March 2022 books read

  • One Second After – William R. Forstchen, 2009. An apocalypse (EMP burst) novel I recently saw recommended. A surprisingly decent read considering the foreshadowing of the author’s descent into wingnuttery. Aside from the Gary-Stu-ishness of the protagonist (who is a professor at Montreat College – the setting of the book – just like the author, imagine that), it’s depressingly believable.
  • New Kid – Jerry Craft, 2019. A YA graphic novel I heard about on this great TAL episode – first graphic novel to win the Newbery, which makes me feel nostalgic for my librarian days when I would have known about it from t=0. Really good!
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne, 2017. Quotes pulled, TBD
  • The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time – Jonathan Weiner, 1994. Quotes pulled, TBD, but WOW, so glad I finally read this!
  • One Year After – William R. Forstchen, 2015. Significantly worse than the first one but I finished it and will read the 3rd… my want-to-know-what-happens itch got turned on.
  • Mumbai New York Scranton – Tamara Shopsin, 2013. A friend suggested this, partly because I grew up in NY and lived near Scranton (it was a pleasure to see the Electric City sign and the Wegmans references!) Unique and touching, and it gave fascinating insights into the process of illustration.
  • The Silver Chair – C. S. Lewis, 1953. Re-read for #Narniathon21.
  • Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love – Jonathan Van Ness, 2019. Picked up during a bout of insomnia and enjoyed it very much. JVN’s writing voice captures his Queer Eye persona perfectly.
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals – Oliver Burkeman, 2021. Temporarily convinced me that not only can’t I do everything, but attempting to is a problem. I picked up a genuine new habit from this book: on my daily list, I now record the number of the week based on SSA life expectancy (so today, 5/6/2022, I’m in week 1477 and will switch to 1476 on Monday). The plan so far is to recalculate on my birthday – every year that number will go back up a bit, since the longer one lives the longer one is likely to live. That’s all that stuck so far, but I would like to read this again in the future. Really good.
  • Tao Te Ching – Stephen Mitchell, 1961. Re-reading Ursula Le Guin got me interested in Taoism again. I browsed through a bunch of interesting and wild source documents in the Mount Holyoke library which are very different (lots of ritual and theory), and I can see why this text is what resonates in our culture – it leaves room for so many interpretations. I have Le Guin’s own translation, but it was in the other room and I had this on my e-reader to pick up during insomnia.
  • Faust, part I – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1808. I read the Carl R. Mueller translation from 2004, most of the Randall Jarrell from 1976, and bits of others. Wow, what a meta and overstuffed play – it seems like it would be impossible to produce. Quotes pulled, TBD.

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