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Have I really not shared a post of my recent acquisitions since May? Well, given how little reading I’ve been doing over the past few months, I suppose it is good that I managed to slow down my acquisitions as well. Yesterday and today were the on campus library’s used book sale and I could resist pursuing the available titles. I was fortunate to pick up two titles I’ve wanted to read for awhile, and a friend was nice enough to pass along another.
- Bananas (Peter Chapman) from PaperBackSwap
- The Lady and the Unicorn (Tracy Chevalier) from the used book sale
- Out Stealing Horses (Per Petterson) from the used book sale
- The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) from a friend
- Prophet’s Prey (Sam Brower) from the used book sale
I had the fortune of the day off from my internship today and spent it at the National Portrait Gallery. In between exhibits feature the portraits of modern-day, common people, Civil War generals, and political figures were portraits of beloved (and not so beloved) American writers. Henry James, of course, being the exception to this having been born in New York City but becoming a British citizen the year before his death in 1916.
I instagramed the eight that I found and recognized in the museum with the reminder to myself to read the works of those whose portraits I photographed but have yet to experience in the written form. Seeing these faces was a rather interesting experience. I never expected the ever so dark and twisted Edgar Allan Poe to be quite so dashing.Top, clockwise: Edith Wharton, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Bottom, clockwise: Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, and Toni Morrison.
Even though I haven’t picked up a non-school assigned book since March, I apparently cannot resist the temptation of free books in the donation bin. I snagged three (pictured above) yesterday, and I imagine more will make their way into my room as the dorms empty of residents.
- American Woman (Susan Choi), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- Farewell to Manzanar (Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston), a memoir of a Japanese-American family living in an interment camp during World War II.
- The Wind Done Gone (Alice Randall), which bills itself as “a provocative literary parody that explodes the mythology perpetrated by a Southern classic”. You can probably guess a to what that classic book may be based on the title.
I made a decision earlier this morning to delete my TBR list. I decided to do so after checking ten titles off the list from my public library only to open up each book when I arrived home and wonder why I wanted to read it in the first place. Most of the titles on the list are ones I no longer recognize or have no recollection as to why I added them in the first place.
Deleting might be the wrong word as the list is still in existence. Yet I culled 1,100 titles down to just under 100, keeping only those that I own, added within the last week, or are written by favorite authors. Of the 98 books left on the list, 43 are ones that I own and thus constitute my physical TBR pile.
I probably deleted some great books off the list, but it feels good to have a much more manageable list to work off of going forward. This might just be the fresh start I need to climb out of this reading slump.
“My local library branch started doing this “Blind Date with a Book” thing, thought you guys might like it. The shelf was full when we got there, but was like this as we were leaving. The books are wrapped in paper and have different designs on them, and then a few words vaguely describing the subject matter of the book. Things like “Drama”, “Plot Twists”, “espionage”, etc. The only thing exposed on the book is the barcode that you use to scan the book out. I thought it was a pretty cool idea.”
I’m thinking this might be a fantastic way to get over the dilemma of choosing my next read at the library or even off my own shelves. Of times I know what kind of book I’m looking for or the type of subject I’m interested in, but every once in awhile I find myself standing at the shelves completely overwhelmed by my choices. Wouldn’t it be great to have things simplified for you?