self-(m)education : books read September

September was a recovery month for my book-reading habits. After it took me nearly the entirety of August to read Don Quixote, I was ready to read a variety and a lot of books for September. Also, I'm jealous of everyone who got to go back to school, so I tried to self-educate as much as possible...

books read: September

The Second Elizabeth by Karen Lillis

I must, unfortunately, refrain from commenting on this lovely little joy of a novel in order to encourage you all to buy Gigantic Sequins issue 1.2 and read my review there!

Eragon / Eldest /Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Eragon and Eldest were rereads in order that I could finally, after purchasing it last fall the DAY it came out, read the third part of this series, Brisingr. I believe there is only one more book left in it, and I look forward to rereading these three again in anticipation of the fourth. Something about young adult fantasy always does it for me-- when it's well-done. Paolini truly captures his audience with his believable and likable characters. The world he weaves, also, is tangible. The suspense built throughout this series is taut and well-done. Paolini makes the mundane parts of the everyday life of his characters interesting and also touches on important social issues through the differences between the elves, humans, dwarves, dragons and kull in this excellent series. I anticipate the fourth book. OH. And I love dragons. Let's just put this out there.

Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin

Tao Lin is probably one of the most assessable modern writers right now. This novella, part of an excellent series that Melville House Publishing is putting out of novellas, takes its main character through a few different states as well as through some difficult parts of life. It is not over-dramatic. It is not cliche. While its use of things like "gchat" as a forum for conversation may seem a bit weird, it's very real (and still not as weird as Tao's real life sales of chances to gchat with him.) The seeming honesty of this book is attractive. Its length works well with the story, and the story, semi-autobiographical, like most of Tao's work, begins and ends neatly.

Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith

Even this woman's books of essays are brilliant! A collection of her non-fiction, some previously published, others not, all edited to the writer's content, Smith lets her readers in on her familial life, her bookshelf, her love of film and her feelings on the process of novel-writing etc. This book is for fans of Zadie as well as fans of non-fiction. Check it out when it is released in November!

On Purpose: poems by Nick Laird

Nick Laird just so happens to be Zadie Smith's husband... I can't say I didn't read these two books simultaneously on purpose. I kind did. Which is kind of funny (as well as punny re: the title of Laird's book...) I enjoyed this book, but I definitely preferred some poems over others. The middle of the book kind of dragged for me, as did some of the "Art of War" poems-- but not all of them.


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