March 12th, 2021


friday 5: reading list

from thefridayfive...

1) Have you read more books, or fewer books, this past year than usual?
Oh gosh I have no idea. Probably fewer, I've been distracted. But maybe more! I did spend way too much time on all 800 pages of gone with the wind last year.

2) What book are you reading now (or what book did you read most recently)?
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

3) What is the best book you read in the past few years?
Last year I think my favorite really was How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown. Recently there was a discussion on reddit about war, and someone reminded me of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. Thanks to Livejournal I know I read it six years ago but it's really stuck with me. I said everyone should read it. There are so many books everyone should read, though. So I've given up on giving anyone a must read list, or a top five list, or a list of books before you die list. I will add a quote at the bottom of this entry for emphasis.

4) Do you read more than one book at a time, or just one?
I read like seven books at a time now I swear. I'm also reading Fly Girls because I started it on Libby but it's so nice just to have around, and I'm still reading the compilation Disability Visibility because compilations are easy to pick up between other books. They're like playlists... some days I feel like historical fiction, modern fiction, non-fiction, biography. Similarly with music I like pop, folk, acoustic, classic rock. It also helps to have a book on my phone, a book on audio, a book upstairs, a book downstairs, and one in my office at work.

5) How big is your to-be-read pile (or list)?
On goodreads it's 99. But I don't really refer to that very often unless I'm really stumped, I just read whatever the world has come up with for me. Depends on what's available.

Anyway, here is a passage I heard on an audiobook once that was so beautiful, I pulled over and re-listened and cried, and then I bought the book. It is by the award-winning David McCullough in a book called "Brave Companions". It's from a graduation speech, and it is the best advice I have ever heard.

Take the novels of Willa Cather when you go to Nebraska. Bring Faulkner when you' re going south. Take Cather, Faulkner, take books wherever you go. Read. Read all you can. Read history, biography. Read Dumas Malone's masterful biography of Jefferson and Paul Horgan's epic history of the Rio Grande, Great River. Road Luigi Barzini's books on Italy and America. Read the published journals of those who traveled the Oregon Trail. Read the novels of Maya Angelou and Robertson Davies, read Wendell Berry, Wallace Stegner, and the poems of Robert Penn Warren. As much as you have read in these four years, it is only the beginning. However little television you watch, watch less. If your experience is anything like mine the books that you read in the next ten years will be the most important books in your lives.