Hello and Happy New Year! I’m back from two wonderful weeks in Michigan and ready to jump into several posts about 2008 (mainly 2008 reading) that I have planned/started. I will also post my goals for 2009 reading.
First up – my Polysyllabic Spree for December:
Books Purchased (or received as gifts)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
The Best American Short Stories edited by Stephen King
Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947 – 1963 by Susan Sontag
Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
Love Letters of Great Men edited by Ursula Doyle (gift)
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry selected by Billy Collins
Eleanor Roosevelt Volume 1 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook
Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (gift)
The Time of Their Lives by Al Silverman (gift)
Shakespeare Wrote for the Money by Nick Hornby (gift)
Very Far Away from Anywhere Else by Ursula K. Le Guin
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (gift)
The Best American Short Stories of the Eighties edited by Shannon Ravenel
With Love and Squalor edited by Kip Kotzen and Thomas Beller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
I received many wonderful books for Christmas. I also got several fantastic cookbooks, which I do not include on my official book lists. The cookbooks I received were: The Art and Soul of Baking, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, and The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. It seems my books acquired stack is destined to always be towering, but this month its size is mainly due to the many awesome $1 to $2 book deals I found at Book Off, Skyline Books, The Book Nook, and the KPL Friends of the Library bookstore. Oh well, there’s always next year to try to accumulate less books. :)
(Also not pictured is my collector’s edition of Tales of Beedle the Bard. It’s absolutely gorgeous, in fact – a little too gorgeous to actually read. Instead of buying the US edition as a reading copy, I fell in love with the cover of the UK edition, so I ordered it from Amazon UK. Yes, I’m that fanatical about my Harry Potter collection.)
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (library)
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (library)
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (library)
I only finished three books in December. I blame the holidays. I started a lot of things that I didn’t finish in December, and hopefully will soon. I did really enjoy the three books I read this month though. I read the complete Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. It’s a teen fantasy saga and it’s much better than the Twilight series. It’s very dark and gothic, which was just what I was in the mood for during the busy holidays – something completely absorbing that would be very fun to read. Rebel Angels, the second book, is my favorite in the trilogy. If you’re interested in learning more about this series, the official website has descriptions of each book, and a link where you can read the first chapter of A Great and Terrible Beauty. Also, according to IMDB, A Great and Terrible Beauty is going to be made into a movie, coming out in 2010. The status is only “announced” so I hope this actually happens, it would make an excellent movie. An added bonus of this series – the love interest, Kartik, is completely wonderful.
Short Stories Read:
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(There are many collections that include this story, including several cool new stand alone editions, but I read the story in a book called Before Gatsby: The First 26 Stories.)
I’ve decided to try logging short stories that I read into my monthly posts. However, I’m not going to list individual stories when I read an entire collection at once, or if I plan on finishing the entire collection soon. I’d like to read more short stories from various places (like the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, and various anthologies of short stories by multiple authors). I’m not very good at making time to read them though, so I think having a running list will help. In December I wanted to read “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” before seeing the movie. I love most of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories, and this one was good too. I saw the movie on New Year’s Day. I enjoyed it a lot, but it was completely different from the short story. If you’re interested in reading the story for yourself, it’s available for free online right here.
Currently reading: Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon.
As a bonus this month, since I’ve been absent for over 2 weeks, here are three more fun book related photos from this month:
Here’s a photo of some awesome bookplates I found at Schuler Books in Michigan (a fabulous independent bookstore I love to visit when I’m there). The picture is one of my favorite paintings, The Bookworm.
This is an old photo I found in a book I bought at the Book Nook in Cadillac, Michigan.
Here are old bookmarks that were free from the KPL Friends Bookstore.
(This post was brought over from emilyw.vox.com. Click here for the original post and comments.)