Monday, January 27, 2014

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Since I last posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading? I finished reading quite a few books. Here's the list of books I finished:
  • Antigone, by Sophocles
  • The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's, by Jeanne Murray Walker
  • In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, by Matt Bell
  • Second Sky: Poems, by Tania Runyan
  • Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
Now I've got a new stack of books I'm working on. First, I'm reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, for a class I'm teaching. This is a book about Paul Farmer, a doctor who has dedicated his life to helping the poor in Haiti. Every time I read the book I'm amazed and inspired by Farmer's dedication. Here's a link to an interview with him on 60 Minutes.

Here are the books I'm reading just for myself:
  • The second book is in Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam series, The Year of the Flood. When the third book in the series came out last summer, I realized I would need to re-read the first two, to refresh my memory, before I read the third.
  • Mary Doria Russell's Children of God, which is the sequel to her book, The Sparrow. These two are some of my favorite books of all time, but I haven't read Children of God in quite awhile, so I don't remember it all that well. I re-read The Sparrow a couple times recently for a science fiction class that I taught.
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood, by Rachel Held Evans. This is a book that's been talked about a lot, and I wasn't sure if I would like it so I resisted reading it for a long time. In actuality, I'm really enjoying the book! Evans is a Christian feminist, and her interactions with the biblical rules for women, and with the women of the Bible in this book are just fascinating. I'm hoping to meet her at the Festival of Faith and Writing this year, so I wanted to read the book before that happens in April.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

13 Reasons I Prefer Print Books Over ebooks

Book Vixen's Thursday Thirteen meme this week is "13 Reasons I Prefer ebooks to Print Book," so for my meme I'm going to turn that around because I prefer print books myself. So here are my reasons:

1. If I drop my book into the bath it won't cost me as much to replace as it would a Kindle or a Nook.
2. I like how the pages feel in my hands.
3. The physical act of turning the pages seems like it connects me to the book further by adding another sensory experience to reading.
4. Books smell good.
5. I love the bookmarks I've collected over the years.
6. I like going back to margin notes in old books, seeing my handwriting from years earlier.
7. Books look pretty on my bookshelves.
8. Books seem linear and ask you to experience them that way.
9. Library books. They have a history. Other people have held them and read them.
10. Old books, for the same reason as number 9. I love finding other people's notes and slips of paper in old books. It's so mysterious. Once I found an old bookmark from the high school I had attended.
11. I think I look smarter than I really am when I'm sitting on public transportation with a book.
12. You can lend them and borrow them.
13. Covers.

Which book format do you prefer, and what are your reasons?

Click here to see Book Vixen's Thursday Thirteen meme.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's Monday (or rather, Wednesday)! What Are You Reading?

Well I'm posting a bit late this week. I'm still working on the same books as last week. I'm nearly finished with The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's, and about halfway through my friend Tania Runyan's new book of poems titled Second Sky. While I'm enjoying The Know-It-All (a book by A.J. Jacobs about his attempt to read through all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica), I'm not sure I'll get it finished by the time it's due at the library, because it's a big book and slow-going. I'm also working on a novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, by Matt Bell. (Such beautiful language in this novel, it's like reading poetry!) And I'm about done reading Antigone,  by Sophocles, which I am teaching tomorrow.

I like to have a variety of books going at once, but they all have to be in different genres. So right now I have memoir, poetry, nonfiction, a novel, and a play!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Top 13 Books of 2013

In no particular order...

1. The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer (novel)
2. Life Among Giants, Bill Roorbach (novel)
3. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter (novel)
4. Mad Girls Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted, Andrew Wilson (nonfiction/biography)
5. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Karen Russell (short story collection)
6. Entering the House of Awe, Susanna Childress (poetry)
7. Incarnadine, Mary Syzbist (poetry)
8. Thirteen Small Apostrophes, Jonathan Weinert (poetry chapbook)
9. Reliquary, Matt Minicucci (poetry chapbook)
10. Scotch Tape World, Tom Hunley (poetry chapbook)
11. Everyone Says That at the End of the World, Owen Egerton (novel)
12.  Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (novel)
13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts, Susan Cain (nonfiction)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

This year again I'm going to participate again in the Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge. This was a great motivation for my reading when I participated in 2013: I read more books in 2013 than I ever had any year since I started keeping track! So this year I will need to read more than 77 books to make my goal. I'll keep track of the books that I read this year on this page.

1. Antigone, by Sophocles
2. The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's, by Jeanne Murray Walker
3. In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, by Matt Bell
4. Second Sky: Poems, by Tania Runyan 
5. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
6. The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood
7. A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans
8. Madd Addam,  Margaret Atwood
9. Children of God, Mary Doria Russell
10. All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, Jennifer Senior
11. The Naked Now: Learning to See As the Mystics See, Richard Rohr
12. The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett
13. Ender's Shadow, Orson Scott Card
14. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
15. Clangings, Steven Cramer
16. The Position, Meg Wolitzer
17. Shadow of the Hegemon, Orson Scott Card
18. Churches, Kevin Prufer
19. Ghost House, Hannah Notess
20. Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
21. Four Seasons West of the 95th Meridian, Nathaniel Hansen
22. Shadow Puppets, Orson Scott Card
23. Books: A Living History, Martyn Lyones
24. Mezzanines, Matthew Olzmann
25. Married at Fourteen, Lucille Lang Day
26. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
27. The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty
28. Shadow of the Giant, Orson Scott Card
29. Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, Poems, Kerrin McCadden
30. Dry, Augusten Burroughs
31. Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
32. The Last Days of California, Mary Miller
33. The Virgins, Pamela Ehrens
34. The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Fine Funerals, Wendy Jones
35. You Should Have Known, Jean Hanff Korelitz
36. Glitter Bomb, Aaron Belz
37. Tapestry of Fortunes, Elizabeth Berg
38. Chickens in the Road, Suzanne McMinn
39. My Age of Anxiety, Scott Stussel
40. The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland
41. The Memory Palace: A Memoir, Mira Bartok
42. Wool, Hugh Howey
43. The Obituary Writer, Ann Hood
44. The Visionist, Rachel Urquhart
45. The Art of Spiritual Writing, Vinita Hampton Wright
46. Cloud of Ink, L.S. Klatt
47. The Scenic Route, Binnie Kirshenbaum
48. Hope's Boy, Andrew Bridge
49. Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, Linda Leavall
50. The Bookstore, Deborah Meyler
51. My Salinger Year, Joanna Rakoff
52. The End of the Affair, Graham Greene
53. A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
54. Shadows in Flight, Orson Scott Card
55. How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, Lydia Netzer
56. The Frame Called Ruin, Hadara Bar-Nadav
57. This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff
58. Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan
59. Under the Wide and Starry Sky, Nancy Horan
60. The Naked Now, Richard Rohr
61. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
62. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
63. The Vacationers, Emma Straub
64. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
65. Shotgun Lovesongs, Nickolas Butler
66. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
67. Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres
68. First Impressions, Charlie Lovett
69. Mrs. Poe, Lynn Cullen
70. The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection, Michael Harris
71. Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm, Mardi Link
72. Leap, Claire Bateman
73. Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult
74. California, Edan Lepucki
75. Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future, Jason Epstein
76. Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, Daniel Smith
77. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
78. Large White House Speaking, Mark Irwin
79. Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok
80. The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It doesn't look like I'll get a lot of reading done this week, due to sick kids, extended snow days, and trying to get ready for my spring semester classes, but here are the books I'm working on right now: The Know-It-All (a book by A.J. Jacobs about his attempt to read through all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica), my friend Tania Runyan's new book of poems titled Second Sky, and a memoir by my friend Jeanne Murray Walker titled The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's.


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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Books I Read in 2013

This year I participated in the Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge. and wow did I ever outdo myself! I ended up reading more books this year than I have in any year since I started keeping track (in 1988). Here's the complete list. In the upcoming days I'll post lists of some favorites from this year.

1. My Mother Was Nuts, Penny Marshall
2. Tigers in Red Weather, Liza Klaussmann
3. The Red House, Mark Haddon
4. A Small Fortune, Rosie Dastgir
5. In One Person, John Irving
6. Darwin: Portrait of a Genius, Paul Johnson
7. A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
8. Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times, Andrew Piper
9. Listening to Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L'Engle in Many Voices, Leonard Marcus
10. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
11. My American Unhappiness, Dean Bakopoulos
12. Quiet: The Power of Introverts, Susan Cain
13. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
14. A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L'Engle
15. Hunger of Memory: The Eduction of Richard Rodriguez, Richard Rodriguez
16. The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker
17. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, Tracy Kidder
18. Half Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls
19. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child, Donalyn Miller
20. How Children Succeed, Paul Tough
21. Thirteen Small Apostrophes, Jonathan Weinert
22. The Financial Lives of the Poets, Jess Walter
23. Reliquary, Matthew Minicucci
24. A Thousand Vessels, Tania Runyan
25. The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, Dinty W. Moore
26. Whale Man, Alan Michael Parker
27. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloane
28. The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing, Richard Hugo
29. Heft, Liz Moore
30. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, Susannah Cahalan
31. Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Kids (Without Going Nuts with Worry), Lenore Skenazy
32. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
33. The Art Forger, BA Shapiro
34. With Robert Lowell and His Circle, Kathleen Spivack
35. The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius,  Kristine Barnett
36. Entering the House of Awe: Poems, Susanna Childress
37. Nailing Up the Home Sweet Home: Poems, Jeanne Murray Walker
38. Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
39. Coming Into History: Poems, Jeanne Murray Walker
40. Vanity Fare, Megan Caldwell
41. Amity and Sorrow, Peggy Riley
42. Glorybound, Jesse Van Eerden
43. Mad Girls Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted, Andrew Wilson
44. Life Among Giants, Bill Roorbach
45. The Light Between Oceans, ML Stedman
46. The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story, Alisa Valdes
47. How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate, Wendy Moore
48. Little Bee, Chris Cleave
49. That Old Cape Magic, Richard Russo
50. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
51. The English Major, Jim Harrison
52. Breaking Night, Liz Murray
53. Better Food for a Better World, Erin McGraw
54. The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer
55. The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls
56. The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey
57. Delirium, Lauren Oliver
58. Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver
59. The Girl Who Owned a City, O.T. Nelson
60. Burning Wycliffe, Thom Satterly
61. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton Disclafani
62. Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld
63. Scotch Tape World, Tom Hunley
64. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
65. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
66. Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
67. Why Teach? Mark Edmundson
68. Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry, Donald Hall
69. The Roswell Poems, Rane Arroyo
70. Xenocide, Orson Scott Card
71. Incarnadine, Mary Syzbist
72. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Karen Russell
73. Everyone Says That at the End of the World, Owen Egerton
74. My Mistake, Daniel Menaker
75. Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robinson
76. A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation, Noah Lukeman
77. Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card