Another one of my new year’s resolutions this year was to read more books. Last year, I was so swamped with work and school that I was lucky if I read a book a month. This year, I have made sure to carve out time for reading every day, and I am pleasantly surprised at just how many more books I’ve been able to read! Here are the books I’ve read in June, in no particular order:
Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome: I thought this would be a nice and short introduction to Edith Wharton. Ethan Frome is written as a series of flashbacks from the point of view of a visitor who sees an old and decrepit Ethan Frome. He slowly finds out more about Ethan’s unfortunate background from neighbors and Ethan himself. The book is depressing, but has some lovely descriptions of winter and snow. There is a heated debate online about whether Edith Wharton was a feminist or an anti-feminist. I haven’t read anything else by Wharton, but I’ll be perusing these discussions and adding more of Wharton’s books to my to-read list to try to come to a conclusion for myself. Have you read anything by Edith Wharton? What do you think: feminist or anti-feminist?
Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red: I’ve already written a little about this book in an earlier post here. One of my favorite passages is:
“Geryon was a monster everything about him was red
Put his snout out of the covers in the morning it was red
How stiff the red landscape where his cattle scraped against
Their hobbles in the red wind
Burrowed himself down in the red dawn jelly of Geryon’s
Ryu Murakami’s In the Miso Soup: This is not a book to read before you go to bed! As part of my newly proclaimed interest in Japanese literature, I decided to tackle Ryu Murakami, whom I’ve always referred to as “The Other Murakami.” However, this Murakami stands on his own! He is definitely not cowering in the shadow of Haruki. The story follows Kenji, a “nightlife” tour guide as he shows Frank, a creepy American around the red-light district. He suspects that Frank is a serial killer and ends up on a crazy adventure. The book is very gory and explicit at times, but the voice is confident, strong, and there are some vivid and lovely descriptions mixed in among all the blood.
Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar: If you haven’t heard of Dear Sugar by now, start here. This is a compilation of the advice column Dear Sugar that appeared on The Rumpus for a while with some never-before-published letters and responses. Cheryl is absolutely brilliant at mixing advice, tough love, and personal anecdotes into an advice column that will speak to you regardless of your problems. This book reads half advice, half memoir, and if you fell in love with Cheryl in Wild, this will send your heart over the moon with joy and love. This book would be a great present for anyone who is graduating, having trouble getting out of bed every morning, or experiencing any kind of turmoil in his/her life. Basically, read this book and buy it for everyone you know.
Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See: You already know that I read this for my first book club meeting. I would say of the Pulitzer-Prize winning books that I’ve read, this would fall to the middle of the list. However, out of all the books in the world, it would be somewhere near the top 25%. This is not your typical World War II book, and Anthony Doerr writes with a lyricism that feels very Old-World and charming. His love for science and nature really shines through the book, and that accounts for most of my favorite moments throughout the book.
What did you read in June? What were your favorites? Have you read anything on this list?