I follow the Morning News’ Tournament of Books every year. It’s always a fun competition, even when–like this year–I haven’t read any of the books chosen. I usually add at least a couple of the selections to my always-growing TBR list based on the guest reviewer’s comments throughout the tournament.
Happy new year! I have decided that 2016 is the year of not giving a fuck. And yes, there is a book for that.
Here’s a fresh roundup of links for your reading pleasure.
- Those books that we buy and then pile up on our shelves, unread? There is a word for that.
- Rebecca Solnit, again not giving any fucks
- Reading around the world? Challenge accepted.
- So happy to see that SF/F is now regularly reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, and by a black woman author, too! You go, N.K. Jemison.
I like NPR’s Book Concierge better than any other end-of-year roundups I’ve seen. It’s an elegant design that lets you hone in on just the types of books you’re most interested in. I already added several promising reads to my gigantic “to read” list.
Hang on, my obligatory best-of lists are coming!
“The list made me think there should be another, with some of the same books, called 80 Books No Woman Should Read, though of course I believe everyone should read anything they want. I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty. Or they’re instructions in the version of masculinity that means being unkind and unaware, that set of values that expands out into violence at home, in war, and by economic means. Let me prove that I’m not a misandrist by starting with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, because any book Paul Ryan loves that much bears some responsibility for the misery he’s dying to create.”
I’ve recently rediscovered Patricia Highsmith, and I read The Price of Salt, her only lesbian novel, this year. This essay about the novel and the new movie coming out based on it (Carol) helped inform my understanding of the book.
How Patricia Highsmith turned her erotic obsession with two women into literary art.
Please encourage the young readers in your life to read all kinds of books. Don’t fall into the trap of segregating books by gender.
“The pile of unread books we have on our bedside tables is often referred to as a graveyard of good intentions. The list of unread books on our Kindles is more of a black hole of fleeting intentions.” — Craig Mod
The New York Times says print is far from dead, and Craig Mod asks if digital books will ever replace print. After a torrid but brief love affair, I admit that I have been reading less on the Kindle and succumbing more to the allure of physical books. I still use the Kindle for throwaway books, travel, library books, and sampling. I think it is a terrific tool that has its uses, but it is not a replacement for books as objects. When I catalog my reads, I always categorize Kindle books as “read but unowned,” because books on the Kindle do not feel like they are really mine.
Margaret Atwood again: She says now is not the time for realistic fiction. When is it ever the time? If you’re looking for some wonderfully unrealistic fiction, try Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, among the best books I’ve read all year; here’s a piece about writing it by VanderMeer in The Atlantic.