I do things in 3s.

As the school year is winding down and I’m finally starting to get a handle on things, I would like to start updating this regularly again. I do well with lists, so here are some books.

Books I’m currently reading:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – I’m listening to it via audible, where it is wonderfully read by Lynn Redgrave. I really enjoy reading nonficton and often have a hard time paying attention to fiction, especially fantasy, because of all the crazy make-em-ups. Anyway, I’ve found that listening to fantasy on audiobooks has helped me a lot because I know if I was reading it, I would be skimming over pretty much anything aside from dialogue.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien – Yes. I’m a loser and have never read this before. I tried reading it when I was ten, but the font was too small and it was about crazy little creatures, so I don’t think I made it past the first page. Sixteen years later, I find myself with an Elvish tattoo, a complete Doctor Who action figure set, and a master’s degree in library science, so obviously this needed to be done.

Barefoot Gen, Vol 10: Never Give Up by Keiji Nakazawa – I’m lying. Honestly, I can’t bring myself to finish the series. I had read the first 8 over the summer, which were all the Brooklyn Public Library had. Two months ago, I realized they had the final two volumes and quickly read the 9th, but can’t open the last. It is such a powerful account of the atomic bombing of Japan and the decade that followed, through the eyes of Gen, based on Nakazawa, who was six in 1945. I’ve written about this series before and am just not ready to let go.

Books I’ve enjoyed since last posting:

Room by Emma Donoghue – Oh my god. I guess it’s good that I’m a few months out from reading this or else this would have taken up at least a dozen posts. This book was absolutely incredible and I had the honor of seeing the author speak at Word right after I read it.  It’s the story of a young woman, who has been kept in a dungeon for seven years, told from the point of view of her 5 year old son, who has never known anything else, but an 11×11 room. The writing style is absolutely brilliant and the horror of the story is made even more complex from Jack’s point of view, as you are forced to read between the lines of what he is saying. Despite all of this, his perspective is really beautiful and the book is extremely thoughtful and not at all exploitative. Also, Emma Donoghue is a genius. I could go on forever. Just read it.

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser – This was a really great read and I would highly recommend it. Looking at cities throughout time, Glaeser did a great job of proving his thesis. I think I love reading nonfiction so much because I always come away learning so much, if not feeling slightly more insignificant.

A Contract with God by Will Eisner – I’ve been wanting to read this for years, but finally picked up a copy when I went to theMuseum of Comic and Cartoon Art last month. It’s a tiny museum, but definitely worth going to and their exhibit on Eisner was really great. All the stories are wonderfully gritty and so New York, with The Street Singer being my favorite of the collection.

Books I’m excited about reading next:

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe – While I claim not to like fiction, I do really enjoy minimalist writing style and things like that. Last year I read Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and really loved it, so I’m looking forward to reading this.

Role Models by John Waters – Um, yeah. I don’t think this needs to be explained. I did debate if I should listen to this because I could listen to John Waters talk all day, but after hearing a clip decided to get the book. I don’t know if it was just the part I heard, but he sounded kind of flat and forced. Definitely not David Sedaris or Neil Gaiman.

Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives by David Eagleman – I enjoyed reading about this brilliant kind of wacky guy in The New Yorker a few weeks ago and decided I would try his novel.