Thursday, January 28, 2016

January: all the things!

Hello and Happy New Year! 

I know I'm quite behind on this but, dear blog-reader, please don't feel like it's you.  In the throes of thesising, there are a lot of things I'm behind on, like folding my laundry and taking down Christmas decorations.  But while its still January, I feel I can say "Happy New Year."

...Annnd share my reading list from 2015 :) 

1. The Allegory of the Cave - Plato* (nf)
2. The Evolution of the Language of Cinema - Andre Bazin (nf)
3. Golden Son - Pierce Brown  [Also a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this fabulous author!]
4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
5. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema - Laura Mulvey (nf)
6. Passing - Nella Larsen
7. Nightwood - Djuna Barnes
8. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf*
9. A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
10. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
11. Moments of Being - Virginia Woolf (nf)
12. Falling Upward - Richard Rohr (nf)
13. Faerie Queene: Book I - Edmund Spencer*
14. Amoretti - Edmund Spencer
15. Faerie Queene: Book III - Edmund Spencer
16. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes (a)
17. One More Thing - B.J. Novak (a)
18. The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss (a)
19. Landline - Rainbow Rowell (a)
20. First Meetings - Orson Scott Card (a)
21. Everyday - David Levithan (a)
22. Shadow of the Giant - Orson Scott Card (a)
23. I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai (nf)(a)
24. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell (a)
25. A Theory of Adaptation - Linda Hutcheon (nf)
26. Remediation - Bolter and Grusin (nf)
27. Double Indemnity - James M. Cain
28. The Big Nowhere - James Ellroy
29. Watership Down - Richard Adams (a)
30. Why Not Me - Mindy Kaling (nf)(a)
31. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me - Mindy Kaling (nf)(a)

* re-read
__ - read for school
(nf) - non-fiction
(a) - audiobook 

Overall trends:

// I read fewer books this year--thanks grad school.  What this list does not account for are the pages and pages of dense theoretical and critical essays and book chapters I read for school.  I swear, 20 pages of theory can be far more challenging than a 200 page novel.

// Where did all that non-fiction come from - especially the non-fiction for pleasure reading?!?  Unusual for me, but I read--er, listened to some great memoirs this year, which brings me to... 

// Audiobooks! Before 2015 I would have considered this cheating, but due to certain factors--grad school, again, and working in a file room this summer--I discovered not only how great audiobooks can be, but also the types of books I'm comfortable audiobooking.  I got to hear authors B.J. Novak, Patrick Rothfuss, and Mindy Kaling read their own books and it was a beautiful experience!!  I also discovered that my library system back home works with a great audiobooking app that I utilize for road trips and such :)

  • Golden Son - Brown's followup to Red Rising was packed with even more plot twists than the original! Also, the final book in this landmark trilogy comes out in just 12 days, so it's a perfect time to pick up this series!
  • One More Thing - This collection of short stories is just fabulous!  Some stories quite lengthy while others are only 3 sentences.  I shared some of my favorite snippets already, but I'd also highly recommend the book's trailer--it is a treat!  Audiobooking this was such a great experience as B.J. Novak enlists a lot of quality voice work--from The Office co-stars Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and (of course) Mindy Kaling to thespians like Emma Thompson and Carey Mulligan to the quirky talents of Lena Dunham and Jason Schwartzman.  
  • Landline - I only grow more impressed with Rainbow Rowell (I'm currently reading my fourth book by her...she's only written 5 so I'm probably gonna run out).  She captures romance so authentically well while also making her stories gritty.  This one was especially good because it was simultaneously about first love and rekindling love. Sooo lovely!
  • I am Malala - This is one of those books everyone should read [I'd love to see Emma Watson pick it for her bookclub!].  It is such an incredible story and the news had only covered a small portion of it.  Again, the audiobook was stellar - especially because it ended with the actual audio of her UN speech.
  • Why Not Me - Perhaps it's just that I read/listened to this at the perfect time, but this was a really meaningful collection of essays.  Even if you don't pick up the book, you should do yourself the favor of reading the excerpt on confidence here.
So there you have my 2015 in books!!

* * * * *

As I do every year on this date, I also have to commemorate a few other things... 

First, today is the 203rd anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.  I first read it 12 years ago, but with each passing year it has become more and more valuable to me.  If all goes according to plan, a few months from now I'll be defending a thesis project that wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for this extraordinary, beautiful, quietly subversive novel.


And lastly... today also marks 7 years of blogging here.  Thank you to anyone who has followed along for even just a smidge of that journey - I appreciate you all very much!


  1. Happy blogiversary! Your decision to start a blog was an excellent one - I've gotten to quite like you! ;) And I'd wish you all the best on your thesis project but I already know you're going to slay it :D

    I'm planning to read Rainbow Rowell's 'Attachments' later this year, I also really want to read 'I Am Malala' and the Red Rising books (although I'm holding off on this series for the moment because I want to wait until the final book comes out in paperback), and I hadn't heard of the Novak book but you've made it sound so good that I'm going to have to check out that audiobook as well!

    1. Oh Hannah, thank you... I've gotten to quite like you, too! ;) I'm lucky to have you for a blogging buddy!!

      Attachments is the work of hers I have yet to read. And I so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on both Pierce Brown's trilogy and BJ Novak's short stories!