Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books Read in 2016

My friend Melanie always reports on the books she has read every year. I would like to do that as a tradition, so I thought I would begin tonight, on NYE of 2015.

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick: It's a quick but rich read, wonderful in its analysis and in putting together the context of the story with Melville and 1850. I appreciate this as a writer, too, as Philbrick breaks things down in themes and analysis. 

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr: How could I not pick this one up?! Her frankness, humor, and ease are wonderful and inspirational. Really, she lays out the truth as she knows it, one of the things she says about memoir writing.

Postmarked: Bleeding Kansas, Letters from the Birthplace of the Civil War, Pioneer Dispatches from Edward and Sarah Fitch: Living in Lawrence during 1855-63, ending with Quantrill's raid of Lawrence. This is a wonderful book of letters--full of hope, struggle, and heartbreak. 

Map: Exploring the World by Phaidon Press: Cartography Lovers Unite! This is the one to get, as it shows so many wonderful maps throughout time, the stories behind them, and how maps say more in what is omitted in them.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: As Toni Morrison says, "This is required reading." Memoir meets history meets you need to read this. Race is a fabrication by white supremacy built on slavery, redlining, police brutality, and incarceration. Also, very heartfelt, vulnerable, and NEEDED!

Moby-Dick (Norton Critical Editions, Second Edition) by Herman Melville: A classic, rediscovered while researching Bleeding Kansas and the books released around that time.

Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of Eight Hybrid Literary Genres, edited by Marcela Sulak and Jacqueline Kolosov. It is basically the things I have loved reading this past decade all in one. This serves as an explanation I hadn't thought of: why I love flash fiction, prose poetry, etc. Well, the hybridity of these things--I am in love with how hybrid writing becomes metaphor, becomes meta-, and why did I not think of this sooner? Each writer includes an essay about her or his work, then a part of the work. In fact, many of my favorite writers are here. 43 authors is a good number, but I am looking forward to Volume Two.

Like Water for Chocolate

Oscar Wao

Food, Inc. Reading Supplement

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