Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters that remind me of myself

I was not planning to participate in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt until my number one character popped into my head. After searching my book log on Goodreads, I came up with three more, but that’s where I stopped and had the thought that, actually, I don’t tend to read about characters that remind me of me. More often, I find characters that remind me of other people.

Then I was emailing with Ben and he came up with his own, so between us we put together a list of eight.

Ten Characters That Remind Me of…Me!

o-SECRET-GARDEN-ACTRESS-facebook

Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox in the 1993 adaptation of The Secret Garden

1. [Shannon] Mary Lennox from the very beginning of The Secret Garden: A little spoiled, a little bratty, has some health issues, loves animals, definitely needs to get outside more. I would argue that I am less bratty than Mary and Ben says he doesn’t think I’m that spoiled, but still, the characteristics are present.

 

MyYearofRestandRelaxation2. [Shannon] The narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh: I’m not nearly as cranky or rude and I do not conduct myself as poorly in relationships as this character does, but I identify with her world-weariness and inclination toward escape. Sleep for a year? Sounds amazing.

 

BennyHogan

Minnie Driver as Benny Hogan

3. [Shannon] Benny Hogan in Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy: This was a favorite of my friend group growing up. I’ve read the book at least five times and seen the movie starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell countless times. Anywho, I identify with Benny as the solid, reliable girl. She’s an older-sister type without any siblings.

 

Banana4. [Shannon] Nell Schwartz of Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg: Artsy, creative hippie woman with a love of the outdoors who falls in love with a hippie-ish dude and must battle the oppressive Midwestern winters. Sounds about right.

 

Gawain

Joel Edgerton as Gawain in King Arthur (2004)

5. [Ben] Gawain:He’s a little tricky, because different versions of the legend give different portrayals, ranging from heroic to villainous. But he’s often noted to have strength that varies with the sun. He’s weaker in the early morning, getting a substantial boost in power after 9 or so.  Then he has a slump around sunset.  It really do be like that.

He’s one of the more humanized characters in the Arthurian legends: sometimes criticized for a lack of piety, but generally regarded as honorable. Loyal to friends and siblings, vengeful toward those who do him wrong. Brave but not fearless.

WatershipDownbook6. [Ben] Bigwig from Watership Down: big, stubborn, tries to protect his smaller buddies, prone to make weird friends.

 

 

ParadiseLost7. [Ben] Lucifer in Paradise Lost: The ultimate individualist. I’m definitely not much of a “serve in heaven” type of guy.

 

 

Edmund

Skandar Keynes as Edmund in the 2005 movie

8. [Ben] Speaking of the dark side, Edmund from The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe was always kinda relatable for me: contemptuous of saccharine-sweet goody-two-shoes like Lucy and Peter, prone to brood about perceived injustice, easily swayed by flattery and free food, slow to admit his mistakes. A lot in common with my id.

If you participated in Top Ten Tuesday, drop a link in the comments so we can see your list!

Standard
Top Ten Tuesday, What Shannon Read

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational/Thought-provoking…books

I’m going a bit off-book for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. The prompt is actually “Inspiration/though-provoking quotes from books,” but I don’t like reading blog posts full of quotes and huge amounts of text. What can I say? I’m a scanner, a product of the times I live in.

So instead, I’m list 10 inspirational/thought-provoking books and why I liked/recommend them. Hope you enjoy!

Ten Favorite Inspirational/Thought-provoking Books

Caveats: These are in no particular order and are not necessarily my favorites of all time or anything. I just like/recommend them.

yogaBitchbook1. Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison

I just really love the whole attitude of this book. It’s a memoir detailing a yoga retreat in Bali where she becomes a certified yoga teacher. We meet quite a cast of characters in her fellow participants and the couple who leads the teaching certification/retreat. Morrison also, of course, applies what she’s learning to her life and I found that she communicates a lot of simple wisdom without being preachy and while being pretty relatable, as the sub-title indicates.

InPraiseofMessyLivesbook2. In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays by Katie Roiphe

Speaking of relatable, I found a friend in Katie Roiphe as she talks about the highs and lows of motherhood and divorce, and lots of other topics with mass appeal. I enjoyed that she’s a whip smart intellectual and an interesting writer, but mostly, I enjoyed that she seems to embrace her “messy” self and I think that more of us could use to do the same. I find that with essays and memoirs, I must like the author’s personality as it comes across in the book. I’m more likely to keep reading whatever the topic.

RadicalAcceptance3. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach

I don’t know that Tara Brach needs much introduction, but I will say that if the idea of acceptance turns you off, read this book. I hate it when I’m told to accept things, but Tara helped me to understand the concept in a way that helped me successfully apply it to my own feelings and life.

ThesoulofAnOctopus4. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Conciousness by Sy Montgomery

I’ve talked about this book before, so I’ll just say: animals are amazing (us included).

 

KelseyMiller5. Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life

Just a thing that a lot of us need to do, me included.

 

 

ElDefo

6. El Deafo by Cece Bell

Ah, you didn’t expect a graphic novel from me, did you? 🙂 I just love this book about a young deaf girl who creates a superhero alter ego in order to process who she is vs. how the world sees her.

 

BigMagic7. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert was pretty much everywhere for a while and I think that’s why some people got annoyed with her and with the ubiquitous Eat, Pray, Love. But I liked Eat, Pray, Love and I really like Big Magic. It’s hopeful and encouraging, especially for creative people, and we all need as much of that as we can get.

WillpowerbyGillianRiley8. Willpower! How to Master Self-Control by Gillian Riley

Have I mastered self-control? Hahahahaha. No. But I still like the message of this book because it goes against the conventional understanding of willpower; namely, that we have a finite amount and it’s used up quickly. Riley’s message is that willpower is a muscle you can build. And I just like that approach because I’ve found it to be true in my own life.

LostandFound9. Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money by Geneen Roth

Roth lost her savings to Bernie Madoff and shares her thoughts on the place of money and food in her life. Two subject that may not seem related, but Roth writes about food and eating issues and notices, with great insight, that eating and money often follow the same patterns and fill similar needs in one’s life.

TurningStonesMarcParent10. Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk by Marc Parent

A social worker in NYC talks about the child welfare system, the people whose lives it affects, and its limitations. He takes the reader into his daily life as a social worker and, as you can imagine, the stories are at turns heartbreaking and inspiring.

And there we have it, my somewhat-dissenting Top Ten Tuesday for this week. Would love to hear any related suggestions! Thanks for stopping by!

Standard
Top Ten Tuesday

10 perfect rainy day books

I know, I’m like way too late for Top Ten Tuesday. I haven’t done one of these in awhile, but I love rainy days and spring is upon us at last, so I thought this would be a fun list to do along with other readers of That Artsy Reader Girl (her post, with all other participants is here).

More Top Ten Tuesday posts here.

Here we go.

10 Perfect Rainy Day Books

 

JaneEyre1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Full disclosure: this is one of my favorite books. But what could be better on a rainy day than a classic gothic novel? Wander the weather-beaten moors with me, friend.

 

 

TheDollintheGarden2. The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn

Yeah, it’s a children’s book, but hear me out. This book creeped me out as a kid and it creeps me out now. It has a lonely young girl, an old Victorian house, and spooky ghosties—perfect for stormy weather.

 

AmericasMostHauntedHotels3. America’s Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in with Uninvited Guests by Jamie Davis Whitmer

Spooky. Ghosties.

 

 

BoarIsland4. Boar Island by Nevada Barr

This is, sadly, the only book by Nevada Barr I’ve ever been able to get into, despite loving national parks and general outdoorsy-ness. Her Anna Pigeon series boasts a female lead and each is set at a national park. Anyway, Boar Island is set, yes, at an island outside Acadia National Park in Maine and features stormy waters and a stalker. I found it quick-paced enough to hold my attention. For some reason, other Anna Pigeon books just don’t feel that way to me and I haven’t been able to get through any others. If you have read-alike recommendations for me, I’m all ears!

TheSoulofanOctopus5. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

In my opinion, a rainy day is the perfect weather in which to contemplate the depths of consciousness.

 

AHouseinFez6. A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco by Suzanna Clarke

Tired of the rain? Too gloomy for you? Not in the mood for introspection? I recommend traveling to a very desert-y place to combat the blues. This is a book Ben bought for me one Christmas. It is a dream of mine to go to Morocco. I haven’t made it yet, but I plan to.

EveryBodyYoga7. Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body. by Jessamyn Stanley

A free afternoon to read? Focus on you.

 

EnglandinChains8. London in Chains: An English Civil War Novel by Gillian Bradshaw

Broody, England-y, and if you like it, this is a series. Features a female protagonist who defies social norms by reading and getting involved with a printing press.

 

Dewy9. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

This book may have the same effect on you as a cozy mystery. It’s heartwarming and gentle, but also tells the story of a town library and has a fun cast of characters. Perfect for a cozy reading session curled up on the couch.

TheSecretGarden10. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

You didn’t think I could get through a rainy day list, in the springtime no less, without mentioning The Secret Garden, hmm? Dirt. Rain. Moors. Perfection.

 

 

In conclusion, I feel that just about any book is good on a rainy day. The best thing about it is that you’ve made some time for reading.

Standard
Audiobooks, Top Ten Tuesday, What Shannon Read

10 of My Favorite Audiobooks

Walking

Walking home, listening to an audiobook, like I do

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m a day late, but I decided to post anyway. This week’s TTT is a “freebie,” meaning “make up your own topic.” So, because I love a good audiobook, I thought I’d highlight 10 of my faves.

In order for me to stick with an audiobook, I must must must like the reader’s voice, accent, inflection, and style. There are notable exceptions—Sweet Lamb of Heaven, for example, where the story/writing is so good that I’ll tolerate a terrible reader. But, for the most part, the reader is paramount.
So, with that bit of preamble, here we go.

10 of My Fave Audiobooks



049561. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, read by Davina Porter

Historical fiction, romance, sword fighting, and a great reader. The romance gets slightly ridiculous, but hey, that’s why you read this kind of book, for the dramatic departure from real life. And Davina Porter’s reading is on point.

This audiobook was on repeat in the car for awhile when Jake was younger. I think Harris’ voice is burned into my brain. But it’s a delightful book and the narration is fantastic.

Actress Juliet Stevenson is my top favorite reader. There’s something about her British accent. And she’s just great at doing voices without overacting those kinds of things. I’m hoping she’ll record herself reading the phone book someday just so I can fall asleep to it. One good thing about following a great reader is that they usually pick awesome books to read and I can always depend on Stevenson for that.

4. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, read by Jayne Entwistle

95607Another actress and reader with a fantastic British accent. But Entwistle’s voice is completely different and she really shows what it can do with the various characters in this very British children’s novel. It’s a Victorian boarding school, so you know I’m all about it. Entwistle is another reader I can count on to lead me to great books.

War5. The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle

Another Entwistle for your listening pleasure. I adored this story. Usually I don’t pick up stories set in WWII, but this one touched on a topic of interest: children sent away from London during the bombing. The main character, Ada, will tug at your heartstrings from the get-go.

Flight.jpg6. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, read by the author

Kingsolver isn’t my favorite reader, but she does, as the review on audiofile says, nail the main character’s Appalachian twang. And the writing is just so beautiful that I willingly overlooked Kinsolver’s imperfections as a narrator and got sucked into the story.

Kitchen7. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, read by Bahni Turpin and Orlagh Cassidy

I almost don’t want to write about this book because I loved it so much. I couldn’t do it justice. The story features two narrators as different characters, though the story centers on Cassidy as Lavinia, an indentured servant on a Southern plantation.

Cool story time – I actually emailed author Kathleen Grissom after I finished this book in tears and told her how much it affected me. She wrote back such a warm, kind response. One of my top author interactions ever.

Mare8. The Mare by Mary Gaitskill, read by Kyla Garcia, Christa Lewis, Sean Pratt, and Nicol Zanzarella

This book was more about the story than the readers for me, but, actually, I can still hear Ginger’s voice in my head. And it’s been two years since I listened to this book.

OCT9. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery, read by the author

Another one where the story did more for me than the reader. Ask Ben. I’m still talking about this book. It’s one of those animal books that makes me want to be a vegan out of respect for the animals in it. But now we know plants have feelings, so if I keep on like this, I’ll have to start photosynthesizing.

BAD10. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry

Tim Curry is a great reader. I highly recommend listening to the books in the series that he reads. Lemony Snicket himself takes over at some point in the series and Jake and I were upset by this bait and switch.

Note: All links (except for Henry and Ribsy) go to book reviews on Audiofile because I think it’s a fantastic resource for audiobooks.

Here’s a link to the TTT post on That Artsy Reader Girl.

Standard
Top Ten Tuesday

Books I could re-read forever

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This Top Ten Tuesday was a challenge for me at first. I don’t do a lot of re-reading. But I’ve recently starting picking up books I read as a teenager or college student just to see how they sit with me now that I have some life experience. Some are still awesome and some, upon a second read, fall flat. But I was absolutely shocked to see that I came up with 15 books I could happily re-read over and over. Who frikken knew?

Books I could re-read forever

1

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I read this several times as a teenager, which makes me proud of lil Shannon because I was not real woke back then.

2. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein

I recently read this for just the second time (except for Return of the King, which I never got through the first time for some reason).  Still love the characters and the story and will the rest of my life.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I just love an unfortunate (and then very fortunate) governess, what can I say?

2

4. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

I re-read this for the third or fourth time recently and enjoyed it immensely. It’s one of those books that puts early American history into perspective.

5. The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn

This book freaked me out as a kid and tbh it freaks me out now.

6. The Ruins by Scott B. Smith

A nail-biting vacation gone wrong. You can see tragedy about to happen and you’re powerless to stop it. My favorite.

3

7. Timeline by Michael Crichton

What really gets me about this book is the way Crichton drives home the toughness of medieval people. Think you could fight a medieval knight? Best get to the gym yo.

8. Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season With The Wild Turkey by Joe Hutto

This is the book that made me fall in love with wild turkeys. Yeah, I know it’s weird.

9. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

I’ve read this about a hundred times. It’s just such a sad, beautiful novel. And Wally Lamb is one of my favorite fiction writers overall.

4

10. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott

I clung to this book when Jake was little. It totally validated my own exhaustion.

Yeah, I’m still going…

11. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Loved this book as a kid. I had a beautiful illustrated hardback. I wish I knew where that was. Anyway, I love it as an adult and it’s about time for a re-read…

12. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Ditto this one.

5

13. Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison

Memoir by a loving foster mother to hundreds of kids. Gets me every time.

14. Back Home by Michelle Magorian

As a kid I was fascinated to learn that children from the UK had been shipped to other countries during WWII.

15. Perfect English by Ros Byam Shaw

And a decorating book because I just want to dive in and live between these pages.

Check out what other people are endlessly re-reading over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Standard
That Reading Life, Top Ten Tuesday

10 slightly weird niche books/genres I really like

This post is part of a blog hop for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. See how it works here.

When I worked at my public library for about a year, a coworker told me, “I only read nonfiction philosophy.” She was great at recommending books not in her preferred genre to patrons though.

I was thinking about her the other day and ruminating on my own niche tastes, the deep dives I tend to take into some obscure topics. I thought about how many books I own that are kind of peculiarly un-mainstream. I definitely delight in following my curiosity, which is, now that I think about it, one of the chief reasons I read for pleasure.

Anyway, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a “love freebie,” meaning, I think, that we should create a top ten list of book-related things we love. So, here we go.

Ten slightly weird niche books/genres I really like

1. Ros Byam Shaw

Covers of Perfect English Farmhouse, Perfect English, and English Eccentric by Ros Byam Shaw

I want to live in these books.

I love English interior design so so much. It encompasses both decorating like you live in an English country estate and decorating like you live in a Hobbit Hole. Both are aesthetics to which I aspire.

Ros Bym Shaw is the author of several fantastic coffee table-style decorating books on the topic. She is also my favorite decorating author, though I also adore Justina Blakeney.

2. Needlepoint

Covers of Hoopla and Plain and Fancy

I used to have a blog about needlepoint. A few years ago, I got suuuuper into it and spent a lot of time creating needlepoint and cross-stitch works and, of course, researching and reading about those topics. I don’t do needlepoint anymore because I actually have a hand injury and can’t grip a needle all that well. (It’d be like a dolphin using its flippers to sew.) But I still enjoy books on stitching and the history of “women’s work.” I particularly like Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery and the out of print history Plain & Fancy: American Women and Their Needlework, 1650-1850.

3. Unusual job memoirs

Book Covers: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; It's What I Do; and The Long Haul

To read one of these, I have to actually be interested in the job the writer is doing or has done. Three of my recent faves are:

I also just heard about The Line Becomes a River, a memoir by a former border patrol guard, which I’ll be putting on hold at the library.

4. New Age

Book covers: You Can Heal Your Life; Ghosts Among Us; and Children's Past Lives

I wrote about my somewhat embarrassing affinity for New Age books here. I think it comes from some urge to seek a way of spirituality outside of traditional religion. But I’m not willing to commit to New Age beliefs either. The jury is out, I guess. Anyway, that post mentions a few books I’ve read that are the furthest out from logic.

A few more I’ve enjoyed:

5. Nannies

Covers of: Jane Eyre; This House is Haunted; and Governess

Why do I identify so hard with nannies? I dunno but if the protagonist is a nanny, I’m in.

Some favorites:

  • Jane Eyre (obvi)
  • This House is Haunted
  • Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres – This is a somewhat academic look at the lives of well-known nannies, including, most interestingly, Mary Wollstonecraft and Claire Clairmont (lover of Lord Byron with whom she had a child). I enjoyed this a lot, but at first I was hoping it’d be a peek into the daily lives of the governesses—it wasn’t. If anyone knows of a book like that, I’d love to read it!

6. Haunted houses

haunted house book covers

I like books that make me afraid to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Books like:

  • The Haunting of Hill House – If that nighttime door-banging doesn’t get to you, you are not human.
  • Rebecca – Asks the classic question: Is the house haunted or is it all in your head?
  • The Doll in the Garden – I read this book as a kid and it stuck with me so long that I re-read it last year. Yep, still freaked me out. Mary Downing Hahn, you wizard.

I’m always looking for more of these, so if you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comments—bonus if there’s a nanny!

7. Foster care

foster

I’m slightly obsessed with books by/about foster mothers and children, both fiction and nonfiction. I wrote a post about my most recent dive into that world here.

These are a few I recommend:

8. Animal memoirs

animals

No, not memoirs by animals. Memoirs by people about their time spent with animals.

Some favorites are:

9. Tudor history

TudorBooks

IMG_20180207_184005.jpg

Part of my Tudor and Tudor-related collection

I’ve always been interested in British history and literature in general, but honestly, my interest in the Tudors was cemented by the show The Tudors. I fell in love and went through a phase where I read everything I could get my hands on about Henry VIII and his wives. Then, everything I could about any other Tudor.

 

Here’s a mishmash of books I’ve read on the topic:

I will also confess to reading The Other Boleyn Girl and seeing the movie. DON’T JUDGE ME.

10. Women leaving oppressive religions

memoir

I left Catholicism (not because I found it oppressive but because it didn’t make sense for me) so I suppose that’s where this interest comes from. I like books about women leaving long-established religions as well as books about women who’ve left homes where weird made-up religious rules were foisted upon them.

These are a few standouts:

11. And a bonus category: anything about how the French do it better

French

Sick of these books? I find them condescending at best, but I still love a good book on how the French are doing things better. Cooking better, eating better, raising their children better. I wonder if I’m into this theme because I partially agree with the sentiment?

A few I’ve enjoyed:

To see what other people did with this Top Ten prompt, check out today’s post on That Artsy Reader Girl.

Standard
That Reading Life, Top Ten Tuesday

Books that have been on my TBR the longest (and that I still haven’t read)

This post is part of a blog hop for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. See how it works here.


Header

Shelfie photoI have myriad ways of managing my TBR (or “To Be Read” for the uninitiated) pile, which I have already written about here. So, responding to this prompt has been a combination of shelf-scanning and delving into the bowels of my Amazon wish lists.

In the end, I found the books I’ve been postponing the longest are books I already own. They’ve been sitting on the TBR shelf (pictured), some of them for several years, waiting patiently for me to stop checking out books at the library. And I just don’t feel any urgency because I already own them. They’re not going away unless I purge them, so there’s no rush.

That said, I also discovered that I actually don’t keep TBR books around that long. I do a decent job of reading them or purging. I mean, we’re running out of bookshelf space in my house, so there’s no sense in collecting new books unless I’m purging old ones to even the balance.

Enough preamble. Here’s the list!

Books that have been on my TBR the longest (and that I still haven’t read)

Cover of Lucky Jim1. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

I work at a university. Why haven’t I read this yet?? I think I saw it mentioned on a blog, slapped it on the to-read list, and promptly forgot about it. Par for the course, really.

 

 

image of booksm on shelf

See? Languishing.

2. The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt

This one ticks so many boxes for me—the V&A Museum! a rambling country house! England! Europe!—and yet, there you see it, languishing on a shelf.

 

Cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle3. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I love Shirley Jackson, like, as a person. I adored The Haunting of Hill House and I’m aiming to read her memoirs at some point so that counts for something, I suppose. I’ve tried reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I’ve tried listening to the audiobook. It should be a shoo-in for me, but I can’t get through it. And because I refuse to give up, it remains in the TBR.

Cover of Life's Companion: Journaling as a Spiritual Path

Just looking at it makes me feel guilty…that’s it, I’m donating it!

4. Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Christina Baldwin

This has probably been in my TBR the longest. Again, I own it and it’s languishing on a shelf. I keep cracking it open and reading the first few pages. Then, it makes me feel like I should be journaling, a feeling to which I respond with immediate rebellion and close the book. Thus, it remains TBR.

Cover of The Blind Assassin5. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

I read my first Atwood book last year, The Handmaid’s Tale, and then I saw her when she came to speak at my alma mater. She’s very dry and witty. If you get a chance to see her speak, definitely go. Anyway, this has been on my TBR since about 2014 and there it remains.

Cover of The Goldfinch

Fool me once, Donna Tartt…

6. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I want to read this, but I think I’m too traumatized from hate-reading The Secret History for book club.

 

 

Cover of 84, Charing Cross Road7. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Again, this one checks a lot of boxes. Haven’t cracked it once.

 

 

49364578. The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer

I have started this book. It’s just so dense. I know, a nonfiction medieval history is dense—big surprise, right? Still, I had hopes because of the fun illustration and the cheerful tone of the author. It’ll happen…eventually.

5649101

The jury’s still out, tbh.

9. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland

I’ve been “currently reading” this book on Goodreads for about two months now. It really calls into question whether I actually do want to write. The truth is, writing creatively comes and goes these days. I don’t have any discernible writing practice. I can barely convince myself to journal in a notebook (see #4). My writing outside of work hours (where I write and edit and proof all day) is, at best, sporadic. At the same time, writing creatively has always been my thing. I suppose I’ll get back to it eventually.

poser

In the time it’s taken me to decide whether I want to read her first memoir, Derderer has written a whole other memoir.

10. Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Derderer

I picked up this one because I like a good yoga memoir (my favorite so far is Yoga Bitch). I’ve started it a couple of times, though, and it just hasn’t held my attention. I’m on the fence about whether to try again or just DNF it.

 

If you’ve had enough of me and you’re interested in seeing the books other people aren’t reading, pop over to today’s post on That Artsy Reader Girl.

Standard