Saturday, September 26, 2015

Let’s Talk About Fall Reading

Last fall I went through a reread period.  I spent the months of September through November rereading the following:

All seven Harry Potters
Nell Freudenberger’s Lucky Girls, The Dissident, and The Newlyweds
Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro
William Trevor’s work, specifically the short stories
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian

There was a very specific deliberation connected to when the books were read.  Harry Potter books came first because of the school year starting in September and the arrival of Harry at Hogwarts.  For The Historian, I pined for that book, though I had already read it twice before, but didn’t let myself touch it until November when it was cold enough, dark enough, to emerge into a land of vampires written so well that they seem to haunt the reader throughout the day.

Up until fall I tend to swallow books in single gulps, sometimes consuming six a month.  It’s a process I enjoy because there are just so many amazing books I want and need to read!  However, in fall I start to relax into the reading.  I’m still never without a book in my hand and five more waiting on the book shelf with 20 or 30 on my library holds list, but I’m not quite as frenetic about it.  For example, I picked up October’s Book Page at the library today, a magazine that is best described as free porn for book for nerds.  As opposed to coming home and marking it up, circling my book desires, adding to the holds list, I left it in my bag and let it wait while I moved through the delicious book I’m currently into. 

There are tons of books.  I’ll never read them all.  In fall, I’m a bit more into the process than just the finishing, and that’s beautiful in its own way. 

This year I'm not rereading anything as of yet, just simply reading some new books in a slow, deliberate manner, appreciating the language and the stories.  I just finished The Opposite of Loneliness by the late Marina Keegan.  I can’t describe it, the excitement of finding a new writer with such a valid and beautiful voice, then the sadness of realizing this is her first and last book since her life ended early at 22.  Reading the book caused my emotions to run the spectrum.  I went around hugging it to my chest for half a day after I finished it.

On the docket for this month, or this fall, or however long it takes me to finish these lovelies are:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 
I read The Goldfinch by her last month.  To stick to an almost  800 page book, it has to be a good story, but I felt a bit unsettled about the ending, so I’m trying The Secret History to see what I think.

Girl at War by Sara Novic
The Age of Ice by J.M. Sodorova
The Kept by James Scott

I'm still reading Anna Karenina and loving it.  Karenina is a book to fall into and not rush.  I'm reading little bits of it daily but not rushing to finish.  Russian literature has always managed to make me slow down a bit.

Reading and cooking, the slow down activities of fall.  Now all I need is for it not to be 88 degrees.  I guess it's unfair to ask for everything at once.

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