November: The List

A while back, I was complaining to my manager at the library that there are just so many books to read and not enough time (and by that I mean one lifetime). She explained how she often takes books home, keeps them on her nightstand, and doesn’t end up reading them. I think she meant this conversation to suggest she’s overly ambitious, but I interpreted it as “Hey, I should take all the library books home and just have them there!”). So, I started doing that. Thus, November has gone totally off the rails from my normal monthly reading plans and will consist almost entirely of library books.

Title: Owlsight by Mercedes Lacky & Larry Dixon

Genre: fantasy series

Key Descriptors: healing, magic, barbarian raid

Why I’m Reading It: this title is part of #ReadingValdemar in 2019

Title: The Girl Who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury, translated by Ros Schwartz

Genre: women’s fiction

Key Descriptors: French translation, bookstore, funny

Why I’m Reading It: I am making some effort to read more translations and thought a bookish novella from the library would be right.

Title: Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

Genre: Grief

Key Descriptors: LGBTQ, taxidermy, suicide

Why I’m Reading It: After Jenny Lawson made taxidermy so funny, I thought this might be dark humor, though Goodreads reviews suggest I’m wrong about this library book.

Title: Tangled Up in Blue by Joan D. Vinge

Genre: science fiction series

Key Descriptors: police raid, death, galactic technology

Why I’m Reading It: this is the 4th and final book in The Snow Queen Cycle, set in a parallel timeline to The Snow Queen. So far, this series has been impressive. I hate that I have to InterLibrary Loan it.

Title: Prison Baby by Deborah Jiang-Stein

Genre: memoir

Key Descriptors: adoption, stigma, outreach

Why I’m Reading It: I found Jiang-Stein on Facebook years ago and learned about her prison outreach efforts. She collects books for women and children HERE and talks about prison reform. Another library book.

Title: Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

Genre: memoir/advice

Key Descriptors: epistolary, comedy, women

Why I’m Reading It: I wasn’t sold on Wong’s stand-up at first; I found her aggressive and desperate, but she’s set an example for pregnant women in show-biz that I admire. Also from the library.

Title: Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

Genre: nonfiction

Key Descriptors: pre-teen, girl power, ceaseless series

Why I’m Reading It: I was totally a 1990s reader of girl-centric series that never ended and were cheap but engrossing. Thanks, library!

Title: Cannonball by Kelsey Wroten

Genre: graphic novel

Key Descriptors: LGBTQ, struggling artist, millennial

Why I’m Reading It: I haven’t read a graphic novel in ages, and I was interested in how this library book looks at creative communities in academic settings.

Are you looking forward to hear more about any of these books? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Hadn’t heard of Paperback Crush, but it’s on my list now. Also, I realize this isn’t what’s meant by the title, but if it were just pages upon pages of people talking about how they prefer paperbacks to hardbacks and e-books, I would still be in.


  2. Paperback Crush sounds really great – I am going to put in a few book requests at my local library this month and I think this might be one of them! A lot of the books of that type I read were very UK-centric, so I will be interested to see what the commonalities and differences from books publicised in the US.


    • And I don’t think I read any U.K. books when I was blasting through these teen girl books. I actually bought an old middle grade Sweet Valley book just recently, one that is based on A Christmas Carol, for nostalgia reasons.


  3. Paperback crush appeals to me! Also maybe the prison one, if it isn’t too distressing. I think the thing I miss most about working in libraries was the staff library card. 20 books and free inter llibrary loans at the public library, 24 I think at the academic one!


    • We don’t have a limit on how many books patrons can take out, so long as their account is in good standing. There are only 3 ILL at a time, though they don’t cost anything.

      I imagine Prison Baby will be distressing; Jiang-Stein was the baby born while her mother was in prison.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They all sound good to me. The only one I’ve read is Paperback Crush: fun! It reminded me of Shelf Discovery from about 10 years ago. But this one has more pictures!

    Our ILL used to be no charge for most libraries but, with a change in our government, the budget for it has been axed completely (presumably one could still opt to pay for it, but if that was an option for me, I’d be buying the books – $10/item). But I’m not complaining – only surprised how dramatic and almost instantaneous the change was – because the public library is still awesome and I feel very lucky to have it just a 12-minute walk from my home.

    BTW, I seem to have subbed to your site twice. So when you see an Uns*b notice come through for me, it’s not true!


    • Does your library now charge for ILL, or is it just gone completely? That’s rough when a community doesn’t vote to support libraries, and even worse when the government makes a decision about library funding without consulting the community. This is a scenario my library faced: there was a proposal to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the library system in an effort to pay for a 911 call center. Both are important, but instead of asking the community if we want to raise taxes to support both, they were just going to money shuffle. I found out that the due date to vote on this issue (Oct. 31) passed, so it’s tabled for now.


  5. As a librarian, I 100% support your mission to take all the books home and have them there. I have my own little stack, in its own place on my desk, where all the library books come to visit and judge me. I didn’t know Ali Wong had a book! I should look that one up.


    • The Ali Wong book just came out. Thank you for your librarian support! I work as a reference associate at a library, but the library where I work is not the one I patronize, as I live in a city that has lots of branches.

      Liked by 1 person

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