Sunday, June 24, 2012

Methods of discovery

Think back to the last five books you read. How did you find out about them? Now imagine being asked the same question in June 2022. How different do you think your answers will be? (New Reads: What's Your Method of Discovery?)

Hell, why stop at five? These are the books I've read in June and how I came to read them:

 In a Perfect World. Laura Kasischke
After completing the open-ended final page, I took to the internet this morning and discovered that many regulars from my google reader had reviewed this back in 2009. I paid no mind until MFS at Mental Multivitamin catergorized it as "good stuff" late last summer. I bought it in September.

The Astronomer and Other Stories. Doris Betts
A reissue of my favorite professor and writing instructor's 1965 collection of short stories. I started it just scant days before she died this spring, and had to set it aside until I hardened up a little inside.

 A Candle in Her Room. Ruth M. Arthur
A childhood favorite that's unfortunately out-of-print. My ILL copy was sent from Duke University. I was inspired to reread it for the Girl Detective's Summer of Shelf Discovery.

Children in Reindeer Woods. Kristin Omarsdottir
Spotted on the New Books shelves at the university library, I first was intrigued by the title and that it was translated from the Icelandic; then, by the fact that it's garnered no attention in the book blogging world.

A Question of Upbringing and A Buyer's Market. Anthony Powell
A Dance to the Music of Time's been on my radar since Modern Library named it one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. I'm reading it now because I convinced Wendy to read it with me.

Harriet the Spy. Louise Fitzhugh; and Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. Judy Blume
Two more books from childhood being reread for the Summer of Shelf Discovery.

Born in Exile. George Gissing
One of these days, the right book blogger's going to ignite a lot of interest in old George Gissing and everyone's going to be reading him. I've been slowly making my way through his books by my lonesome self since first reading The Odd Women back in 2004.

Gone Girl, Dark Places and Sharp Objects. Gillian Flynn
I don't read a lot of thrillers or mysteries, but had heard enough about Gone Girl pre-pub to make me want to give it a chance. . . and quickly, too, before I read a spoiler, so I preordered it for the Kindle. By the time I'd finished it, I'd placed library holds on the two earlier books. But then I spotted Dark Places in the campus book store. And I bought Sharp Objects for the Kindle when I'd finished it. I went through them all in a week.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir). Jenny Lawson
Somehow I'd never seen Lawson's blog, but placed a library hold on it based on all the attention in the blogging community. My mother-in-law requested a copy based on reading a magazine review.

Wolf Hall. Hilary Mantel
I love Mantel, but had told myself I was going to wait to read the Thomas Cromwell series after it was complete. I couldn't ignore the enthusiasm for Bring Up the Bodies, though. That's my next read!

So I appear to be reading (and rereading) favorite authors and books, working my way through the classics, and succumbing to internet buzz. Four books came from the library, five I already owned, two I bought electronically, one was a free electronic download, and one came from an actual bookstore, but a bookstore where I'd never go for suggestions. I can't imagine I'll be doing things much differently a decade on.


  1. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Great post! I just reread The Golden Notebook, which I first read as a teenage; I read Emylia Hall's The Book of Summer because I liked the cover; and have found out about some other books I've read by browsing at Amazon.

    I guess it's a bookstore summer.

  2. In the last couple of years, I've gotten fewer suggestions from blogs, because it seems so many people are pushing the same new titles.

  3. Anonymous7:14 AM

    What an interesting post. I really should consider the 'backstory' of how I ended up reading specific books in a particular month more often at the end of the month, midway through the year etc.

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