Reading Lists

Hi, my name is Liz, and despite my best 2019 intentions my library pile is out of control again. Let me tell you about it.

Pile of library books discussed in the post

Finished and ready to return:

Vivien Chien, Death by Dumpling: I liked the setting of this cozy mystery, an Asian-themed mall in Cleveland where the main character works in her parents’ noodle house; it’s good to see more diversity in this subgenre. But ultimately the book confirmed for me that I’m not a big fan of cozies, and the characters felt pretty cardboard/stereotypical.

Reading (and listening) now:

Zen Cho, The True Queen: not in my pile because it’s a digital download. I’m almost 1/3 in and really enjoying it so far, especially because so far there is more focus on Malaysian characters than in Sorcerer to the Crown, in which Mak Genggang was one of my favourite characters.

David Treuer, Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: I’m listening to this one and just sped it up to 1.25 speed because it’s long and due back soon. This history of “Native America from 1890 to the Present” is a response to Dee Brown’s classic work that presented Indians largely as victims. Treuer’s motto could be “not dead yet,” and while he certainly discusses the genocidal military and political violence done to Native Americans, he emphasizes adaptation, resistance and survival. It’s an absorbing blend of history, memoir and reportage. I got interested in this after hearing Treuer in an On the Media episode and reading Ned Blackhawk’s review in the NY Times.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Shape of the Ruins: Only a few pages in. I decided to try some of the Man Booker International longlist and this one looks interesting. But it’s 500 pages! Ack!

Eileen Myles, Evolution: I try to always have a poetry collection on the go these days. Also just started.

May get to if time:

Marilyn Dumont, The Pemmican Eaters (more poetry, and part of my goal to read more Indigenous authors this year)

Sarah Perry, Melmoth (thanks to Rohan’s great review, and now Teresa made me want to read it even more; luckily I can renew this one)

Tasha Suri, Empire of Sand (think I owe Janine for this one)

But wait, there’s more!

I have two holds waiting to be picked up: Monument by Natasha Tretheway (more poetry) and Insurrecto by Gina Apostol.

I have another 17 books on hold. 17! Most of them are “on order” which makes it very hard to predict when they will actually arrive. Sometimes it’s right when the book comes out, sometimes it takes longer before the library actually acquires copies. No doubt with my luck they will all arrive at once.

Oh, and from my own books I started something for the TBR challenge, but I’m not sure I’ll manage to pull it off this month. Especially not as final papers start coming in tomorrow and I’ve got a program review report to finish.

Got anything exciting in your stash?

This entry was posted in fantasy, fiction, mystery, non-fiction, personal, poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reading Lists

  1. Sunita says:

    I hear you on the library holds. I don’t have as many but I have enough. March and April have a lot of releases so there is a small deluge.

    I need to get that Treuer book, but it’s related enough to work that I’m waiting. I’ll probably buy it in print anyway, at least that’s what I tell myself. I’m looking forward to what you think of Insurrecto. I send it back to the library but I do want to read it.

    Good luck with the end of the semester!

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      One of the reasons I’m trying to read more books by Indigenous writers (Treuer is Ojibwe) is because in both my work life and my personal (church) life, we are responding to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I have a lot of learning to do.

      My library has a “for later” option that I should use (even) more, but when a book is on order I’m always tempted to just place a hold, thinking it will be months. Sometimes it is. But sometimes they come in a bunch. Oh well! I can always return them unread and they’ll still be good if they eventually come back to me.

  2. Rohan Maitzen says:

    Libraries are especially dangerous this way! But that’s a very enticing pile. I will be interested in your response to Melmoth!

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      What gets me into trouble is that I like to browse their new books list online when I’m tired or bored. And then there are always new and shiny things getting me to click the hold button.

      • willaful says:

        It me. I’m trying so hard to add things to my wishlist instead of putting a hold, but Libby doesn’t have an integrated wishlist so a hold is the easiest option when I happen across something that sounds interesting.

  3. Oh, I so hope you like Insurrecto! It was the first book I read this year and so far it’s my best read of the year. I’m reading another book by Gina Apostol that’s also terrific and funny and strange and sad in many of the same ways — I’m so sad I’m only just now discovering this author! I love her!

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