Archive for what I’m reading

Reading for 2016

The Millions published their list of most anticipated books of 2016, and ooh doggy, there are some good ones! I’m most looking forward to Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, and Richard Russo’s Everybody’s Fool based on my past reading preferences. I haven’t read books by these authors, but also think Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard and You Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine sound amazing.

Seriously though, it was hard to shorten the list to just these. So many great books on the horizon!

What I’m reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I just started this book. I wanted to quote the whole thing on this blog because I couldn’t pick just one section to admire. When I was thirty-seven pages in my husband asked me what it was about and I had so much to say about art and life it sounded like I was discussing a whole novel, not just thirty-seven pages. So far, I am in love with this book.

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Stephen King updates

Stephen King is active on the ‘ol Twitter, and Bustle was kind enough to put together a list of eleven books he’s recommended. My sister and I are busy reading and just finished A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, which I thought was pretty great.

In other related Stephen King news, he met the president! I also met the president before he was the president! So now we have both shaken hands with Barack Obama, which leaves us with only one degree of separation. Plus, we both got to shake hands with Barack Obama.

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And finally, my six-year-old daughter said to me this past weekend, “I think Stephen King should write his books in cursive. That way, people who aren’t old enough to read his books won’t be able to read them. You should tell him that.” So, SK, there you go.

What I’m reading: Blackout by Sarah Hepola

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“Not taking a drink was easy. Just a matter of muscle movement, the simple refusal to put alcohol to my lips. The impossible part was everything else. How could I talk to people? Who would I be? What would intimacy look like, if it weren’t coaxed out by the glug-glug of a bottle of wine or a pint of beer? Would I have to join AA? Become one of those frightening 12-step people? How the fuck could I write? My livelihood, my identity, my purpose, my light–all extinguished with the tightening of a screw cap.”

What I’m reading: The Wife, Meg Wolitzer

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You sound bitter, Bone would say.

That’s because I am, I would tell him.

Everyone needs a wife; even wives need wives. Wives tend, they hover. Their ears are twin sensitive instruments, satellites picking up the slightest scrape of dissatisfaction. Wives bring broth, we bring paper clips, we bring ourselves and our pliant, warm bodies. We know just what to say to the men who for some reason have a great deal of trouble taking consistent care of themselves or anyone else.

‘Listen,’ we say. ‘Everything will be okay.’

And then, as if our lives depend on it, we make sure it is.”

Summer reading so far

As if it’s not apparent yet, I’m a lover of lists. I made one at the beginning of summer of books I wanted to read, and here’s how it’s going so far:

Get in Trouble, Kelly Link
Ghosting, Kirby Gann
There’s Something I Want You to Do, Charles Baxter
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, Hallie Ephron
Faith, Jennifer Haigh
This is a Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
Thunderstruck & Other Stories, Elizabeth McCracken
Loitering, Charles D’Ambrosio
Burying Water, K.A. Tucker
Lexicon, Max Barry
I Can’t Complain, Elinor Lippmann
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Landline, Rainbow Rowell

As much as I love a list, I’m also a bit resistant to doing exactly what I’m told so I read these instead:

I Was Told There’d Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
Cycle of the Werewolf, Stephen King
Duma Key, Stephen King
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin (even better the second time)
The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King
Joyland, Stephen King
The Winter of Our Disconnect, Susan Marshart
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, Linda Tirado (I’m on a nonfiction kick)
Finders Keepers, Stephen King (the last of the SK novels!)
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett (lovely)
The First Bad Man, Miranda July (hilarious and weird!)
The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
Everything’s Eventual, Stephen King (starting on the short stories and novellas now)

What have you been reading this summer??

 

To-read pile

Everyone I know has a to-read pile either on their nightstands, in their kindles, in their planners, or in their heads. And many, like me, have all the above. Here’s what’s up next until something else distracts me, or as my friend Sharon likes to say, “Squirrel!”

Get in Trouble, Kelly Link
Ghosting, Kirby Gann
There’s Something I Want You to Do, Charles Baxter
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, Hallie Ephron
Faith, Jennifer Haigh
This is a Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
Thunderstruck & Other Stories, Elizabeth McCracken
Loitering, Charles D’Ambrosio
Burying Water, K.A. Tucker
Lexicon, Max Barry
I Can’t Complain, Elinor Lippmann
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Landline, Rainbow Rowell

What about you? What’s next on your reading list, or what’s something you’ve read and loved that I should add to mine?

What I’m reading: Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life

“These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.”

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Review: Almost Famous Women

I have a new review up at Heavy Feather Review of Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman.

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No lie: I really loved this book. I thought it was so well written and researched, and just a treat line by line. I can’t wait to check out Mayhew Bergman’s first book, Birds of A Lesser Paradise. I remember hearing this title but never picked it up. I will rectify that soon.

Oh! And I saw on Twitter that one of my favorite stories from this collection, “The Seige at Whale Cay,” was selected by T.C. Boyle for Best American Short Stories 2015!

Books on tape

A few months ago I started downloading books from the library to listen to in the car. No matter that all of this is happening in some magical way I don’t understand, the books going from a repository of sound god-knows-where to my phone, I still call them books on tape, and talking about books on tape in class the other night, I thought, how much longer before students have no idea what I’m talking about?

Listening in the car started after I listened to Serial and realized my commute was something I really looked forward to rather than a twenty-minute list-making session about all I had to do. Since I finished that podcast, I’ve listened to a number of books, all of which have been collections of essays. I’ve listened to novels and stories in the past, but somehow, essays seem more suited to the job right now. So far this year I’ve listened to Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed by Flames, Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron’s Wallflower at the Orgy, and Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Clearly funny, feminist-friendly books are my bag in the car.

While I love listening to these books, and they’ve helped up my numbers for the year (19 books read) I really do miss being able to highlight or mark passages I like. This was especially true in the Anna Quindlen book when so much resonated about female friendships and how we look at generational divides. In a way, I think this makes me pay more attention in the moment, knowing it’s not something I can easily come back to so I have to be sure to take it in while I can.

What about you? What kind of books do you listen to, if you do? And if not, why not?