Ah December, how quickly you arrived this year. I am beginning to suspect that December is part of a vast conspiracy that secretly removes days from other months of the year, only a few every year so no one becomes suspicious, making the year shorter and December earlier and earlier. Where do those missing days go? I bet there is an enormous warehouse in the Nevada desert, a black-ops site, and inside this warehouse are the missing days crammed into cages looking sad and bedraggled. I wonder if freeing them would fall under PETA’s jurisdiction or Amnesty International?

For better or worse, here we are in December with the end of the year coming on fast. The last two weeks of the month will be glorious vacation days during which I plan on doing a whole heck of a lot of reading. I can’t say exactly what I will be reading during that time, only what books are on my plate for the month some of which will be read during vacation.

I had to buy a copy of The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth because reading it before the library due date was not going to happen and it is definitely not a book that one can leave off in the middle of for a month until another library copy can be had. And of course, since I have my own copy now, the urgency to read it disappeared and I look at it on my reading table every day and feel a twinge of guilt. But, I will read it this month!

Waiting for me to pick up at the library is a book I read about in the New York Review of Books, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina. In spite of the anthropomorphizing possibilities signaled by the title, it sounds like it manages pretty well to stay away from that problem. I’ll let you know!

I am also in the midst of a book I got to review for Library Journal called In the Midst of Fear. The name of the author currently escapes me and as there are two cats laying on me and the book is in another room, I will have to get back to you on that. I do know the author is a Polish poet who has also written a couple novels. This book is her memoir and about not finding out she was Jewish until she was seventeen. So far it is really good.

I finally got around to picking up Iphegenia in Tauris by Euripides the other day. I checked out this book from the university library back in February of this year and am feeling rather embarrassed to still have it. I am almost finished with it. Not as exciting as many of Euripdes’ other plays but it is interesting.

I am also close to two-thirds of the way through Speak by Louisa Hall. It is pretty good so far. At the moment I can’t see how all the various narrative threads might be brought to any kind of ending and that is making me curious. A good thing.

Also on the go is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I am liking it very much and have no idea why it has taken me so long to get around to reading it. Danielle and I are reading it together. Even though I read a little nearly every day, the book does not move along at a fast clip. That’s ok. It’s not that kind of book but rather a contemplative one you don’t want to read fast.

I thought I might have had Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie around Thanksgiving, but it was not to be. I have moved up to number three in the holds queue so my turn is imminent. Hooray!

It looks like after that I might catch a break from the library books. But then you never know really. I say that all the time and then suddenly a pile is waiting for me to pick up.

My Elizabeth Bishop project is still going. I like Bishop very much. And I am moving slowly through Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

No doubt there will be other books that make their way in front of my eyeballs this month but those are the ones I know about and am planning on. December is usually a pretty good reading month for me and I expect it will be again this year.

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