June: the list

After February, I tried doing away with my start-of-the-month post in favor of adding the TBR to my Sunday Lowdown posts. However, those Sunday posts are getting longer AND I’m not saying everything I want to — double donkey punch. So, I’m bringing this monthly to-read list back!

Title: Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood, published 1991.

Genre: short story collection

Key Descriptors: youth, passion, middle-age, complexities

Why I’m Reading It: this is the oldest book that I own on my TBR shelf. It was purchased in August of 2012 from, I believe, a garage sale. I’m also looking forward to getting some more short stories into my reading.

Title: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston, published in 1976

Genre: immigration memoir

Key Descriptors: Chinese-American, tradition, school, laundry

Why I’m Reading It: this is the newest book on my my TBR shelf of books I own. I bought it as a used bookstore on a weekend adventure.

Title: Dust Bath Revival by Marianne Kirby, published in 2016

Genre: young adult horror

Key Descriptors: Florida, risen dead, government, conspiracy

Why I’m Reading It: This book was brought to my attention because it has a fat female protagonist and (I hope) will be a positive contribution to my fat reading goals.

Title: Winds of Fury by Mercedes Lackey, published in 1993

Genre: sword-and-sorcery fanasy

Key Descriptors: blood mage, strike attach, forgotten past

Why I’m Reading It: Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku and I are reading 16 Valdemar books this year (and several more in 2020). We’re on schedule and very proud of ourselves! This is book #10.

Title: No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder, published in 2019

Genre: investigative journalism

Key Descriptors: domestic violence, closed-door terrorism, silence

Why I’m Reading It: I have so many library books I want to get to that I decided to read one per month. I heard about Snyder’s book on NPR and was moved to sever anger. I need to know more about this topic.

Title: Porno by Irvine Welsh

Genre: fiction novel

Key Descriptors: drugs, sex industry, Scotland

Why I’m Reading It: I’m trying to read one book per month I own that’s written by a man. My TBR of women is getting low, but the pile of guy books remains. I want to read Welsh’s entire Mark Renton series; this is book #3. I’ve already got a small head start on this novel.

Title: Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Erlbaum, published 2006

Genre: memoir

Key Descriptors: high school, street life, New York City, 1980s

Why I’m Reading It: I’m trying to read more memoirs about women facing difficult situations and persevering.

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23 comments

  1. I can’t wait to hear what you think of No Visible Bruises. It sounds like a monumental study, I was intrigued by the NPR coverage too.

    I’ve read Wilderness Tips and Woman Warrior, but years ago. The latter is one I think I’d appreciate much more if I’d read it later, it’s so layered and complex. I think there’s always something worthwhile in Atwood’s stories, she’s such a master.

    • Oh, I’m so glad that our reading is similar enough that we can enjoy each other’s reviews! I’m going to finish Wilderness Tips today. I can tell that Atwood published these stories in the hey-day of good short stories, the kind that typically go on for about 25 pages, which is forever-long today when you compare what’s being published. A short story today is usually about 12 pages.

      • I know, I was excited to find your site, I think we have a lot of reading interests in common!

        You’re right, Atwood’s stories are really long and involved. I recently read Amy Hempel’s new short story collection and the style is such a contrast, although hers were always fairly short. The longest one in it was by far the best, it reminded me of that kind of bygone era when they were crafted so differently.

        • I do wonder if shorter stories are a product of the massive increase in MFA programs. The stories have to be the right length to fit into a workshop. 20 pages, single-sided, double-spaced, is typically the requirement, so that’s about half as long in print books — about 10-12 pages.

  2. What’s a brilliantly varied list! I’ve been meaning to read more Atwood for a while, so I’m particularly keen to see how you get on with that one 😊 Hope you have a great reading month! 📚

    • She’s wonderful with short stories! I would argue she’s a better short story writer than novelist, though I admit her novels are hit and miss for me. Alias Grace I liked, though it didn’t hurt that I watched the limited series on Netflix first. Oryx & Crake were great, but the follow-up novels in that trilogy were a little better than okay. Cat’s Eye I did not get at all. It seems like her short stories have a purpose that isn’t forced, and I like that.

  3. Glad you are getting back to something they worked for you, it’s nice to see what you are planning for the month. I think my wrap up last week was really long and I didn’t even share everything, I just thought, wrap this up because people aren’t going to keep reading.

    Short stories! I just posted a review of one a few minutes ago so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one wanting to read more of them

    • I figured if I break it up — one start-of-the-month post and then a Sunday Lowdown — that makes everything shorter. Also, it gave me more room to be “talkative” in the Sunday Lowdown, which I enjoy.

      I think I read so many short stories in grad school that I got burned out on them and bought a lot of novels for a while. Lately, I have a total hankerin’ for investigative journalism, which is why I included this new library category in my reading plans.

  4. Looks like an intriguing list. No Visible Bruises sounds like a fascinating, if heavy, read. I hate to sound like a bad Canadian but I don’t really enjoy Atwood’s writing. I haven’t read much of her short stories though.

    • Her novels are completely hit and miss for me. However, I can see how she’s a master of the short story (I got started on Wilderness Tips a bit early). I truly enjoyed it and will post a review this week.

      I heard about No Visible Bruises on NPR. I can tell it’s going to make me angry, but in a good, informed way.

  5. That Dust Bath Revival cover is a little unnerving. Risen dead? I’m intrigued. I can’t believe you and Jackie are already on book ten. Will you be sticking with the same author for next year? Hope you enjoy all your June reads!

    • I’m pumped about Dust Bath Revival! It looks like old-school swampland horror. Mwa ha ha ha!

      We will continue reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. Right now we’re both looking forward to it!

  6. It looks like you have a great month ahead of you! This is an intriguing list. I’ll especially keep an eye out for your thoughts on the Atwood collection and No Visible Bruises, which both look good to me!

    • No Visible Bruises had a really disturbing interview on NPR that led me to want to read it. I’ve been getting into investigative journalism lately. The Atwood collection review will go up tomorrow!

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