If I am totally immersed in a book, I read it every stray moment I can find. If I love what I am reading, I get impatient socializing and will leave to go home and read more. I usually have 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction, and around 3 magazines on the go beside my bed. Occasionally I read poetry, though not nearly as much as I used to. I like me some poetry.
Last Book I Bought: Wherever you go, there you are - Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn (after hearing him interviewed on the radio.) In the past, when reading about meditation, i always took out buddhist source stuff that was a bit oblique or dense/discouraging. This is an engaging kind of "intro to meditation" that never stoops to hokeyness or cartoons.
Last Book I Read: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke Part satire/black and part dead serious, two 19th century practical magicians attempt to restore magic to England. Insane fairies, a mysterious prophecy and the land between mirrors, the battle of waterloo, and a greedily hoarded library of books all combine to make a stop and start tale that takes a while to gain momentum but is seldom dull. A massive book that took me ages to read, mostly because it was too large to take around with me.
Book I am reading now: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
5 books that mean a lot to me:
hmmmm....I have read a lot of great stuff this year, so I will include one of them in my largely static list:
A Complicated Kindness Miriam Toews Hilarious and heartbreaking. I use those words too much, but how else do you describe a misfit Amish teen struggling to keep it together as all her real connections to family and love fall away.
Moons of Jupiter Alice Munro Alice Munro is perfect. A master of short fiction. She has a dry, dry wit. She almost never manipulates you but will bring you to your knees with truths you never knew could be articulated. All of her collections of stories are wonderful, but this is my favourite
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept Elizabeth Smart A prose-poetry novella, written in the white-hot heat of passion that consumed her life. It will make you want to read her biography, By Heart, by Rosemary Sullivan.
As I lay Dying William Faulkner The slow trance of Faulkner-land where a dysfunctional southern family makes a scorching journey to bring their mother's body to her resting ground. The characters are exquisite.
Birds of America Lorrie Moore Oh. My. God. Her short stories will have you screaming with laughter one page and swooning with profound sadness the next.
Orlando Virginia Woolfe "Orlando had become a womanó there was no denying it. But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been." A young man in Queen Elizabeth I's court lives through four centuries of perpetual youth. Midway through the novel, Orlando becomes a woman.
Oh geez, also The Hours, Midnight's Children, Letters at 3am, Mrs Dalloway....