Reading Wrap-Up: December Reads

December reads

December reads? December rereads, more like. Six of the 10 books I read were books I’ve read before … in some cases multiple times. The holiday season is a time for nostalgia, apparently.

December reads

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan

This completed my 2017 rereading of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I’d forgotten how cleverly done the last book was. The first four draw on Greek mythology in fun and silly ways. The last book uses character development and plot to engage with ideas and questions ancient Greek mythology wrestled with and explored. My favorites: Your fatal flaw can also be your greatest strength. And: Is it possible for heroes to survive their own hubris? Continue reading “Reading Wrap-Up: December Reads”

A Reading List for the Christmas Books Obsessed

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”

Don’t call it a TBR

Don't call it a TBR

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”

Reading wrap-up: June reads and purchases

June reads

June reads

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:

Books read:

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.)

June readsBlue 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)

June readsIn 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”

Reading wrap-up: May reads and purchases

May reads

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.

May reads

Continue reading “Reading wrap-up: May reads and purchases”