NaBloPoMo #19: What I'm Reading Wednesday

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OK, it's Wednesday, so let's talk about books!

First, I finished The Great Gatsby. I was underwhelmed. I think what disappointed me was that I started it thinking I'd finally learn about the missing pieces of a story I basically already knew, just from references to it in other things. Well, turns out there are no missing pieces--I really already knew the whole story. There's just not too much there. It reads like something intended to be serialized and make money, not like a Great American Novel. I've definitely read other Great Novels of the same time period that were much better (Sister Carrie comes to mind). That being said, I did like Tim Robbins' narration, and the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald at the end, read by Robert Sean Leonard, are really interesting. Next I'm taking a little break and listening to David Sedaris' new one, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

And I am still slogging through Personal History. I mislaid it for a couple of days, so I haven't read much on it for a bit, but it is getting a bit more interesting now that Graham is talking more about running the paper herself (I'm currently in the mid-60s). Sure seems like a lot of build-up just get to to Watergate, though, which is where I (and, I'd expect, many readers) most want to go.

While I couldn't find the Graham book, I started A Walking Fire, a novel by Valerie Miner suggested to me by a friend. It's a Vietnam-war era retelling of King Lear. I'm only a chapter or two into it, so I don't have many thoughts yet.

All of that, however, is just preamble to what I really want to tell you about today. I spent a little chunk of time last week doing some editing for a book that is set to be released via Lulu this week. Do you all remember me telling you about the fantastic Can I Sit With You? Well, it was so successful that the wonderful creators, Shannon and Jennifer, have put together a second installment, Can I Sit With You Too? I've read the stories and I'll tell you--it's definitely worth buying. It would make a great Christmas present for adolescent family members or friends. The best part? The proceeds all go to SEPTAR, the Special Education Parent Teacher Association for Redwood City, California. Watch the Can I Sit With You website to see when it will be available, and to preview some of the stories that are included.

So, what are you reading?

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- Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables (just got it)

- Pagan Christmas (good so far)

- Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth (also just received)

Since you just finished The Great Gatsby, you should put The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian in you TBR pile. I love his book and this one has a particular Gatsby connection you might enjoy.

With your focus on gender issues, you would probably also like his books Midwives and Trans-Sister Radio (one of my all-time favorites).

I just finished American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield. I loved Prep by the same author but haven't loved either of her other books.

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff. The main characters have multiple personalities. It is awesome.

I'm reading Gospel Hour by T. R. Pearson. This is the first book of his that I've read, and I l-o-v-e love it!

The Crazed by Ha Jin. I don't love it, but I like the pace of reading it inspires - the last couple of books I read dragged a bit.

Thanks for the hard work and the citation! Barring hiccups, the books should be buyable by Wednesday 11/26.

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