If only I could read faster, but I’ve always been a slow reader. So many good books I see on my reading table, like stacks of travel brochures, and I want to go everywhere. I remind myself “bird by bird,” as Anne Lamott teaches us in her classic by the same title, adding these books to my already full reading life, stories of family secrets, the Troubles, and Nazi heritage.
Category: This Reading Life
A woman’s secret, a moving epic, and a glacial adventure
I thought I’d share the three novels that are keeping me company right now and giving me something to look forward to. They’re very different in their plots, from introspective journaling to a villager's storytelling to an Alpine search. Here's why I've chosen them.
Six favorite books from my year of reading
This 2022 end-of-year list includes an equal number of fiction and nonfiction. The books earned their place for the unusual qualities that set them apart: storytellers that amazed me, atmospheres that erased time, facts that broadened my thinking. Four of the books have been mentioned here before; two are new.
These good books: from gripping to inspiring
Here you'll find stories to savor and characters you'll love so much you'll have to put the book down and walk away, to get ready, when things get tense. Also, a memoir about growing up on the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower 48 states, and a new novel I'm thinking may just be a spring break beach read.
Now reading: poetry, nature, true crime, and J.S. Bach
For too long, Ilya Kaminsky’s “Deaf Republic” sat on my reading table, a story told in poems that’s not only profound but now so very timely. Also in this blog post you’ll find a compelling mix of fiction and nonfiction, with authors writing about love for the natural world, truth in a murder investigation, and the St. Matthew Passion.
Nonfiction coming to my reading table
Three books, three intriguing topics: stolen art, a musician’s performance anxiety, and a deep look into the interviewing process. Here’s why I’ve chosen to read them.
My 2021 summer reading list: five novels by essential authors
What are you reading this summer? I’ve assigned myself carefully selected books as a nostalgic nod to those long-ago summer reading requirements for school. These novels, however, are much more exciting, no slogging through “Advise and Consent” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Here’s the list, including plot summaries.
From best seller to austere memoir, here’s what’s coming up next
It’s an odd juxtaposition on my reading table: Kate Zambreno, who pushes the boundaries of literary form, next to the best-selling Andy Weir with his newest page-turning space odyssey. Such are my reading habits this month. I also just discovered a novel I must read based on comments by U.K. bloggers, which is also here, and more.
My reading life: a few good books
Here you'll find three novels that will capture your attention for their complex characters, intriguing settings, and heartrending stories. Also, I’ve included the title of an unusual book from Melbourne, Australia, and a new novel coming out next week that takes place during a bloody week in 1871 Paris.
Coming soon: five new novels by seasoned authors
I’m eagerly awaiting these new books from Maggie Shipstead, Francisco Goldman, Joan Silber, Jeff VanderMeer, and Rachel Cusk. They promise page-turning and thoughtful involvement, from a speculative eco thriller to heartfelt linked stories.
“The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World”
Laura Imai Messina’s engaging new novel tells the story of Japan's 2011 tsunami survivors and others who talk to their dead loved ones on a disconnected phone. Inspired by true events. Unusual and not to be missed.
My reading life: just finished + coming soon
A 21st century poet writes about the life of an enslaved 18th century poet, and a psychoanalyst explores that fateful night in Gethsemane in two profound stories far from this century. Plus, March is promising to be a literary month to look forward to – here’s why.
The enduring significance of ordinary life
“Zorrie” follows the magnetic spirit of an Indiana woman in the mid-20th century. This exceptional, lyric novel captures her resilience and profound sense of belonging to the land and the people. A character hard to forget and literary talent at its best.
My 10 favorite books of 2020
Literary novels, a biography, a humorous memoir, a fable, and more. "What I want to tell you about is something quite different," says one character in these unforgettable books on this year-end list.
2020 Christmas books: presents for myself
The permission of the holiday season is here. A classic novel, memoirs, confessions, and a search for Joseph Roth are now under my tree.