Saturday, July 08, 2023

A bang, not a whimper


Two months into L.'s retirement, and I'm finished with the stockpiling of books. No more book purchases! Or at least, no purchases until I am ready to start the book instead of having it on hand for the future. 

The books that I succumbed to before transitioning totally into this new stage:

The Novel: A Biography by Michael Schmidt. A 700-year history of the novel, this tome concerns itself with "the creative dialogues between authors and between books, and suggests how these dialogues have shaped the development of the novel in English." 

The Way the Day Breaks by David Roberts. Mental illness in 1980s Yorkshire.

One Afternoon by Sian James. This first novel won the Yorkshire Post Book Award in 1975 and has been reissued by Persephone Books.

Space Crone by Ursula K. Le Guin. Somehow I've allowed Le Guin to be a gap in my reading. Must remedy that.

The Love of Singular Men by Victor Heringer. The latest title from my Peirene Press subscription by a Brazilian author who died in 2018 at the age of 30.

I am Homeless if This is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore. Moore's a favorite, an automatic buy. Between the subject matter and some of the reviews, I'm almost afraid to read it.

To Battersea Park by Philip Hensher. A novel set in London during the pandemic.

Cousins by Aurora Venturini. An Argentine novel published when the author was 85 and had already published more than 30 books; it's her first translated into English.

Still Life at Eighty : The Next Interesting Thing by Abigail Thomas. These days I'm interested in books with elderly narrators/protagonists, so when Stephen King himself raved about this memoir on Twitter, I was quick to both order and read it.

The Lie of the Land and The Three Graces by Amanda Craig. I'm currently reading The Three Graces, the story of three women in their 80s living in Tuscany, and The Lie of the Land, an earlier Craig, features some of the same characters.

Windmill Hill by Lucy Atkins. Elderly main characters who live in a windmill. I've already read it and it was delightful.

Who's Your Founding Father? by David Fleming. An exploration of how Thomas Jefferson plagiarized the Declaration of Independence from the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Local history!

The Blazing World : A New History of Revolutionary England 1603-1689 by Jonathan Healey. Heavy sigh. I have so many history books stockpiled I should really try to schedule a year when I read nothing but.

The World : A Family History of Humanity by Simon Sebag Montefiore. I read the sections on Oliver Cromwell in conjunction with Robert Harris's Act of Oblivion last month. 

Oblivion : An After Autobiography by Robin Hemley. Hemley's memoir about his sister, Nola, is one of my favorites. The only reason this joined the stockpile instead of being read immediately is I don't want to subject it to my usual a-bit-here-a-bit-there reading approach. I want time to read it without interruption and it's hard to manage that.

The Lola Quartet and The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel. I started reading Mandel with Station Eleven and need to loop back to her earlier novels.

Mischief Acts by Zoe Gilbert. English folklore.

Reynard the Fox by Anne Louise Avery. French folklore. 

The Year of the Cat by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett. Yet another pandemic novel set in London.

Under the Henfluence : Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them by Tove Danovich. There's a country store within walking distance of the house we're renovating that sells baby chicks; I can't wait until we can put together our flock.

Beaver Land : How One Weird Rodent Made America by Leila Philip. There are beavers in the creek on L.'s mom's farm and I think they're awesome.

At the Table by Claire Powell. I think this is supposed to be in the vein of Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss.

In Ascension by Martin Macinnes. I love literary science fiction and I am very much looking forward to this.

Big Swiss by Jen Beagin. I read this one right after purchasing. I enjoyed it, but should probably have waited to get it from the library.

The Woman Who Climbed Trees by Smriti Ravindra. An impulse buy from an actual trip to an actual bookstore instead of my usual online method. The author went to NC State.

Forbidden Notebook by Alba De Cespedes.  I help select popular reading titles at the university library and I put this one down to order in January. It is still yet to be purchased and that's why I obtained by own. I hope to have it read before Her Side of the Story comes out in October.

Humanly Possible : Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope by Sarah Bakewell.  This will join How to Live and At the Existentialist Cafe on the shelf and perhaps they can work it out among themselves which one I should read first.

The Stone World by Joel Agee. The first novel by James Agee's son. For when I'm tired of reading about old folk.





A bang, not a whimper

  Two months into L.'s retirement, and I'm finished with the stockpiling of books. No more book purchases! Or at least, no purcha...