Thursday, July 04, 2024

Some Annotated Reading July 4

I spent my Fourth of July reading on my deck. First time in years I could give a whole day to reading, starting out there first thing in the morning still in my favorite nightgown. Didn't get through as much as
I thought I would, but a good reading day, and reading week, nonetheless. 


While I liked Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, I'm hard put to describe it, myself. An anxious and depressed young woman struggles to find a reason to keep living when there is so much misery around her? With some dark laughs? (There are some.)  The publisher does a better job with the description: "...a morbidly anxious young woman stumbles into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church and soon finds herself obsessed with her predecessor's mysterious death." Gilda's anxiety is intense. 

This week I finished reading How to Keep House While Drowning by K.C. Davis. I think an argument could be made that this book isn't really, or at least just, about keeping house. I may feature this in a Time Management Tuesday post. I read an ebook edition I got through my library, and I was on a waiting list for it for a year. I'm ordering a copy for a family member.

Today I finished These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore. I love historian Jill Lepore, and this book is fantastic. I did spend a few years reading it, though, because my go-to reading is fiction. I read this in the car when someone else was driving and while waiting in doctors' offices. This was worth every minute of my life that I spent on it.


I was doing some research for a new humor piece when I came upon February by Margaret Atwood. Liked it much better than I remember liking her poetry in college. But this is from a book published long after I was in college, so maybe she was doing different kinds of poetry by then. And maybe she's doing still different kinds now.

Because I read that Margaret Atwood poem, I remembered my poet laureate project and looked up the next poet laureate to check out. I'm up to number 5, Karl Shapiro, who was still referred to as a consultant in poetry. Among his poems that I liked were Buick (Yes, it's a poem about a car.) and Ballade of the Second-Best Bed, which should be assigned to every high school kid having to read Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet, because it gives Shakespeare a little more interest than I remember him having when I had to read those things.  

Short Reading

The Time I Stole Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York and Couldn't Stop Reading It by Elwin Cotman at Lit Hub. I was drawn to this because I'd just found my copy of Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York, and I could stop reading it.

Quince Mince Pie | Owl and the Pussycat  at InLiterature. Yes, I've been doing some reading about The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, and here is an attempt at a pie made from "mince and slices of quince."

Excerpts from The Space Between by Herb Harris at Craft. This is an editors' choice selection from a memoir excerpt and essay contest. I believe there are others, but this is the only one I've read. Definitely enjoyed it. 


Frazzled has started accepting humorous essays. Oops...I Neglected to Bring My Son to Preschool Art Night by Brad Snyder is a good one. It has a bit of a memoirish thing going. 

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