A monthly post about what I've been reading, with aspirations but no real hope of reading down a very tall stack of books. Previous posts from this year:
My last post was about how fast October went by, and now here we are, already halfway through November. What? I've been spending this week deep-cleaning my kitchen in preparation for Thanksgiving. On one hand, it's deeply satisfying--getting rid of stuff I don't need, finding things I've been missing or forgot I had (Although I did not find my garlic press. How does one lose something like that??), seeing my Fiesta ware all clean and shiny and lined up on the shelves. On the other hand, I'd rather be curled up with a book, like one of these I read last month.
Audiobooks (not pictured above):
I had some credits left in the audiobook account I got last year for my long cross-country journey. The first two volumes in Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club series got me through a good deal of the long drive home, and I really loved the narrator so when the third installment, The Bullet that Missed, came out in late September, I knew I had to listen to it. But when? I didn't have any long car rides planned, so I wasn't sure when I'd fit in listening to an audiobook. I downloaded it anyway and listened as I was going to sleep at night, and again when I got up in the morning, to catch up on the bits I'd dozed through, and while I ate breakfast and lunch, and when I went on my afternoon walk, and while I cooked dinner, in short, at every chance I got. After I listened to Bullet, I went back and re-listened to both of the first two in the series and then I listened to Bullet again. I love the characters, the plot twists, the humor, the light-handed social commentary. I'm back to reading on paper again, but now that I think of it, I should have listened to this series again while I cleaned the kitchen!
Now when I walk, I listen to podcasts, often Selected Shorts, and that's where I heard an excerpt of Nora Ephron's Heartburn. I enjoyed it so much, I picked up the book, which is entertaining and funny and a little maddening (the husband is a rat).
And back to murder, we visited M during homecoming weekend at his college in October, and as always when we're there, we popped into the book store, which always has good deals on the clearance shelf, which is where I picked up Anthony Horowitz's The Sentence is Death. Now I recall there being something about the first book in this series (The Word is Murder) that frustrated me--a flaw in the timeline, I believe (strangely I can't find it in my past blog posts!). But I've enjoyed Horowitz's other mysteries, so I gave it a chance and enjoyed it thoroughly (in part because the mild October weather allowed me to read it in my hammock!).
After my Amelia Peabody jag of August and September, I wanted to keep it going with the Egypt theme, so I found a copy of a book I've been meaning to read for a long while, The Names of Things, by Susan Brindles Morrow, about the author's time spent in Egypt and Sudan as a young woman, traveling to remote regions of both countries. It's written in very much the lyric vein, as in much more impressionistic and poetic than factual and detailed. It's a beautiful book, and it made me wish I'd been that brave when I was young.
Wanderers: A History of Women Walking by Kerri Andrews is a book I picked up in Colorado when I was there last November, and somehow it took me a whole year to read it, dipping in and out. It tells the story of women writers for whom walking was an important aspect of their lives, such as Dorothy Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Cheryl Strayed.
In other book news, when I cleaned out my closet, switching summer clothes over to winter, I went through the box of books that I'd stashed in there as well as a couple of other teetering piles of books in other corners of my room, and decided that I'm not ever going to get around to reading most of them, and ended up taking a large box and a bag of books to the used bookstore! My original goal was to read all the books I have and then get rid of them, but if they've been sitting around for years getting pushed aside in favor of new books, I think it's a good sign that it's never going to happen. Now someone else can enjoy them.
Finally, Arctic Dance is a biography of Margaret Murie, author of Two in the Far North and Wapiti Wilderness the "mother" of the modern American conservation movement. This book is a companion to the documentary of the same name (narrated by Harrison Ford!), and is filled with photos and stories that fill in the gaps about Murie's life that don't make it into her books. She was a courageous, self-effacing, gifted woman who made the world we live in a better place.