• December 3, 2013

    good reads :: october & november

    oct_nov books

    I collect books. always from used bookstores (first it was powell’s, then, capitol hill books, now, mckay) and always the ones with the most character. if I didn’t love it so much, I would say it’s a bit of a problem. but if an overflowing bookshelf is my biggest vice…I think I’m okay with that. because the thing is, I just really love the feel of paper and ink. of black serif font against yellowing weathered pages. and I can’t really read a book without writing in it. without underlining all the best quotes. without filling the margins with my own random thoughts to come back to. because the other thing is, I also am a chronic re-reader. all my favorite books have been read two, three, four times (for the moment, franny and zooey takes the cake at six.) and as I’ve gotten older and the entries in my journal have become increasingly scarce and sparse, the scribbles and doodles in the margins of my favorite books have become a diary in themselves. case in point: I return to pride and prejudice after a year. although my marginalia tells me that I cheered for jane bennet at one point, I really can’t stand her passivity this time around. and then I realize that in the past year I’ve gotten a little bit better at standing up for myself. I change and the words I read change with me. so at the end of the day, my library card will sit collecting dust and my bag will never be small enough for just a kindle. at the end of the day, give me a book with some heft and a nice blue pen to write all over it with. at the end of the day, call me a collector of books.

    taking a cue from one of my favorite blogs, here are a few of my favorite books of october and november:

    an american childhood (annie dillard)
    “just once I wanted a task that required all the joy I had. day after day I had noticed that if I waited long enough, my strong unexpressed joy would dwindle and dissipate inside me, over many hours, like a fire subsiding, and I would at last calm down. just this once I wanted to let it rip…what I was letting rip, in fact, was my willingness to look foolish, in [others’] eyes and in my own. having chosen this foolishness, I was a free being. how could the world ever stop me, how I could betray myself, if I was not afraid?”

    what we talk about when we talk about love: stories (raymond carver)
    “I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”

    from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler (e.l. konigsburg)
    “happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.”

    help, thanks, wow: the three essential prayers (anne lamott)
    “grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on.”

    “gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention.”

    “when all else fails, follow instructions. so we breathe, try to slow down and pay attention, try to love and help god’s other children, and – hardest of all – learn to love our depressing, hilarious, mostly decent selves.”

    “I pray for the change in perception that will let me see bigger and sweeter realities.”

    what have been your favorite books this fall?



    Filed Under: GOOD READS


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