Yesterday, on a chilly Sunday afternoon, I pulled myself out of my comfortable sweatpants and made my way to Book People, a local Austin bookstore. It’s only a few blocks away, but I don’t like navigating that intersection very much so I don’t go as often as I’d like to. That may be a good thing, because — like my father — I can get lost in bookstores and browse for hours. I intentionally went on a semi-empty stomach so that I would leave when I got hungry. Of course, that meant that I picked up a slender cardboard box of Vosges chocolate at the register (dark chocolate with salt and burnt caramel). Yum.
I admit that I haven’t read as much as I would have liked, this past year. It’s been hectic. I use my eyes so much that when I get some downtime I’d rather let my focus glaze over a silly TV episode than to strain my eyes even more. But I also realized that I had missed pleasure-reading; when I was in school I would juggle schoolbooks and pleasure-books with hardly any trouble at all, and felt my life was better for it. Work-life balance, and all that.
So while my intention at Book People was to find and buy presents for a lot of my book-loving in-laws for Christmas, I found myself at the cash register buying a stack of books for myself as well as for others.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Walt insisted that I read the first of the Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind) a few years ago, and he gave me the sequel on audiobook to listen to while working. My hands and eyes are busy but my mind is occupied! This book really makes me want to adopt a new feisty ginger cat and name him Kvothe.
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. I borrowed this from my dad over Thanksgiving break and I’ve been reading it slowly. I was initially drawn to this book, not because of the movie, but by a short story I read in my journalism class in college… the author wrote a story about how she suddenly fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome and how it took her years of writing small sentences every day to write Seabiscuit. It was such a good short story — so raw and honest and well-written — that I kept it in the back of my mind to read that book one day.
On my December list:
V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. I don’t usually like mystery novels, but I’ve been hooked on Sue Grafton ever since my dad brought home A is for Alibi on paperback that he found at a garage sale. Something about Kinsey Millhone is so soothing and familiar, maybe because I’ve been reading her exploits since the 1990s. V is the new Kinsey novel and one of my guilty pleasures is buying the book as soon as it comes out so I can read it just as fast, then wait in tippy-toed anticipation for the next one.
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. The cheery yellow cover struck me and I remembered how everyone I know seems to be in love with Miranda, so I decided to take a chance and hope that I love her too.
Offbeat Bride (the book) by Ariel Meadow Stallings. I actually owned a copy of this in 2009 but gave it away when a friend got engaged. I decided to buy another copy and reread it, to remember what my clients are going through.
A Practical Wedding (the book) by Meg Keene. This isn’t in my hands yet, but I am very much looking forward to the APW book! (Stay tuned for more on that! I’ll probably write an entire excited post about it after I’ve finished reading it!)
On my Wish List:
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. My mother-in-law Donna told me about this a few weeks ago and it really piqued my interest. I saw a display of Murakami books on Sunday but the stack in my hands was already so high that I knew it would be best if I waited. The sheer size of this book made me reconsider my stance on Kindles and other e-Readers… hmmm… but that is another discussion entirely.
What are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me to read in January?
Just so you know: the books are linked via my Amazon.com affiliate link.