Monday, January 26, 2015

What I'm Reading, Sunshine Edition

Last week was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, so somehow I missed the fact that Monday happened. That was lucky, because I would have had to say, “I have not read any books.”

Truthfully, I’m not sure how so many bloggers manage to read 5 or 6 books a week. Presumably you are working? Going to the office? To class? Chasing little kids around? I understand that it’s a quicker project to read some genres of books than others, but still….I am trying to accept that I can only be the kind of reader that I am.

This week, I am the kind of reader that needs to be outside. I know that many of you are holed-up inside awaiting the blizzard apocalypse. In my part of the country, we are enjoying a false springtime. The crocuses are blooming, the sun is shining, and it is very, very challenging to attend to one’s leaning stack of books.

My big (literally and figuratively) reading accomplishment last week was finishing All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I loved (review here). I also read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (my dad’s pick) (review here). And I am an hour away from finishing The Martian by Andy Weir (review forthcoming).

I also started a new feature: “Ask the Blogger.” So if you have questions about books or reading or whatever, you can ask a question in the comments section or on Twitter.  I just ask that you keep it clean. I do know how raunchy you book people can get.

And folks, I know that leaving comments has been puzzling. I can’t change Blogger, but here’s how it works:

Click on the word “comment” at the bottom of a message.
Choose “anonymous.” (but sign your name in the text, because owning your ideas is awesome).
Write your message.
Hit “Publish.”
It will ask you if you are a robot. Please tell the truth.
Then hit “Publish” again.

I promise that it’s not as difficult as you think. I just tried it myself to be sure.

This week I plan on reading Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson. This book recently won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. The controversy surrounding Woodson's win is symbolic in many ways of the tensions around diversity in publishing.

Here's the description on Goodreads

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. 

Here's the description on Goodreads:

100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write is a book in which chimpanzees, Chekhov, and child care are equally at home. A vibrant, provocative examination of the possibilities of the theater, it is also a map to a very particular artistic sensibility, and an unexpected guide for anyone who has chosen an artist’s life. 

And finally, I’m eagerly anticipating The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (another huge book; likelihood of finishing it this week is small).

Here's the description on Goodreads:

When brain surgeon Thomas Eapen decides to cut short a visit to his mother's home in India in 1979, he sets into motion a series of events that will forever haunt him and his wife, Kamala; their intellectually precocious son, Akhil; and their watchful daughter, Amina. Now, twenty years later, in the heat of a New Mexican summer, Amina finds herself at the center of a mystery so thick with disasters that to make any headway at all, she has to unravel the family's painful past.

Wish me luck! I'm dragging the lawn furniture out of the garage in the hope of some meaningful reading (or sleeping in the sun).

(It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey)


Kathy Martin said...

I can read as much as I do precisely because I don't have little kids to chase around. I live alone which allows for more reading time. I also seldom watch television. Now if I could just stop getting sucked into computer casino games.... Come see my week here. Happy reading!

jennifer said...


My problem is Facebook. It's easy for me to get distracted.

Julie @ Smiling Shelves said...

I picked up a copy of Outliers at a library book sale last year. It looks really interesting!

Brooke Bumgardner said...

I've had my eye on Brown Girl Dreaming - it sounds so good! Great point there about accepting the kind of reader you are. I think we all need to do that! Have a great week reading. :)

Brooke at

jennifer said...

It was really interesting -- even if I was skeptical of parts of it. It's a great "discussion" book.

jennifer said...

I'm really looking forward to it!

I just started checking out your blog! Thanks for stopping by.