After my heart to heart with myself in December, I stuck with my plan to shut off the TV in the late evenings and spend more time doing my most favorite thing in the world, read. Due to my odd hours, this is not every evening, as I am in the studio until I go to bed often, but a few nights a week, I found a couple of extra hours to read on the couch before bed. Where of course I go and read for 30 min to 3 hours…but usually I switch books. Anyway, I have been doing this all of Jan and Feb and found that I went from reading about 4 books a month to 8 books, just by that little change. That’s pretty amazing! Here is what I read in January…
1. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht. I went back and forth between loving this book and being bored. In hindsight, I enjoyed it. I’m sure I bought it because the word magical was used on the back cover and I’ve been a recent sucker for books described as magical. I was also intrigued that the author looks 12 in her photo and that she was so young, yet writing at a level far more advanced. I have been really interested in the publishing of books recently and in both how the editors/publishers etc have such influence on what in the end goes or stays in the book and who they put their money on. So I think all of these factors came into my wanting to read this one. It was a good book, not the top of my list if you’re wanting just one book to read but worth a look.
2. Ape House by Sara Gruen. I was really excited to read this as I adored (like most of us) Water For Elephants. Speaking of being interested in the behind the scenes, talk about pressure on writing the book to follow that one! Anyway, although not quite up to that level, it was a wonderful story and well written. I also learned a great deal about Bonobo Apes, bonus!
3. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. I wanted something fluffy and light and it was much better than I expected by the cover. Yes, I totally judge books by there cover, you’re lying of you say you don’t too! The author of The Jane Austen Book Club has a review quote on the cover and it makes me realize how much it reminded of that book, which I loved. Excellent travel book.
4. Wild Ducks Flying Backwards by Tom Robbins. I adore Tom Robbins and have ever since my mom gave me a copy of Even Cowgirls Get The Blues in most likely middle school (I have been a voracious reader my entire life and even though both of my parents are as well, it had to be weird when I was in 5th grade and over all the books for my age, begging to read what they read) and was hooked! This is a collection of his shorter work, essays, articles, even a bunch of poetry. I did enjoy it, but found myself constantly saying that this was why he writes novels, a short story is just a taste and then leaves you wanting him to keep going! If you have read all of Robbins’ books, then you should read this, just because.
5. The Anxiety of Everyday Objects by Aurelie Sheehan. Meh. It was ok. I’d put The Tiger’s Wife higher on the list to read. I don’t want to come off as making it sound as though it wasn’t good, but I can’t think of reason that you should read it.
6. A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This was a really interesting book. Told by two alternating characters. I really enjoyed this one, after Big Magic, this would be the one on the list I would tell you to go and read. I loved the way she developed both the characters and the plot, it was masterful literary weaving.
7. Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re The Only Thing by George Cloutier. A friend passed this along to me, it was not the most eye opening book but it made it’s point.
8. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read this one for a new book club that was formed basically because of this book. I loved it so much. Gilbert did a TedTalk a few years ago about the concept of muse and I was captivated by it. Everything in that TedTalk was in here and so much more about being a creative. I was not blown away in the sense of “wow, this changed my life” but more that it was an ode to much of what my life is and collected the stories of peoples lives that I relate to. Gilbert did a short podcast series when the book came out and that is wonderful too. If you use creativity in your life, READ THIS BOOK (or listen to it).
Superlatives for the January list:
Most likely to tell you to read if I saw you in person: Big Magic
Most forgettable: The Anxiety of Everyday Objects
Most surprisingly good: The Wednesday Sisters
Most likely to enjoy on a plane: Ape House
Least likely to be what you thought: The Tiger’s Wife
Least likely to put down: A Tale For The Time Being
Least likely to read again: Wild Ducks Flying Backwards
Least likely to recommend: Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re The Only Thing
*In my biblio-files I write about what I thought and felt about the book, in the style that if I ran into and you said you needed a book to read, and asked what have I been reading, this is what I would say. To find out the plot or what is written on the back, simply look it up on amazon, good reads or at your favorite book store!