Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Getting for My Birthday

This week, I’m celebrating a birthday! I thought it would be fun to end the week with a wishlist of books that I would love to have gotten for my birthday. No, friends and family, I do not expect you to go out and buy these for me. This is instead a fun way of compiling all of those books I’ve been eyeing into a list. Hopefully, I’ll get my hands on them somehow soon, either through the library, swapping for them online, or buying them.

Here are the ten books I wouldn’t mind getting for my birthday.

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight (2013) by M.E. Thomas

confessions of a sociopath

This is about exactly what it sounds like.  A sociopath whose written how she has navigated her life.  I’m intrigued.

Deadline Artists: The Greatest Newspaper Columns (2011) by John Avlon

deadline artists

I don’t know a lot about the newspaper business, but I can see how those who write on a deadline are artists and have immense talents.  I would love to get to know them better through this compilation of the best newspaper columns.

Homeward Bound: The New Cult of Domesticity (2013) by Emily Matchar

homeward bound domesticity

I have focused a lot of my Ph.D. research on domesticity and the workplace of the home.  In my culture and politics of motherhood class, we read a column that Matchar wrote about Mormon mommy bloggers.  I’m intrigued by her perspective on such issues.

The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann

the magic mountain

I haven’t read much German literature, and this one sounds interesting.  It’s a classic, right?

My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City (2013) by New York Magazine

my first new york

I’ve become a little obsessed with New York City since visiting there in February to be on The Katie [Couric] Show.  I really want to go back and explore the city more.  This book would give me a way to do that without leaving the comfort of my couch.

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (2014) by Jimmy Carter

a call to action jimmy carter

This seems like a must-read, especially for me since I’m interested in feminism and my research focuses on women from a feminist perspective.

The One & Only (2014) by Emily Giffin

the one and only giffin

Here’s a secret: I love chick lit.  I don’t post about it often, and I don’t often have a chance to read it anymore, but I do enjoy a good silly read in this category.  I wrote about my affinity for Sophie Kinsella‘s Shopaholic books here.  I like Giffin’s books too.

Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad (2014) by Jerry Mahoney

mommy man

I follow Jerry’s blog, here on WordPress, and he’s hilarious.  He’s also a great dad.  I look forward to reading his book.

The Last Kind Words Saloon (2014) by Larry McMurtry

the last kind words saloon

I heard about this book on NPR a few Saturdays ago.  I loved Lonesome Dove, which I wrote about here.  In the NPR interview, McMurtry said he didn’t think Lonesome Dove was his masterpiece.  This book, The Last Kind Words Saloon, is about Wyatt Earp not being quite the legendary sheriff we all think he was.

The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) by Tom Wolfe

the bonfire of the vanities

I read an essay by Wolfe in an American Literature class during my master’s degree program that intrigued me.  I’ve been wanting to read Wolfe’s books ever since.  This one is at the top of my list out of his books.

Now, pretend it’s your birthday, too. Go post your own wish list of books on your blog, then leave a link to it in my comments section. That way, we can all learn about the awesome books on everybody’s lists.

77 thoughts on “Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Getting for My Birthday

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  1. This is a fun idea for a column. I don’t know if I’d start with The Magic Mountain on Mann, though. I still haven’t read it yet. It’s on my “books I think I should read but dread it” list. My understanding is he tends to be a bit opaque in his novels. I just finished reading Death in Venice, which was not opaque.

    1. LOL. “Books I should read but dread it” list. Yeah, I have one of those. Unfortunately, I have to read it this summer for exams in the fall!

  2. Emily, happy anniversary of your 29th birthday. As always, I am intrigued by your list. I am asking for the Jimmy Carter book for Father’s Day. I think you will like Tom Wolfe. Best wishes for a wonderful week. Go to your favorite restaurant and save room for your favorite dessert. Mine would be Key Lime pie. BTG

    1. I LOVE key lime pie, too. I have the last slice of a key lime pie in my fridge and I may just eat it for lunch today! I knew there was something more I liked about you. 🙂

      1. :>). If you ever make it to St. Augustine, FL , there is a place called “Saltwater Cowboys” that is on the marsh. Must order Key Lime for dessert. Enjoy your lunch!!!

  3. I studied journalism at university (and still hope to work in journalism/content one day so I have just added #2 of your list to my TBR list.

    I follow Jerry Mahoney’s blog too and would love to read his book as well.

  4. Happy (early) birthday!

    I’m interested in the Deadline Artists book. I watched an old b&w movie about a woman who wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I don’t know the name, but it focused on the aspect of a woman in the field, and the struggles of getting a tip, getting a story, meeting deadlines, etc. Somewhere I learned that the word “deadline” came from the newspaper industry – you were dead if you didn’t have your piece in on time.

    The McMurtry book also intrigues me, especially with what he shared in the interview. This one is about Wyatt Earp not being the legendary sheriff we envision him as.

    I’m adding both of these to my wishlist!

    You’re the second person this week who has shared their wishlist for an upcoming birthday. It gave me an idea that I’m working on to share with the blogosphere soon. I’m excited about it!

    1. Oh good. I love it when others’ posts give me ideas for my own. I can only imagine how tough getting into the newspaper business must’ve been for women. What was the name of that movie?

  5. Happy Birthday for this week! You’re a Gemini like me. 🙂 I celebrated my 21st birthday yesterday! I saw Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” at the theatre in the evening. It was excellent and very funny; a lovely way to celebrate.

    The books on your wishlist look really interesting. I especially like the sound of The Last Kind Words Saloon and My First New York. When I get a spare moment, I’ll post a literary wishlist of my own.

    1. Yay, we have similar birthdays! How fun. Happy birthday to you, too! I’m going out for sushi tonight and then going shopping on Monday.

  6. What a great and eclectic list, and I hope that you get some of these for your birthday 😉

    I love your idea of posting our wish list as well (too bad all special occasions are done for me for the year, besides Christmas). I do already own soooo many unread books but I’m sure I can think of more…

    I hope you have a GREAT birthday week!!

    1. Right? I positively don’t NEED any of these books or I might drown in books. I think the library is where I’ll end up getting my hands on most of these, hopefully.

  7. Hey, funny thing, my birthday is coming up too (May 27). Happy Birthday and Happy Blogging!!!

    I have sooo many unread books on my nightstand that I feel sheepish wishing for any more at the moment. Here are some that I own but haven’t had a chance to read yet: The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt), The Signature of all Things (Elizabeth Gilbert), The Bully Pulpit (Doris Kearns Goodwin), several novels by Kate Atkinson (have only read Life After Life, which I loved), and many, many more. Once I get through this pile, I’ll feel better about asking for more books as presents. Maybe for Father’s Day???

    1. Yes, just read all of those before Father’s Day and you’re good to go! Those sound like pretty awesome books to me. I want to read The Bully Pulpit. Happy birthday to you, too.

  8. Happy Birthday!!

    I’ve got 80-something books on my want-to-read list on Goodreads 🙂 No need to feel bashful about Emily Giffin’s book — I’ve read “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue” and, paired together, the books are actually a fascinating character study! If you’re going to read chick lit, I think Giffin is the way to go.

  9. O no! Not another tantalizing book list! 😦 I’m kidding, or course. I simply don’t have time to read right now and it seems everyone’s got a great list going. There are at least 4 titles on your list that I wish I had time for: Confessions of a Sociopath, My First New York, A Call To Action, The Last Kind Words Saloon, The Bonfire of the Vanities, ..and probably the Mommy Man one also. So, I’ll add them to my list but chances are they’ll get lost in the jumble of over 300 titles. I forget why I’ve added them to the list in the first place and then tend to go with something fresher in mind at the time. I need a better system, unlimited funds, and unlimited time. ….O, and also a very high metabolism so I can sit and read as much as I’d like without the dreaded spread.

    A very Happy Birthday week to you! I hope you spend all week celebrating yourself.

    1. I need all of those things too! If only we could just read all day long and have the money to independently support ourselves and buy all of the books we want. I’d be happier reading them all on a beach with some sparkling lemonade close by. 🙂 Thank you!

  10. I have a weakness for Chick Lit too – ha! I am a mystery reader, but like to switch it up every once in a while. Have to check some of these books out. Happy Holiday Weekend – Happy Relaxing With a Great Read 🙂

  11. Great list. The only one I’ve read is The Magic Mountain because I did French and German literature at university. If you’re going to read anything by Thomas Mann then I’d say read this. It can be a little hard going in places – lots of discussions about politics and philosophy, but there’s a very strong comic element to the book. Hans Castorp is stuck on a mountain in a sanatorium with a bizarre collection of characters. It’s much more interesting than Buddenbrooks, in my opinion.

  12. Oh my gosh. I had never heard of Jerry Mahoney but I read the first chapter of his book in the free sample from Amazon and all I have to say is wow! I started to tear up. And my library has the book on order! I am so excited. It has been added to my library list and I am definitely putting it on hold as soon as I can. Too excited!

  13. What interesting books- you have given me some new ideas. And, I’m relieved to hear you like some chick-lit. I was getting kind of worried that your selection was a bit on the heavy side. 🙂

    Homeward Bound sounds interesting to me. I have been a stay-at-home Mom since my first child was born, and now that they are all in school, I take care of someone else’s little guy, so I can keep staying home while also making a little money. I don’t know if I could easily give up the time I am used to having to bake and cook (not clean, though). But what I wonder about is if it is easier to stay home now because of the internet. At first, I didn’t really have that, but since facebook and now my blog, I can feel more connected with people without having to go work outside the house. I think it helps with the monotony of everyday routines when you are at home taking care of children. It gives you something else to think about.

    My birthday is coming up soon. Maybe I will borrow your idea, if that’s okay. Happy Birthday! 🙂

    1. Please do! I look forward to seeing your birthday wish list. I agree; we are more connected now and that helps with being at home. I spend the majority of my time at home with my kids, and I do like feeling that I can connect with others while being here. But I also long for more face-to-face contact. It seems like even the moms in my neighborhood prefer texting and Facebook to getting together and doing play groups.

      1. That’s a good point. It feels good to be connected when you’re not able to get out, but a lot of people do it instead of getting out. When I can get out to visit, I do. Or, even if no one is available for a visit, I always get out myself (and the kids) and go for a walk or to the park. Usually there are people to chat to if I want, even if I have never seen them before! Social media is such a balancing act.

  14. Happy birthday! And great list 🙂 Definitely going to add some of these to my wish list as well!

  15. Yes, you must read ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ – an excellent, biting satire. I’ve read it twice – that is how much I liked it.

    I wasn’t aware of the McMurtry book. I really enjoyed the Lonesome Dove books – I’ll have to check out the Earp book.

    1. Biting satire is just up my alley! I love that you’ve read it twice. That means something. Thanks for telling me more about this one!

  16. I hadn’t heard of most of these before but they all sound so good! I might be adding them to my own birthday wishlist later in June! Have a great birthday 🙂

  17. Happy birthday! I told my publisher about this post, and they’re going to send you a copy of my book! Email me your address at heyjerry [at] pacbell dot net. Hope you like it! 🙂

  18. Emily, I love the concept of this blog. It shows how open and inquiring you are. That is a generous thing, to be open to some works in arenas you know little about. I also love the concept of a book wishlist! On your birthday may you be able to receive the words you would desire and find the words you need to say.

    1. Thank you, Simon! It was certainly fun putting this list together and seeing just how many differing and interesting books I’ve been drawn to over the last year or so.

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