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Monday, January 7, 2013

Books Read :: December

I accomplished my goal, and I amped it up for 2013 :: I am going to go for 75 books. I didn't read as much as I wanted to in December because it was a crazy month (holidays, grades due, getting together Gigantic Sequins 4.1, etc.), but I did get a Kindle for Christmas. Using it has changed my reading experience slightly-- I don't have to worry about packing multiple books when I am about to finish one, for one. For two, I can download my bookclub books and begin reading them ASAP rather than waiting for them to come in the mail. And finally, a lot of classic lit past its copyright is available for free. The day I got the e-reader, I downloaded The Complete Sherlock Holmes, and that's what I've basically been reading since Christmas!


Mission: to read 52 books in 2012
Books Read in 2012 thus far: 59
# of Books Read, November: 2
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Notes on Books Read:

58) How Not to Read by Dan Wilbur
I met Dan Wilbur when I had the misfortune of being matched against him at Literary Death Match Philadelphia. When they read the bios of the people competing, I sat at my table, finishing off my french fries, praying to someone: DEAR GOD, PUT ME AGAINST ANYONE BUT DAN WILBUR! Wilbur founded and runs the fantastically funny blog Better Book Titles, from which my book club friends and I are constantly "reblogging" via our tumblr account. I knew I was toast if they paired me with him. I was right; Dan won. But we forged a small friendship over this event, and I went home and ordered his book soon after. I read it just as my holiday shopping began, and I laughed out loud on a commuter rail train a few times when I'd first picked it up. Getting me to laugh out loud on public transit is sign one that I really think something is hilarious. The only other book I remember being embarassed to have laughed out loud in public by was Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, where the gangster kid with turrets who narrated the novel had me LOLing on an airplane. As I was trying to think of gifts for everyone for the holidays, this book always seemed to come up. It seemed appropriate for my Dad/brother, who never read; for some of my cousins, who used to love to read; for my lit students, who could now appreciate humor about As You Like It, 1984, Allen Ginsberg, and Gertrude Stein; and for my vast collection of literary friends, who would get pretty much every joke layered within it. That being said, I guess I kind of recommend this book to anyone.

59) A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, Richard Lannon
Justin L. Daugherty, who has a story being published in Gigantic Sequins 4.1, asked on facebook for books/films about the process of  love-- this book came to mind. I have had this book on my shelves since 2006/7, I think, when it first came out in paperback. I bought it at Barnes and Noble when I worked there for a discounted price, and never quite felt I was ready for it. Now that I am looking forward to getting married in June, I decided I could handle whatever it had so say. Mostly, to my relief, it was a book about the brain. I think there is nothing more I like in any science-drive non-fiction narrative than to read about the brain. At some points, I even wondered what the relevance of LOVE was to the book because the authors seemed to discuss brain activity in general more than how it relates to love, though they did, after much set up, "get to the point". What the authors did do, which kept the integrity of the mystery of love, was consistently quote poetry/refer to novels, as though when describing love, science is not enough. Both brains, right and left, are needed to truly comprehend it.

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