Oh, hello. It has been a while! I did so much work-related writing in October and November that I could not bring myself to write another word. Now that I have some breathing room, I give you my fall reads, in one handy place. Continue reading “Fall reads: October & November”
I don’t mean to alarm you, but December is almost here. Seasonal coffee beverages have been released. Evergreen wreaths have been hung in shopping centers. Christmas trees are for sale. I even heard Christmas carols in a store this week.
What I’m saying is, I realize we haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but it’s time to talk about Christmas books. Continue reading “A Reading List for the Christmas Books Obsessed”
My September reads are long overdue. What can I say? It has been a hectic month!
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Having loved The Goldfinch, I was pleased to scoop this up during a Nook sale … several years ago. As this has become my Year of Reading Classical Literature, it was a perfect time to (finally) read this novel about a group of Classics students. Continue reading “Overdue! My September Reads”
Every last time I create a TBR, I fail to follow it. At least, that’s how it feels. I think one time, for a readathon, I read some of the books I said I’d read. Sort of?
Point is, I want to read a ton of books. Literally, one entire ton. So many that I can’t even keep track of them. It is not possible. Or maybe the part that’s impossible is actually reading all the books I want to read. Continue reading “Don’t call it a TBR”
As we’re almost halfway through September, I’m overdue for a recap of my August reads. But first:
When you amass an enormous beast of a library, the time inevitably comes when you want to read the books you already own. I mean, that’s the theory. In reality, I’m still lucky to read 50 percent already-in-my-library, 50 percent brand-spanking-new. Continue reading “Reading wrap-up: August reads”
My July reads have been shaped largely by the fact I’ve been traveling.
First, as I do every summer I can manage it, I came home to Greece. Granted, I was born and raised in the US. But both of my parents are from Greece. Whenever I return, my favorite uncle says to me, “Welcome home.” It feels like coming home. Continue reading “Reading wrap-up: July reads and purchases”
My June reads focused on my two reading projects: Ancient Greek literature and the Gilmore Girls reading challenge (which we’re doing at Books, Ink). Perhaps unsurprisingly, my library holds many of these titles already.
I apparently have a lot to say about my June reads, so we might as well jump right in:
Blue Nights and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Joan Didion is one of my favorite nonfiction writers. It was a treat to read/reread her work for the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. (My piece for the challenge is here.)
Blue Nights has been languishing on my bookshelf for years. Who knows why? Maybe I wanted to wait, to savor it. Maybe I was scared of how sad it would be. She wrote it after her daughter’s death, which followed shortly after her husband’s death. As you might expect, it explores grief and loss—both of others and, as we age, of the self we have known. The blue nights of the title provide an overarching metaphor for how brilliance prefigures its own end. This notion is threaded throughout this moving, poetic memoir.
Slouching Toward Bethlehem may be my favorite essay collection of all time. It’s Didion’s 1968 nonfiction writing about, among many other topics, the Haight-Ashbury, Las Vegas weddings, morality, self-respect, and writing. It’s gorgeous and awe-inspiring—a must read for nonfiction writers.
In the Preface to the collection, Didion writes that being “so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate” may invite others to overlook her, to their detriment. Because, Didion continues, “Writers are always selling somebody out” (italics in the original). It’s harsh, but possibly too often accurate. What I love so much about Didion’s nonfiction is, she never lets us forget that she’s there. She never lets us forget that what we’re seeing isn’t objective truth but what she saw and experienced. It’s a kind of integrity I aspire to, and not just in my writing.
Jason and the Argonauts by Apollonius of Rhodes (bought this year)
In this epic poem (dating to the third century BC), Pelias, the king of Iolcus, sends Jason on a quest to recover the Golden Fleece from Colchis. This is because Jason is the rightful heir to the kingdom, and Pelias wants to get rid of him. Hence the impossible quest. Jason gathers a group of heroes, and they face treacherous challenges and setbacks along the way (obvi).
I might love this more than The Odyssey, for the following reasons: Continue reading “Reading wrap-up: June reads and purchases”
Well, our May reads are in the history books. Or at least in our Goodreads “read” file. I can hardly believe how quickly this year is flying by!
All of the books I read this month related either to the Gilmore Girls reading challenge we’re doing at Books, Ink or my personal project to read classical literature and books inspired by it. Only two of the six books I read this month were part of my existing library. But I’m making allowances for the Gilmore Girls challenge.
Almost halfway through May, and I’m just getting to wrap-up my April reads. Ah, what a reading month, though. I met my ongoing goal for 50 percent of my reads to come from my existing library. And, well, there’s a little surprise at the end. I won’t spoil it. You’ll see (wink). Continue reading “Reading wrap-up: April reads”
Thank you so much for all your thoughtful and inspiring responses! As expected, my TBR is bursting. Just the way I like it.
The randomly selected winner is Lindsay Sings. Please contact me here or on Twitter @bookishinCT so we can arrange your prize! Continue reading “Readathon Hour 8 Mini-Challenge: Books to Empower”