough time at work . Have you read ‘The Eight’? It’s a good edge of the seat read.

    • annmaryliu says:

      I’ve never heard of “The Eight”, but I’ll make sure to look into it, I’m always up for good book recs!

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