I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the break, which has been just like heaven. Some for pre-thesis preparation, some for an upcoming class, but much of this is just for pleasure. What a joy it is to read for pleasure!
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe – This is for an upcoming literature class, Horror in Southern Fiction.
The Help by Katheryn Stockett – I have heard nothing but rave reviews on this neo-Southern work of fiction, and since my mom finished her copy I’ve been planning to start it up next!
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers – This is a classic I’ve been meaning to read for some time now. The sweetheart got a copy for Christmas, so we’re going to start out the new year by reading this together.
Fall of Giants by Ken Follet – I purchased this as a gift, but decided against giving it after discovering several extremely sensual passages that would have been awkward to give to the intended receiver. The storyline, however, was a fascinating glimpse at the beginning of WWI through the eyes of an American, some Brits, lower-class Welsh miners, Germans and Russians.
The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty – Hopefully some fodder for a potential thesis…
The Anti 9 to 5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube by Michelle Goodman – I’ve only read the introduction, but already I can tell I’m going to be taking a lot of notes from this little book. I’m excited to learn more about the career options ahead of me, especially those in which I can take my future into my own hands.
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink – This is on loan from my sweetheart, who read it and read passages to me from it and raved about the interesting perspective of we “Right-Brainers.” I’m looking forward to learning more about my own species.
Light in August by William Faulkner – Since reading The Sound and the Fury in high school, I have sworn completely off Faulkner. I was persuaded to give him another chance with this novel, and I must say I have been redeemed to this master of prose. Man, can this guy write or what…
The Green Smoothies Diet by Robyn Openshaw – I love green smoothies. This was an impulse check-out from my local library and I can’t wait to get some inspiration for my New Year cleanse. And seriously, all you doubters out there – you really can’t taste the spinach in the smoothies. Really.
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters – I’ve been coveting this cookbook for a while now…ever since I took a brief coffee break in a Springfield, MO Barnes & Noble last May. I checked this out from my library as well, and have been completely thrilled by all of the helpful tips and recipes. I may or may not have copies several down already into my personal recipe book. That may or may not be some sort of a copyright infringement…
Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl – I have also lusted after this cookbook for ages now, and got it from my parents for a Christmas gift. It is one of my favorite gifts this year, and I read cover to cover in just a few hours after opening it. I’m eager to cook up some Pasta Puttanesca and some Chicken and Green Olive Stew. And aside from the simple and fun recipes, her prose is so quirky and witty. I love Sophie Dahl and the little cropped wellies she wears on the cover.
Again, it has been and will continue to be such a pleasure to read for pleasure on this break. If you too are an avid reader, consider how easy it is to get your hands on a book…now consider how difficult it would be for a 5th grader in the Arkansas Delta to get his or her hands on a book if the nearest library was 20 miles away. I’m participating in a book drive for an elementary school in Hughes, AR – the U of A will partner will Fayetteville High School and community members of NWA to gather books for the kids in Hughes all next semester and will culminate the program in a trip down to the school, hopefully bearing massive quantities of everyone’s favorite books to start a library for those less fortunate. I’m calling on all of you bookworms out there to go through your book shelf or the old children’s books laying around your parents house: gather them up and bring them to Fayetteville. We’ll make sure they find a good home where they will be treasured and oh-so appreciated.
For more information or questions about the Arkansas Reads: Hogs & Dawgs Book Drive, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.