Yesterday I realized I’m in the middle of six books, and listing them feels less daunting than talking about books I’ve finished– no pressure to pronounce judgment or present a finished analysis. Just a snapshot:
Animorphs #20, The Discovery, by Katherine Applegate (1998). I keep the Animorphs on my phone for comfort…? reading and reading-while-waiting. Apparently this one’s the start of a several-book arc about David, and sanguinity passed on a long tumblr post about this that’s waiting in my email. I’m loving how Animorphs discussion is still low-key humming along while I’m making my way slowly through the series.
Borrowed Summer, by Elizabeth Enright (1946). Short stories with the same avid descriptions of nature and well-tuned dialogue as the Melendy novels and her other children’s books. I mostly got this one because I was trying out our public library’s interlibrary loan services (because someday I won’t have university library privileges!) and Enright was the first author who came to mind who I knew had hard-to-find stuff I’d want to read. Something about the scope and rhythm of the stories reminds me of reading fiction in my mom’s magazines when I was a kid– Ladies Home Journal and Redbook— but maybe with a few more odd corners and less romance.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, translated by Isabel Hapgood (1862/1887). Reading this via Les Mis Letters with one installment every day of 2023. I am loving this! The installments are usually long enough to get into something but not so long as to be burdensome. Sometimes I get one or two days behind. Victor Hugo is working his way into my heart.
Victory. Stand! by Tommie Smith, Dawud Anyabwile, and Derrick Barnes (2022). Graphic novel by one of the Black runners who protested on the Olympic podium in 1968 in Mexico City. For some reason I skipped ahead to read the Olympics part, then went back to the beginning. Unadorned prose and grayscale art, a fast and compelling read.
The Summer Place, by Jennifer Weiner, read by Sutton Foster (2022). My current audiobook, soapy and good for extended housework sessions. Tons of secrets all building to a climactic wedding day, so we’ll see how that goes.
Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories, by Hisaye Yamamoto (expanded edition, 2001). The stories are dated from 1948 to 1995. Most are about Nisei families in the U.S. My favorite so far is a short memoir called “Life Among the Oil Fields”– my dad might find it reminiscient of his childhood in a tenant-farming family, and it also calls out to the Valley of Ashes in Gatsby.