Progress Report // Books on the Nightstand

My nightstand is now overly cluttered. The book pile is too tall.

I'm in the middle of that thing I always do. I've started nearly a dozen books and am happily in the middle of all of them.

I make no apologies for this.
I am a Beginner of Many Projects.
It's who I am.


Here's what I'm currently reading, more or less:





ALMOST FINISHED

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
I've loved Saunders' short stories since they were gifted to me a decade ago, and his first novel does not disappoint. It's really a beautiful story, and I was lucky enough to hear Saunders read from it (and get our book signed!) at the Free Library this year.


The Great American Songbook, by Sam Allingham

The first book for this author, who is a friend of the SLA community, is so beautifully written. I love his style and themes and characters. Short story collections are perfect nightstand occupants, and this one is terrific. I recommend it very highly.



STARTED THEN STOPPED BUT I'M STILL IN IT

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
A beautifully-written four-part series with a female friendship at its center? You know I signed right up.


The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson
One of the readers and writers I trust most recommended this one, and she's of course right. I put it down a few weeks ago and now probably need to start it over, but to be honest I'm happy about that.



ONGOING

Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay
This was another awesome reading at FLP, and Roxane Gay signed my copy, "To Amal -- Be difficult." I really enjoy her nonfiction writing, and the characters she's developed here are intriguing to me. Another excellent collection of short stories for bedtime reading.


The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt
The same friend who recommended The Argonauts told me about this one. It came up in our conversations during the Women's March. It is a social psychologist's exploration of where morality comes from (spoiler alert: humans are not rational beings) and dives into the ways we communicate and understand those who are different from us, especially in politics and religion. I'm loving it so far and have talked about it a lot already.



MISCELLANY

Too Loud A Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal

This is a re-read; this novel was my favorite assigned text in my freshman seminar at William and Mary, which happens to be one of the best classes I took, ever (shoutout Professor Koloski!). I wanted to revisit it for our trip to Prague recently.


Girl With Curious Hair, by David Foster Wallace
This was recommended to me by a thoughtful and lovely friend who was shocked that I'd never read any DFW. I haven't given it an honest start yet, but am excited to check it out at last.





Oof, I need a book club.
What's in your reading pile?

4 comments:

  1. Difficult Women looks like an interesting book, so does My Brilliant Friend. I recently finished reading The Coffee Shop of Kabul and I loved it completely. xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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    1. Ooh, thanks for the recommendation!

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  2. I also picked up Difficult Women at one of Roxane Gay's book events. I've been afraid to read it, though, based on all I've heard about how challenging some of the stories are. During the school year I tend to go lighter in my reading. I had thought it would be a great choice as it's short stories, which bring me such joy in the ability to dip in and out. I also got The Refugees at that same event and have been afraid to start it too. (I also have this problem with reading books I own. Library books have due dates so they always get priority.)

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    1. I have yet to start Difficult Women, but I always appreciate collections of shorter works during the school year. I need to be able to put it down and pick it up again easily. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts if you get to it this summer!

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