Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 5 January

Note: I’ve decided that I’m going to move these weekly posts to Sunday (instead of Saturday). Posts will cover my reading from Monday through Sunday of each week, starting with the day in the title of the post.

The first week back after two weeks of vacation ended up being a very busy week at work which left very little time for reading. I’ve also realized that trying to take physical books with me on my commute is pointless. Weekday reading needs to be on Kindle or it just isn’t going to happen.

Inbox (books acquired)

  • The Enchanted: A Novel by Rene Denfeld (Kindle) — Every year I like to scan the “top five” books of the year lists from each of the Powell’s staff to see if there are any books I missed and should add to my TBR pile. This year the friendly folks at Buzzfeed combined all the “top five” lists and came up with an overall top 13 based on some super secret math. I then made a Goodreads shelf to keep them top of mind, since several are ones I already own. Then I added the Kindle versions of the owns I don’t own to my private “someday/maybe” wish list on Amazon so I can snag them if they go on sale. (This process takes way too long, BTW…) As I was doing that, I noticed this book *was* on sale (and I had some shipping credits). So, I bought it (for 99 cents after my credits were applied). Phew. That was a long story for how I came to acquire this book this week, when I said I was going on a book-buying freeze…
  • The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (paperback) — Amber Benson (maybe better known to you as Tara, Willow’s girlfriend, from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer) came to my workplace on Friday for her book tour. This is not her first book. She’s actually written (I think the interviewer said) 20 books in 15 years. I find this to be seriously impressive. I got a free (paid for by my employer), signed copy of the book for attending the event. I probably won’t read it right away because witches aren’t really my thing, but I’ll add it to the ever-growing physical TBR pile. Amber was really cool and down-to-earth. I feel like I owe it to her to read her book. And also, based on the Q&A discussion, I now need to read Lock In by John Scalzi (which she reads in audiobook form). But that’s a story for another day…

Outbox (books finished)

  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (Kindle) — I have lots of thoughts about this collection of essays, and I’m still processing those thoughts. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I completely understand why everyone is making such a (positive) fuss about it. The essays are passionate, conflicted, thoughtful, heartfelt, and amusing — all at the same time. Her views on pop culture (TV shows, books, movies, music, etc.) align very much with mine, and/or gave me new ways of considering things. Her essay “The Trouble with Prince Charming, or He Who Trespassed Against Us” neatly (and amusingly) summed up many of my complaints about both the Twilight series (which I read, but didn’t really enjoy), and the Fifty Shades trilogy (which I won’t read, not because I’m squeamish about the contents, but because I won’t support that type of “fairy tale” with my time or money). I am also a “Bad Feminist” who resisted the label for most of my life for similar reasons. But, as she says, “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”

Queue (what I’m reading next)

  • Oh hey, work book club came and went, and I didn’t finish Bone Clocks yet. Don’t misinterpret my inability to make substantial progress, I am enjoying this book. The problem is I am reading a hardcover edition of the book. Hardcovers and bus commutes, regardless of how cushy the commute is, just don’t mix well for me. I’m giving up on lugging this beast with me and making this a weekend/evening book.
  • Work book club picked Half a Yellow Sun as the next book to read. I was planning on reading Americanah by the same author (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). Now I have to decide between reading the book club pick (even though I never seem to be able to attend said book club, even when I do finish the book on time), or reading Americanah as planned, or just reading both. I don’t own either yet. So, no commitments have been made, and either would qualify for my 2015 book project. If anyone has read both and prefers one or the other, please feel free to influence my decision in the comments…

Now I will now resist the urge to start something new, or surf the Sunday night Interwebs, and return to reading Bone Clocks