I’ve been doing quite well reading from my own shelves this year, partly by avoiding the library. But I can’t avoid it all the time! I love the library. There are lots and lots of books, and they’re free for the taking. And what’s more, I can take the books home, enjoy looking at them for a time, and read them or not at my whim. If I don’t get around to them, back they go, where they will wait for me to take them home again the next time they suit my fancy.
Plus, of course, I don’t necessarily want to buy every book I’m planning to read, so I often use the library for books I’m reading for a book club or the Classics Circuit. It was the upcoming Classics Circuit on Meiji Japanese Classics that took my to the library this week. And of course, I couldn’t leave with just the two books Jenny and I are thinking of reading. I had to fill my bag with all I could comfortably carry on the walk home—so I have eight books I’d love to read, but know I won’t have time for before they’re due.
Last time I brought a big stack of books home, I let you, dear readers, help me choose what to put at the top of the stack. It was great fun, especially since your votes led me to read Fingersmith, so I thought I would do it again. Here’s the loot I’m choosing from. Vote in the poll and/or leave a comment with your suggestions. (Of course, I will be reading one of the two Classics Circuit possibilities.)
In other news: Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming on October 9. This is the first time I haven’t had theatre commitments or been out of the country, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably just plug away at whatever book(s) I’m reading by Saturday. I also have plenty of short story collections, a few graphic novels, several novellas, and a bunch of immersive tomes on hand. In past years, I’ve often focused on one long thrillery book on Readathon day (think Wilkie Collins), which has worked great because those kinds of books are the ones I want to spend hours with. As usual I’ll be donating 10 cents for each page I read to a classroom library project at Donors Choose.
Edited to add: I chose my specific projects this afternoon, all three involving high schools in the region where I grew up and actually taught high school for a couple of year. Please check them out, and throw a few bucks their way if you feel so inclined.
Notes from a Reading Life (Sept. 22–Oct. 2)
- The Cause by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Morland Dynasty #23)
- The Chalet Girl by Kate Lace
- Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882 by Roger Daniels (church book club)
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Vol 1 by M.T. Anderson (audio)
- Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (reread)
- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Vol. 2 by M.T. Anderson (audio)
- Paradise Lost by John Milton (church book club)
- Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler
- The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (unsolicited review copy)
- Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. Won in a BBAW giveaway at Mysteries in Paradise
On My Radar
- Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans. A short story collection about the lives of African Americans today. Video review by the Washington Post’s “Totally Hip Book Critic” Ron Charles.
- Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez. The strange story of Eva Peron’s corpse. Reviewed at Caravana de recuerdos (as well as the blogs of other members of the Unstructured Book Group. Richard’s review is just the first that I spotted).
- Never the Bride and Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs. The first two novels in a series about two older ladies battling the forces of evil. Reviewed at Juxtabook
- Candide by Voltaire. I thought this was all philosophical and dense, but CB James referred to it a being like “A Series of Unfortunate Events” for adults. I’m seeing the musical later this year, and now I’m wondering if I can sneak in a reading.
- One Day by David Nicholls. A couple have a fling on their graduation night in 1988, and the narrative revisits them on that same date every year for 20 years. Reviewed at Other Stories.