Books · Life

December Reads

Did you assume I was dead? It would not be far off. Between the holidays and finals, I am basically comatose and useless. But my last final is Monday so we should get back to our regular viewing schedule then.

But, in my rare, precious moments of free time, I have been working diligently on my December reading list. I am taking a staycation between Christmas and New Years, so I am expecting to get a ton of reading done and I cannot wait!

Please note that I totally stole all my synopsis from Amazon.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Currently Reading.

Synopsis: Written as a series of letters to his teenaged son, his new memoir, Between the World and Me, walks us through the course of his life, from the tough neighborhoods of Baltimore in his youth, to Howard University to New York and Paris. Coates describes his observations and the evolution of his thinking on race, from Malcolm X to his conclusion that race itself is a fabrication, elemental to the concept of American (white) exceptionalism.

Why I am Reading It: 1. It got incredible reviews. 2. I will never understand what it is to be black in America, much less what it is to be male and black in America. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.

december reads 3

Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

Currently Reading.

Synopsis: Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York’s kitchens. She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert. A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man’s nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.

Why I am Reading It: This book was universally hailed as a brilliant and harsh love story. That description hit me at every level as something I wanted to read.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

To Read.

Synopsis: On Beauty is the story of an interracial family living in the university town of Wellington, Massachusetts, whose misadventures in the culture wars-on both sides of the Atlantic-serve to skewer everything from family life to political correctness to the combustive collision between the personal and the political.

Why I am Reading It: The Vicar of Dibley read it and I like to get my literary advice from off the air BBC shows. It is an older book, but one that I always meant to get around to reading.

december reads 2

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

To Read.

Synopsis: Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His life, a tale of woe, is revealed in a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies.

Why I’m Reading It: One of my coworkers, whose taste I trust, recommended it as some light, quick reading. I figured with all the heavy reading mentioned above, I could use something fun.

december reads

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland by Harvey Pekar.

To Read.

Why I’m Reading It: Harvey Pekar is a bitter, funny, rude man. I love that in my writers. He is one of the key reasons I got into graphic novels to begin with.

How to Succeed in Nursing School by Caroline Porter

Currently Reading.

Synopsis and Why I am Reading It: Should be pretty self-evident.

Your first year as a nurse : making the transition from total novice to successful professional by Cardillo, Donna Wilk.

To Read.

Synopsis and Why I am Reading It: Again,  should be pretty self-evident.

I am also hoping to read these titles if they come in through interlibrary loan:

How to be Parisian wherever you are : love, style, and bad habits by Anne Berest

The gospel according to Coco Chanel : life lessons from the world’s most elegant woman by Karen Karbo

Women in clothes by Sheila Heti

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

No God but God by Reza Aslan

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