Books Read :: July/August

I usually look forward to the summer because I feel like I get to read more often than during the semester. Well, that did not happen this year. I blame mostly these two things:

  1. I started reading a non-fiction book called The Natural Kitchen by Deborah Eden Tull which is an amazing, revolutionary attempt to get its readers to cut down on waste and maximize the potential of an organic kitchen. I spent a lot of my summer weekends working on a kitchen on a hay farm, where we feed 100+ people daily. The book and that volunteer gig were NOT compatible, and before I began being the annoying person who says things like "wait, don't peel that sticker off of that nectarine-- I need to read the code to see if its organic" or "we could probably use these scraps in a broth or something..." or "what do you mean we don't recycle this?!" etc. Now that the semester is about to start, I will be picking it back up and using it to help make my life more green.
  2. I decided in the beginning of July that I would read Gravity's Rainbow. I got pretty far before I had to give up. First, I left it at my BFF Ian's house for about a week/week and a half, and had to scan the first 15 pages I had read at the beach before starting in on it again. After that, I couldn't put it down, until I did. And then I had trouble picking it back up. I try to dedicate significant time to a "long classic" every summer, and that was my choice this summer. Unfortunately, the time I usually dedicate was missing from this summer. I had trouble concentrating when I was "on the farm", and wound up not reading as much as I would have liked to while I was vacationing there. I've since shelved GR, hoping to dedicate time to it during a future summer when I am more myself.

That being said, I *did* manage to get SOME reading done before the summer slipped away. That's really what happened. One minute it was June, and now it's September. OH, LIFE.

Mission: to read 52 books in 2012
Status: 40/52 
# of Books Read, July/August: 4

Notes on Books Read:

37) Pretty Tilt by Carrie Murphy
We published a poem from this book in a past issue of Gigantic Sequins, and it was one of my favorite poems in that issue of GS. The collection leaves you wanting to keep reading for sure. Some of my favorite poems in it were "Februaries", "Mirrorball" and "Troglodyte". Of course the poem "Blooms" that closes out the collection is one of my favorites as well.

38) Just Checking by Emily Colas
This was a book Ian gifted to me, and I read it this summer because I was in the mood for some non-fiction. It's written in a series of vignettes, and I think that I liked the form and style of the book more than the substance of it. The author does not attempt to present herself in a likable manner, and therefore I wound up not really liking her. It's an interesting book about OCD, but it also made me feel like I kind of had it in that "med student syndrome" kind of way. I wound up using an excerpt of this for my "Disability" unit in the writing class I teach.

39) bitchfest edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler
This is a GREAT collection, published in 2006, that I wish I had read sooner, as I feel that my thoughts about feminism would have been positively impacted and reinforced by many tidbits of information I learned in this retrospective of Bitch magazine's first ten years. There was a short time when I worked at a bookstore that I would be able to score coverless copies of Bitch, and I rejoiced in reading the articles in those. I am using a few of these essays in my second unit "Progress" in the writing class I teach.

40) Dispatches from the Future by Leigh Stein
I decided to read this book, after winning it from Melville House in a Goodreads giveaway. Have I mentioned how much I love Goodreads? I love it. This book of poetry was a joy to read, and when it was over, I wanted more. I think I am extremely lucky to have read not one by TWO great books of poems by modern, female writers this summer. 


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