September is my favorite month, and it always flies by so quickly. I didn’t finish a lot in September, mainly due to powering through the rest of Anna Karenina and starting several books towards the end of the month that failed to hold my attention and got DNF’ed. But I read some quality books, and that’s what counts.
Books Read: 7
- The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
- Gumption by Nick Offerman (audiobook)
- Looking at Mindfulness by Christophe André
- Just Kids by Patti Smith (re-read)
I devoured Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? on audio. I’m really glad I went with the audiobook – it’s so much fun to hear her narrate it. I loved how open and candid she is – she’s not afraid to confess to things that people might judge her for. She’s down to earth, funny, and she keeps it real. My only complaint was that it wasn’t longer. Please write more books, Mindy!
This year I’ve started counting literary journals as books read, when I read them cover to cover. This mainly applies to Slightly Foxed. The four days of the year when this quarterly appears in my mailbox — fresh off the press from across the pond — are four of the happiest mailbox days of the year. Their autumn issue (#47) provided much delight. I especially loved the essays about Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, the novels of John Updike, and the joy of Harriet the Spy. Slightly Foxed always adds to my TBR list, but that’s not why I read them (goodness knows I have enough books on that list). I read them because they rejoice in the pure delight of literature – it’s the ultimate in meta “reading about reading.” Even if I don’t think I want to read a book that an essay is discussing, I enjoy learning about the book and hearing why the contributor loved it. The format works well because Slightly Foxed is so wonderfully written and edited. And it’s cozy – that’s the other wonderful element. I think the combination of it being British and that it covers backlist books (many of them “lost” favorites) makes it incredibly cozy. Ok – I’ll stop rambling about Slightly Foxed now, but seriously you guys: it’s fantastic.
After a summer of slowly making my way through Anna Karenina, I’ve finally finished. I enjoyed it a lot, but the second half was definitely more of a slog – it had more long painful stretches than the first half. I’ll likely share a post with all my thoughts and favorite quotes after I finish discussing it with my readalong buddy, Emma.
I’ve been in the mood to read a meaty, historical non-fiction book. I thought that would be The Bully Pulpit, but then I impulse-purchased Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, and that one might win out. I hope to start it in November once I finish a few October galleys. I’ve been waiting for A Philosophy of Walking to come out in paperback, and I spotted it – on sale! – at the Brooklyn Book Festival. I also picked up a copy of Stamp Stencil Paint – a lovely craft book from Etsy seller Anna Joyce. I let myself do a little secondhand book shopping on my birthday, and came home with In Defense of Food and The Year of Reading Proust from the wonderful P.S. Bookshop in Dumbo. And last but not least, I did a decent amount of bookshop hopping during our weekend in Boston, and picked up The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike – two books by authors I just posted about wanting to read. (Please ignore the fact that I already owned books by these two authors – obviously I needed new options.)