I haven’t written anything in a long time

But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. Off the top of my head, here are some books I’ve read in the last year or so. Does anyone want to hear about any of them?

The Parable of the Sower AND The Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler (I loved the first, but it was so brutal it took me a year to work up to attempting the second. These books HURT but they are so worth it.)

The Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny (I blazed through this series despite my efforts to pace myself. I love, love love Three Pines and want to live there. But only in the summer.)

How to Think by Alan Jacobs (I hoped it would make me smarter, but…)

Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (My book club read this and the discussion was great. It took me ages to listen to this for 2 reasons: It’s extremely dense and the language is academic; and it is incredibly hard to hear an African American reader read a history of racism out loud. So worth the effort, though.)

Standard Deviation : a Novel by Katherine Heiny (My father-in-law recommended this because he loved the characters. I was appalled by them but reluctantly impressed nonetheless by the story.)

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (Oh. My. God. Your childhood ain’t got NUTHIN on this woman’s childhood.)

Hunger : a Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (Every human should read this.)

The Penric books by Lois McMaster Bujold (A series of novellas that take place in the World of Five Gods. Imagine Miles Vorkosigan as a religious rather than a military hero and you’re close.)

Endurance : a Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly (I followed his year in space kinda obsessively, and just read the article about how his DNA is still different from his twin’s one year after his return. Great audiobook read by the author.)

What Happened by Hillary Clinton (I still can’t quite figure out what happened. I tried Reading the Trump book Fire and Fury to see if that would fill in some holes, but it was so poorly edited and awful I couldn’t finish it.)

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritson (Read as a reader’s advisory assignment for work. Gripping, but too gory for me to continue the series. Also there’s a tiny plot point where they violate a library patron’s privacy, but that only bothers librarians, I guess.)

Killing Floor by Lee Child (another RA exercise. Good story, but I had to laugh at the hero who is so, so much larger than life that my willing suspension of disbelief almost failed me. I might read another of the series at some point if I need a good thrill.)

The first two Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly (Another RA assignment. Harry Bosch is Harry Dresden without the magic part. A little too dark and gritty – I’ll probably read more, but not back to back. But how could I not appreciate a hero named after my favorite Art History anomaly?)

Natural-born Heroes : How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall (Two of my favorite things: endurance sports and World War II Nazi resistance. How could I fail to like this one?)

H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald (This book was beautiful. Sad. True. Eloquent. Plus it finally convinced me to read Sword in the Stone, which was delightful.)

Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (As described above, delightful.)

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (As a Scooby Doo fan, I had to read it. Truly creepy while simultaneously managing to be campy – and mercifully, the Fred character is already dead at the beginning, so he’s much less annoying as a figment of the Shaggy character’s imagination. The Velma equivalent kicks ass. Best of all, the dog can’t talk.)

Fanny Says by Nickole Brown (This book is the poet’s tribute to her grandmother which paints her realistically, warts and all, but makes you understand why her family loves her anyway.)

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight (My book club read Marie Kondo’s book and this was my attempt to recover. Unlke Kondo’s book, it actually did kind of change my life, so, hey, points for truth in titling.)

F*ck Feelings by Michael Bennett (I’ve read an awful lot of books lately with profanity in the titles. This was just OK, but it was fun to read on the train since people stare.)

The Teleportation Accident: A Novel by Ned Beauman (Weird, weird, weird. But fun.)

Spare Parts by Joshua Davis (Great story, plus it was our Hillsboro Reads title last year and one of the guys from the book came to one of our events. He was terrific.)

Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by AJ Jacobs (AJ Jacobs never fails to amuse the hell out of me. Not as good as his Drop Dead Healthy but few things are.)

The Paris Architect by Chrles Belfoure (Recommended by my husband’s uncle. WWII feel-good Nazi resistance.)

Grunt by Mary Roach (This audiobook got me through a bout of flu/food poisoning. If a book is good enough to distract you from vomiting, that’s a heck of an endorsement.)

I’ll Be Right There by Kyŏng-suk Sin (I remember absolutely loving this book, and wondering what I missed by not reading it in its original language. But now the plot has slipped away, and all I can remember is the main character’s sense of loss and how melancholy-in-a-good-way the book made me feel.)

Almost Missed You : A Novel by Jessica Strawser (Read for book club. Twisty, and involves child-napping. Usually I refuse to read missing kid books but I stuck it out. Just OK.)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (I think Gaiman was channeling Ray Bradbury on this one. It had that creepy as hell “all the adults are evil but no one believes the kid because he’s a kid” thing going.)

The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner (Fascinating. And now as a bonus I actually know who the Kardashians are.)

Promised Land by Cynthia Felice (Co-written by Connie Willis. Lighter and fluffier than her later stuff, but I liked it. Similar to Anne McCaffrey’s more romance-y books.)

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar– : Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes AND Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates : Using Philosophy (and jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between by Thomas Cathcart  (A coworker recommended the first, and I went through it and the second. Funny, plus the audiobooks are read by Grover Gardner, who I would most likely listen to if he chose to read the dictionary or a shopping list. There are more, but I’m trying to pace myself.)

Crosstalk by Connie Willis (Fun. Fluffier than her last two. Reminded me of Bellwether, updated for the smartphone age.)

Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee (Ha.)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (Long. Odd. The founding fathers were a bunch of nut jobs, and I can’t get enough.)

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Nobody knows anybody as well as they think they do.)

Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood (Goofy. Atwood is having fun here.)

Territory by Emma Bull (A magical realism western with feminist overtones. Unsatisfying ending but a nice journey until I got lost.)

Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood (this might be the second-best Margaret Atwood ever, but I like Shakespeare and awful lot, so I might be biased. I alternated reading with listening and while the book is great, the audio kicks it up a notch or two or five.)

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (YA) (I read this because I loved Code Name Verity so much, but it wasn’t as devastating. Good, but not heartbreakingly so like Verity.)

I have listened to at least 4 of Sarah Vowell’s audiobooks but can’t remember now looking over the titles which ones. I know I liked Lafayette in the Somewhat United States best, but they were all good.

children’s books:

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Crooked Sixpence  : Uncommoners Series, Book 1 by Jennifer Bell

Running with the Reservoir Pups by Colin Bateman

Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb

Bring Me the Head of Oliver Plunkett by Colin Bateman


I’m sure there were more, but I am tired now and want to read.





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