• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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And the Traffic Wrote the Words

9 Children's Books Starring: BUNNIES!

You’ve probably read that book sales increased 10% over the last year, and even higher in certain categories such as kids’ books. Audio books! People who weren’t big readers started reading more and big readers went ham.The big question is will it hold. Once people go back to having pool parties and seances, will they still be turning to books? Hard to say. God, I hope so. I meant to read all of Shakespeare’s plays and only read Macbeth and 1/2 of Hamlet. I read The Waves, which took five months. I read a biography of Dorothy Parker. I read half of Obama’s memoir. I read Shuggie Bain, Think Again, Say Nothing, Microbe Hunters, Hidden Valley Road, Homeland Elegies, and Green Lights.

What did you read in lockdown?

11 Responses

  1. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore, Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock, Satchel Paige by Lawrence Tye and The Overstory by Richard Powers (200 pages to go, but I’m still reading). Also, a couple of short story collections, You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian and another collection centered mostly on a California real estate agent that I can’t remember the name of. It was good, though.

  2. I love when I see books I’ve read in other people’s lists – or books I have in my TBR pile.

    I read these:
    Consider This (Palahniuk)
    Invisible Girl (Padgett Gerler – for a review)
    Southernmost (House)
    The Bean Trees (Kingsolver)
    Witch Hairs (Gamble – for a review)
    Betty (McDaniel)
    The Summer That Melted Everything (McDaniel)
    Miss Jane (Watson)
    Knockemstiff (Pollock – fist bump to Mike D)

    I have Hidden Valley Road and Shuggie Bain in my stack.

  3. In a pointed effort to cut back on screen time, I turned to books. I read a lot, mostly novels, at least one per week. I reread some of Anais Nin’s diaries and at least 8 – 10 Alice Hoffman novels, as I loved escaping into her stories. Right now I’m reading Panic in a Suitcase by Yelena Akhtiorskaya which is very good.

    I’m going to miss lockdown, all those after-hours late nights beneath a dim lamp with a book. And wine. I’m nostalgic already.

  4. I’ve purchased more books this year than I have in a long time. I don’t think I’ll stop.

    84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury (Helene Hanff) purchased from RJ Julia (they’re great! thank you for writing about them last year.)
    Stiff Upper Lip by Lawrence Durrell
    The Bridge Ladies – Betsy Lerner
    Most of Barbara Pym’s novels
    A mess of PG Wodehouse novels
    What Are You Going Through and Mitz the Marmoset of Bloomsbury – Sigrid Nunez
    Shakespeare for Squirrels – Christopher Moore
    Still Alice – Lisa Genova
    Anxious People – Fredrik Backman
    Becoming Duchess Goldblatt – Anon Duchess Goldblatt
    A few mysteries by Mary Roberts Rinehart, M.C. Beaton, Charles Todd, and Charles Finch
    Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
    Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough
    The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell
    Bruno’s Dream by Iris Murdoch
    A silly number of mid-century English women’s lit because escapism got me through. (Muriel Spark, E.M. Delafield, Margery Sharp, D.E. Stevenson)
    Rabbi mysteries by Harry Kemelman

    Audiobooks mostly. They keep me company while I’m doing mindless things like weeding and watering the garden.

  5. WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan (F) novel
    THE PARTY by Elizabeth Day (F) novel
    WOMEN TALKING by Miriam Toews (F) short novel
    IN A LONELY PLACE by Dorothy B. Hughes (F) (Noir) short novel
    THE DAMNED by Nathan Greenfield (NF)
    HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh (F) shorts*
    FIVE DAYS GONE by Laura Cumming (CNF)
    THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn (F) novel
    WHAT WE ALL LONG FOR by Dionne Brand (F) novel
    AGAINST DEATH (anthology) edited by Elee K. Gardiner (NF) essays 1/2 read
    THE LONDON TRAIN by Tessa Hadley (F) novel in 2 parts
    LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson (F) novel in pieces*
    GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson (F) novel
    TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson (F) mystery novel
    BINA by Anakana Schofield (F) novel in warnings (i don’t need to read anymore of this series, i really don’t #gettingonmynerves
    GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER by Bernardine Evaristo (F) novel*
    LIT by Mary Karr (NF) memoir
    CITY OF FIRE by Garth Hellburg (F) fucking long novel that i will finish if it fucking kills me. PS i still haven’t finished it. gah. i will never finish it. defeated.
    HALF-BLOOD BLUES by Esi Eduygan (F) novel (re-read)
    SERVANTS OF THE MAP by Andrea Barrett (F) shorts; but long shorts with a historic/scientific bent
    OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk (F) short novel re-read
    TRANSIT by Rachel Cusk (F) short novel*
    THE ART OF MEMOIR by Mary Karr (NF) (Craft)*
    KUDOS by Rachel Cusk (F) short novel
    RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles (F) novel*
    WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE THE MOVIES by Raziel Reid (F) short novel
    SHUT UP YOU’RE PRETTY by Tea Mutonji (F) shorts
    THE PLAGUE by Kevin Chong (F) novel
    HOW TO MURDER YOUR LIFE by Cat Marnell (NF) (memoir) audiobook
    THE BOOK OF SALT by Monique Truong (F) audiobook 1/3 read. the narrator wasn’t great
    THE WHITES by Richard Price (F) novel
    RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson (F) novel
    NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney (F) short novel
    ANATOMY OF STORY by John Truby (NF) craft
    WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron (NF) craft
    SQUARE HAUNTING by Francesca Wade (NF)*
    THE TOPEKA SCHOOL by Ben Lerner (F) novel
    BUNNY by Mona Awad (F) novel*
    NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER by Kevin Barry (F) novel*
    THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED by Blake Bailey (NF) memoir
    THE YELLOW HOUSE by Sarah L. Broom (NF) memoir
    VERMIN by Lori Hahnel (F) shorts

    * means i like them a lot


  6. Discover the Road Ahead — ed. Amerongen, et al.
    Notes on the State of Virginia — Jefferson (ed. Peterson)
    The Human Figure — Vanderpoel
    The Autobiography — Franklin
    Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite — Moliere (trans. Hoeper)
    Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme — Moliere (trans. Wall)
    The Napoleonic Wars: an illustrated history 1792-1815 — Glover
    Letters and later writings — Franklin (ed. Lemay)
    Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems — Coleridge
    The Imaginary Invalid — Moliere (trans. Wall)
    Writings — Washington (ed. Rhodehamel)
    The Autobiography — Jefferson
    Notes from the Underground — Dostoevsky (trans. unknown)
    Candide — Voltaire (trans. The Modern Library)
    The Egyptian Book of the Dead — trans. Wallis Budge
    The Tibetan Book of the Dead — trans. Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup
    Songs of Innocence and of Experience — Blake
    Writings — Hamilton (ed. Freeman)
    The Mantle and Other Stories — Gogol (trans. Field)
    Writings — Jefferson (ed. Peterson)
    Early Greek Philosophy — Burnet
    You Will Never Be Forgotten — South
    Collected Stories & Later Writings — Bowles
    All We Ask Is You to be Happy — Lou
    Black Boy — Wright
    Another Country — Baldwin
    Getting Away with Torture — Brody
    All Quiet on the Western Front — Remarque (trans. Wheen)
    The Last Mastodon — Olson
    The Theory of the Novel — Lukács (trans. Bostock)
    Writing Degree Zero — Barthes (trans. Lavers & Smith)

  7. The Hidden Reality/The Fabric of the Cosmos/Until the End of Time – Brian Greene
    The Order of TIme/Reality is Not What It Seems – Carlo Rovelli
    All the President’s Men/The Final Days – Woodward and Bernstein
    It Was All a Lie – Stevens
    The Honest Enneagram – Case
    The Future is Faster Than You Think – Diamandis and Kotler
    Under a White Sky – Kolbert
    The Return of the Native – Hardy
    The Almost Nearly Perfect People – Michael Booth
    Unnatural Causes – Shepherd
    The Remains of the Day – Ishiguro
    Becoming – Obama
    The End of the Affair – Greene
    How Not to Die/How Not to Diet – Greger
    Doing Justice – Bharara
    How to Change Your Mind/Cooked/The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
    I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – McNamara
    Evil Has a Name – Holes and Clemente
    The Fifth Risk – Lewis
    Homo Deus – Narari
    The Queen’s Gambit – Tevis
    But What if We’re Wrong – Klosterman
    My Cousin Rachel – du Maurier
    Persuasion – Austen
    Aimless Love – Billy Collins
    The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry
    Magdalene – Marie Howe

    Also a bunch of rereading: Malcolm Gladwell is a favorite, and I love that he reads his own audio books in that wonderful cadence. Various cookbooks and skinny books of poetry. I also keep a stack of sweet old Agatha Christie paperbacks by the bed, for when I need a friend.

  8. The Master and his Emissary (reread of a great read)
    The Recognitions (1/4 through, gave up)
    The Blue Flower (full read, will read again, cried until I was dehydrated)
    Hermione Lee’s Bio of Penelope Fitzgerald (again the crying)
    Command And Control (Eric Scholsser)
    Recent Theories of Narrative (more crying)
    The Solace of Open Spaces (gorgeous for the fifth time)
    The Silence in the Garden (William Trevor, godawful good with paragraph)
    Never Mind (Aubyn sentences dropped jaw three times)
    The Man Who Loved Children (Stead, a perfectly-paced and plotted work)
    and counting drafting of my own work (three drafts of 180k novel down to a lean 70k novel which may need a structural edit, again the weeps)

    Books whose first pages got the book put down:
    The Counterfeiters
    Brighton Rock
    The Flounder
    Mother Night
    Stories Within The City Of God
    A Judgement in Stone
    Lie Down In Darkness
    Days Without End

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