Showing posts from January, 2020

Reading Roundup: 2019

My reading totals for 2019 are right on track with trends from the last few years (here is 2018's post ). I read a total of 110 books--averaging around 8 books most months, with heavy reading in the spring when I worked on Whitney books. I didn't participate in any reading challenges this year after all, since the one I completed before was from a local used bookstore and I had a hard time spending my prize gift certificate (turns out I don't really like buying books, and used bookstores make it hard to find anything I want to actually have in my house). I did notice that I read more young adult books this year, which is something I had gotten away from during the last few years. I was not surprised to find that I had read 87 books by women, 21 books by men, and 2 by multiple authors. I read a lot of fiction, and the genres I favor tend to have more female authors. I also read several adult categories for the Whitneys and they were all heavily female. Additionally, there

Reading Roundup: December 2019

A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit While there were some passages in this book that I loved, I felt like overall it wasn't as strong as some of Solnit's other writing. I love her way of drawing connections between so many disparate ideas and her skill in depicting small details that others might miss. Although I don't think this is my favorite of her books, Solnit is still one of my favorite writers. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud This is a book that popped up on a lot of 'best of the decade' lists recently so I thought I'd give it a chance. To be honest, I kind of hated it for at least the first half of the book. The protagonist is prickly and reacts to things in ways I had difficulty understanding. However, as I persevered, things started to come together and I began to see how wrong I was about the assumptions I was making. This is a difficult book to describe, and a difficult book to read, but it really is worth the effort. Never

Reading Roundup: November 2019

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware This was my first book by Ware, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite the fact that I started to figure out the big twist before the end, I still didn't guess all the details and couldn't put it down. Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness by W. Paul Reeve I'd read a few different pieces from Reeve about his research and wasn't sure whether I wanted to put the time into reading the whole book. I'm glad I did, because even though it's fairly complicated, it was fascinating. This is one of my new favorite books to tell people about because I learned so much from it. Mercury by Margot Livesey Even a month after finishing this book, I'm still not sure what to think about it. It's a long, complex book and uneven in the way it's written. The central conflict was muted and it didn't have a strong narrative arc, but the characters were well-realized and it posed a numb