I am so proud of myself for finishing four books this month. Granted, it went exactly as I predicted, and being back to work, and having time during my commute and lunch hour to listen to audiobooks means that I have actual dedicated time to read which I didn’t during maternity leave. Going forward from this point, not finishing books is going to feel like even more of a failure!
This one had been on my Overdrive wishlist for a while, and I picked it because it was short and I needed a win after last month’s reading disaster. Yes, I give myself slack because of the baby, but I’m a librarian – I NEED TO READ! So I listened, and I loved it. Nina Riggs tells the story of the time from when she found out she had breast cancer to the time shortly before her death. It is heartbreaking and raw and beautiful. I have no idea how anyone could be that composed and thoughtful when they’re going through something so difficult, especially having young children like she did. Highly recommended.
Finally finished this – phew! My mom had a copy of the audiobook, and literally I only needed to listen to the last 20 minutes. There wasn’t much plot left, and the story itself ends sort of abruptly without (in my opinion) coming to a real or satisfying conclusion. Fortunately (or conveniently) there are two more books in this trilogy about Rachel Chu. I’m on the list for the audiobooks, but if I don’t get them for a while, it won’t be a tragedy.
Another book I chose because I wanted a quick finish/win. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize that this one was non-fiction, and that’s likely because the cover art and font was so small, and I didn’t really take time to read the summary. I just clicked along to see how long it was, saw it was short and clicked “download”. But it’s actually really interesting in that it tells the story of how many modern technologies were derived from things that were made to be beautiful or for amusement. It’s hard to believe how much of global trade is based on the desire for making our food taste better with spices, or with wanting the pretty colors of calico fabric. At this point, so many of the facts from this book have slipped out of my head already, but I felt very thoughtful and smart while listening to it.
Another book I hadn’t been able to finish during my maternity leave before it got returned to the library. This one is FASCINATING. The plot is that at some point in the near future, pubescent and teenage girls gain the ability to create electricity within their bodies. And then it just goes from there into a “what if” scenario – what if suddenly, women had the power? As in literally, power running through their bodies? What if women as a sex were as terrifying to men as men can be to women? What if the dynamics changed, and women in media were seen as dominant, and men were subservient and meant merely as eye candy? What if men are suddenly treated the way that women have been treated all along? It is amazing, if only because it shows that even if our society had this sudden swing, nothing would really change – it would probably just be a different version of what we already have. This is one that would make an excellent book club book.
IN PROGRESS/IMMEDIATELY NEXT:
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
My mom read this ages ago, and I have other friends who read it too, and when my book club was trying to choose something for August, I suggested it. It’s nice to have something a little more epic (lots of scope for discussion), and timely (North Korea!), that’s also easy to get from the library (published in 2012, so hardly any wait!). Making good progress, but it’s not going to be bolstering my book numbers by a lot.
Phew – it feels good to be accomplishing so much in the book front. I know I’m going to fall stupidly short of my reading goal (unless y’all think I should start counting board books towards my total, thoughts?), but if I get myself back to the point where I will have averaged 3 books a month, I’m going to be stupidly proud of myself at the end of the year.