Wow, can you believe it is December already? And in just a little over two weeks I will be enjoying a two-week vacation. Awesome! So it’s a good thing I have lots of books to read. Take a look at the state of my reading table:
This little table sits next to my reading nest. I have no idea how all those books got there. Ok, well maybe I know how a few of them got there but I think other books have either snuck onto the pile of their own accord or the books that were already on the table are reproducing. Isn’t that an interesting thought? Imagine what the results would be if A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing hooked up with Guermantes Way. Actually, that is kind of scary to think about so let’s just talk about what I hope to read in December which includes not a few of the books piled on that table.
Why not begin with Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing? I am over halfway through it and liking it very much. I would have been done with it by now if I had been able to renew Narrow Road to the Deep North. I will be returning to it very shortly and expect I will soon be turning the last page.
Sadly, Guermantes Way slipped by the wayside, getting very little attention. It got some and I can honestly say I am enjoying it much more than when I first attempted it a number of years ago. But because I have been inundated with library holds, I could not give dear Proust very much attention. I hope December will allow me to rectify that.
Also falling by the wayside in November were Keats’ letters. I plan to get back to those too because I will be making a little study of Keats in 2015. And The Magicians by Lev Grossman has also suffered neglect due to all those library holds. It too is a library book but it is one I can renew which means its deadline is a bit farther out. Still, I don’t want to let it linger too long and I am about halfway through it so it shouldn’t take too much effort to finish up. Remind me I said that come January.
I had really been looking forward to reading Women in Clothes edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. It’s an exploration of the things we ask ourselves while getting dressed each day. I expected there to be more analysis and social commentary, more discussion about appearance and body image and all that. There is some of that but it is mostly light and girlfriend-y and I am not sure I will keep going with it. I must admit to having a good laugh as one woman described her style as a “post-apocalyptic Audrey Hepburn My Little Pony sort of thing.” Since there is no photo that leaves one to imagine all sorts of possibilities.
I recently began reading Claudia Rankine’s newest book Citizen: An American Lyric. With all of the jaw dropping racist mess the Ferguson police and legal system have made of Michael Brown’s murder by a white police officer, Rankine’s is a timely book about the sorts of racism that take place on a daily basis in America. It is one of those wonderful cross-genre sorts of books that is easiest to put in the category of essays but these are no ordinary essays.
Also on the piles to read in December is a review copy of Dirty Chick, about a couple who leave their urban life to try farming without ever having had any experience. From the library to read under deadline is F by Daniel Kehlmann and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’t Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker. Pinker is a linguist and cognitive scientist so I am not sure why he wrote what amounts to a style guide, but it has the potential to be interesting if for no other reason than it might have a different point of view than your standard writing manual.
I’m also in the mood for some good science fiction. I’ve been hearing so much about Ann Leckie’s Nebula and Hugo Award winning Ancillary Justice that I could no longer ignore it. The story is about Breq, an artificial intelligence that used to control a huge starship that is now stuck in a human body. She’s out for answers and revenge. Fun!
And just in case all that is not enough, I also have on hand another Euripides play, Iphigenia in Tauris, because, you know, it would be horrible to not have enough books to read. Don’t laugh, I have a two-week vacation remember? So much time to read. I can hardly wait!