So, not being buried in a pile of literary homework makes for a lot of time to read. While low in volume, I think my most recent list is high in quality, especially since I ditched that whole speed-reading thing and have begun spending more time with the words dancing across the page. So briefly, here’s a short smattering of the works I have slowly devoured since June.
First thing, I accidentally found a copy of Peter S. Beagle’s classic The Last Unicorn at a local thrift store. (Looking at the way I just wrote that, it occurs to me that The Last Unicorn at the Local Thrift Store would be an awesome title.) I’m not what one might call a swords-and-sorcery fan (not since I was fourteen, at least), but this book is pretty transcendent. I read it when I was younger and it was, frankly, life changing. One of those books that whisper secrets about how to live a full life without actually coming out and telling you how to live. It is utterly brilliant, and I’m so happy the universe dropped it in my lap. It was life changing again, I’m happy to report.
I also read a theory text I’d been wanting to go through for a long time: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands. This is a really profound book that builds a compelling argument for mental and cultural hybridity, inclusivity, and ambiguity–something that I personally think will be the surviving perspective in a constantly changing world. Plus, it’s magic realism, flavored like Castaneda (except, y’know, not a bald-faced lie like ol’ Carlos), and full of vivid, compelling imagery. I was going to read the book’s poetry component La Frontera, but after a few poems I realized I like Lorna Dee Cervantes better.
What else? I picked up my husband’s copy of Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things but George Lakoff, cuz I love me some cognitive science and linguistics. While the book is fascinating, it’s been slow going, largely because I’ve been distracted by an Elmore Leonard novel I picked up, the old classic Out of Sight. I adore Leonard’s narrative style, and I’m very sweet on hard-boiled crime stories (not so much police procedurals–there’s definitely a difference), so reading this has been a ton of fun.
Oh, and also in the fun department, I re-read editor Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symmetries anthology, with all of its wonderfully rich and immersive dark short stories. This time, I noticed in the back was a listing of all the backers who helped fund the project–and my name was there! My name is in an Ellen Datlow anthology! …I’m more tickled by this than I really should be.
I think that’s it. Should I remember anything else, I’ll be sure to record it (for posterity, of course, for I’m sure everyone is at the edge of their seats in anticipation for what I could possibly be putting in my brain next. Har-har.) Although it occurs to me I could just update my Goodreads profile–that would probably be easier. Well, then–off to update Goodreads!