It’s been a while since I last shared what I’ve been reading, so I thought a fall book report was in order before that winter equinox sneaks up on us in a couple weeks. I find summer and fall to be the toughest times to read regularly because all I want to do is spend some QT with the great outdoors. I did manage to find my way through a few books in the last few months.
For this book report, I went back through my Kindle “highlights” to give you a quick glimpse of one line that I loved from each book.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | Unfortunately, hate and prejudice are still too much alive in our country. The feelings behind this book are just as relevant today as they were when it was written. The reviews are right—it’s not as great To Kill… but it’s a quick read.
Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.
Not A Star by Nick Hornby | Warning… this book does have a sexual nature. It’s a funny premise about parents finding out exactly how their son is physically gifted. There are two short stories in this book which was another quick read.
When you get older, it feels like happy memories and sad memories are pretty much the same thing. It is all just emotion in the end. And any of it can make you weep.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer | I’m late to the game reading this heartwarming story about one family’s journey through two horrible tragedies — 9/11 and Dresden. It’s a great adventure that I’d go on with the main character if I could. Tears filled my eyes more than once.
“Oh,” he said, “she died twenty-four years ago! Long time ago! Yesterday, in my life!” “Oops.” “It’s OK!” “You don’t feel bad that I asked about her? You can tell me if you do.” “No!” he said. “Thinking about her is the next best thing!”
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby | Hornby is one of my favorite writers so I flew through this story of the cast of a Brit sitcom and how one small town girl rose to the top.
I’m a writer. Life is supposed to pass me by, while I watch it.
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant | I honestly had to look back at when I checked this out from the library because it felt like I’ve known this story forever. I admit that I cried through some passages of this book. The stories of mothers losing babies are written in such a tender and real way. I had a hard time putting this one down.
If you treat every question like you’ve never heard it before, your students feel like you respect them and everyone learns a lot more. Including the teacher.
Stephen King on Writing | I’m not a Stephen King fan, but I am a writer, so I dug in. It’s half writer’s how-to, half memoir. There was a lot I didn’t know about King and his journey. The writing tips are mostly a dime a dozen. The takeaway if you want to be a writer (novelist), work your ass off.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead | A story about ballerinas, their dreams, the dreams they leave behind and the interwoven relationships between the dancers themselves. I loved imagining the dancers going through each step the author described and I started staging them in my head. Being a lover of dance, I could see this one turned into a movie.
How strange it was that a dream, once realized, could quickly turn mundane.
Congratulations, by the way: Some thoughts on kindness by George Saunders | I would love to go back and re-read my college graduation’s speaker’s speech. Unfortunately, I cannot even remember who gave the speech. I think if it was Saunders, I would have remembered. Lucky for these grads, they can read it over and over and over. It’s a quick and great read. But, ps, it’s also a video.
So, quick, end-of-speech advice. Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now.
Want Not by Jonathan Miles. | I just couldn’t get into it. I tried. I really did. I even borrowed it from the library TWICE. Just wasn’t happening.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert | Just diving in so this is my favorite highlight so far. I’ve been on the library waitlist basically since this book hit the shelf at the library. Excited to make my way through it over the next week or so.
…we all know that when courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.
All the book links go directly to GoodReads where you can add them to your Want to Read shelf if you so desire. What are you reading now, and what should I read next. Would love a good fiction read for the holidays. Let me know!