what I'm reading. {vol. 1}

I read a lot.  Always have and, hopefully, always will.  It's no surprise that I have a degree in English.  But here's a bad habit I developed during undergrad & grad school -- I am a perpetual rereader.  During school, especially as English degrees go, you don't have much time to read for pleasure.  It's absolutely horrible.  You have to read all these books for school so the ones you want to read get left by the wayside.   Reading before bed has always been something of a routine for me.  Having my brain stuffed with crazy, heavy novels and other literature forced on me by my professors, I just wanted to chill out and read something I knew at night.  So I started getting in the habit of "comfort books" and just rereading all my favorite books I'd already read.  This habit isn't so terrible until you take away the school aspect and then miraculously you have time to read for pleasure again -- but now you've associated pleasure reading with comfort reading and you get stuck in ruts.  Woe is me.  The upside, I do have spurts of reading new books, albeit not as often as I'd like.  I'm trying to train myself again to read more new-to-me books than comfort books.  This summer has proved fruitful for me on this front. 

Here's what I've read so far this summer:
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  Also known as The Other Hand if you're reading it in the UK.  Two women from two very different worlds and how their lives entwine.
    • "The men came and they... that's how all of our stories started."
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.  A lovely collection of essays.
    • "If you have to ask someone to change, to tell you they love you, to bring wine to dinner, to call you when they land, you can't afford to be with them."
  • Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.  Travel writing, a pilgrimage to different presidential assassination sites. 
    • "The people who visit the [Lincoln] memorial always look like an advertisement for democracy, so bizarrely, suspiciously diverse that one time I actually saw a man in a cowboy hat standing there reading the Gettysburg Address next to a Hasidic Jew. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had linked arms with a woman in a burka and a Masai warrior, to belt out ‘It’s a Small World After All,’ flanked by a chorus line of nuns and field-tripping, rainbow-skinned schoolchildren." 
  •  Brush Up Your Mythology by Michael Macrone. Author of several "Brush Up" books.  A good primer or overview for Greek/Roman mythology.
    • "I first read of the Golden Fleece in a comic book starring Walt Disney's inimitable skinflint, Scrooge McDuck." ...  [tale of Jason & the Argonauts] ... "What happened to the Golden Fleece, though, is a mystery; perhaps Scrooge McDuck knows the answer."
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green.  A YA novel.
    • "So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."
  • The Books of Lost Things by John Connolly.  A story about growing up set in a fantasy world of classic fairy tales with a twist. 
    • "Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother."  
  • Trick of the Eye by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. A trompe l'oeil artist is commissioned to work for a very wealthy woman with many secrets.
    • "My object is to arrest and amuse my viewers by leading them away from reality and making them look twice, if only for an instant, at the beauty of illusion." 

And now I'm about halfway through East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  I'm actually quite surprised how quickly I got into this book.  So far it is definitely my favorite Steinbeck.  Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend and then onto others! 


  1. I read _Little Bee_, too! RZ sent it to me. Perhaps we should start a book club and discuss :) I miss you, friend.

  2. We should definitely start a book club!!!

    I miss you so much my little housewife!!! I can't count how many times your name comes up. It's like I'm a newlywed with any excuse to use the word "husband" only I'm a girl that misses her friend and brings up any excuse to use the word "Mcakes" or "Micah" or "housewife" or "I miss Stella." ha!

  3. Awww! We really need to catch up so I can tell you my roommate horror story. If you are a 10, he is a negative 25,000 :( Been looking for a new place to live and telling errbody the whole time how living with you was like being spoiled.