Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hong Kong Skyline's newest addition : Tower of Books

BookRiot - is doing an awesome photo contest. Submit a photo of a stack of books shown in a creative or artistic way. I had SO MUCH FUN preparing my photo for submission. I don't have that many books in my Hong Kong apartment- but there are several that I take with me wherever I go and I have some fun new additions. Out of the 40 or so books I have here with me I chose just a few that are my favorites. I took lots of different pictures with different book combos and lighting and backgrounds but this was my favorite and my submission
Hong Kong Skyline's Newest Addition: Tower of Books 

I really loved the idea of having my favorite books in front of my favorite skyline. I know the titles are a little blurry so please see below for the books I chose and why I feel they represent me. It was a really cool exercise choosing the books and realizing how they represent me and my life 

Books Featured:
 Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman: I love food and I love to cook. I actually didn't really start cooking until a couple years ago. The first thing I ever cooked completely on my own was a Veggie Frittata by Bittman and it changed my life. After that I realized I could cook and make delicious things. I still love to cook and frequently use Bittman's recipies. 

 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett- an absolutely beautiful novel that made me cry. I recommend this to everyone who asks me for a good book recommendation. I also work in the translation industry so this book has even more meaning to me because one of the main characters is an interpreter. 

Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood- As soon as I finished this book I went back to the start and re-read it. Seriously. This book is INCREDIBLE! Makes you think, makes you feel, does everything a good book is supposed to do. The characters are fantastic, the details bring this world to life, and since it is speculative fiction the world is scarily close to ours today. I highly recommend reading Oryx and Crake prior to reading Year of the Flood. Also the copy of Year of the Flood pictured is actually signed by Margaret Atwood which makes it all the more special. She is my favorite living author and an amazing woman. I had the opportunity to see her speak in Atlanta at Emery and she was incredible. 

 Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone by JK Rowling- I fell in love with the first Harry Potter when I was 11- the same age as Harry Potter himself. I have grown with him and still have a deep love for the books about his life. Harry Potter also hugely influenced my own writing style. 

 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle- Probably my all time favorite book. Madeline L'Engle was brilliant and will be very missed. I can count most of her books as my favorite books but A Wrinkle in Time will always top the list. She was my first introduction to fantasy/sci-fi. This book also has sentimental value to me because my dad read it to me when I was a little girl. I take a copy of this book with me whenever I move somewhere new. 

 When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro- I really love the works of Kazuo Ishiguro and When We Were Orphans is no exception. I love that it takes place in Shanghai in its heyday.  Shanghai is a city I would like to live in someday and Ishiguro's story shows why. I also like that this is told from an expat's point of view as I am currently an expat in Hong Kong. 

 Lust Caution by Eileen Chang- Eileen Chang or Zhang Ai Ling is my favorite contemporary Chinese writer. She is fantastic. Lust Caution is one of my favorite stories by her. I wrote a huge college paper about her and continue to be a big fan and read all of her works. Lust Caution is sexy, intriguing, and good for anyone looking for a unique and thrilling historical romance.  

High Lonesome -Selected Short Stories by Joyce Carol Oates- After Margaret Atwood, JCO  is my favorite living author. She is CRAZY talented!!! I love her novels but her short stories are really spectacular. High Lonesome is a fantastic compilation of some of her best work. I would literally read anything written by Oates. 

Serious Hikers Guide to Hong Kong- I love to hike in Hong Kong. This book has great hiking trails all over Hong Kong. 

Lonely Planet Japan- I have only been to Tokyo and would really like to travel more in Japan. Currently planning a ski trip to northern Japan this January. 

Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace- The Betsy-Tacy series will always hold a place in my heart. I read all of them growing up and my Grandma Kay recommended them to me. While I love all of the Betsy-Tacy books, Betsy and the Great World is especially special to me. Like A Wrinkle in Time this is one of the books that I always take with me when I move somewhere new. Even though I live in Asia and Betsy is going to Europe I really identify with her feelings about going abroad and being away from what you know. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- This book was given to me by a very dear friend and has sentimental value. Aside from that this book is absolutely fantastic. It is an extremely interesting take on Nazi Germany and one of the main narrators is Death himself and he is likable- need I say more? Plus as a book lover I was completely enraptured by a main character who risks everything for a new book to read. 

Gone With the Wind- on of my favorite novels. I lived in Atlanta for a year just a block away from where Margaret Mitchell lived. 

Anna Karenina- Possibly the greatest novel ever written. I took an entire class just on this book. And still love it. Enough said. I try to re-read it every year. It is a powerful timeless novel that everyone should read. 

The Giver- this book is also one of my childhood favorites and so ahead of its time. When I read contemporary dystopian novels I can't help but think "this doesn't compare to The Giver" 

What books would be in your stack?

Favorite books-  your daily good thing. 

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