I had so much required reading during graduate school that I think I forgot how to really read for pleasure. Slowly over the past year I’ve been picking books back up. It started on plane rides and time spent at conferences. Now I’m starting to really pour it on at home. Here is a list of what I’ve recently read and what I’m going to read:
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I’ve never read anything else by him, so of course, not being one to slack I picked his 928 page book about an alternate 1984 Japan. I love books about Japan and China and this book was great. Weird, complex, and I completely loved the characters.
Three books by Lisa See: Shanghi Girls, Dreams of Joy, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I picked up Shanghi Girls, which featured a beautiful picture of two Chinese calendar girls, on my way to Philadelphia. Imagine my surprise when I went to see an exhibit of medical posters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, turned the corner and saw a poster for a Chinese medicine with “calendar girls” on it. Dreams of Joy is a follow-up to Shanghi Girls.
The Other Boleyn Girl, The Kingmaker’s Daughter, and The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I’ve been partial to the name Philippa since I read In This House of Brede years ago. So I went to Half Price Bookstore and bought Earthly Joys, The Lady of the Rivers, The Queen’s Fool, The Red Queen, The Virgin’s Love, and the White Queen. Cause nothing says I love an author like a little obsessive-compulsive shopping.
I also finished Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. We saw him perform live here in Dallas and some of his show is based on the essays used in this book. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny, like his live performances are, but it was sweet and I felt I had a fairly good insight into his life as a fat dad with 5 kids and a crazy Shiite Catholic wife. I must admit though, I just don’t underwent home water births.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Apparently Mr. Gaiman was hanging all around my neighborhood in Oak Cliff, writing most of this book at the Bolsa Mercardo while his wife was mixing a record here. I’ve never read anything else by him but this was a very, very good book. Sweet, melancholy, scary.
I’m now in the middle of Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I would have started with Wolf Hall, but alas it wasn’t at Half-Price so, I will have to read them out of sequence. This one I’ve found to be very dense and more difficult to read but still very enjoyable. Just not a fluff piece that can be knocked off in a few hours.