Hello! Sorry for missing the Friday Five last week. I’m in the middle of a multi-step move. I just relocated to a new apartment in the Boston area, but am now packing again to move to the Midwest for the summer to be closer to friends and family. I’ll be back in Boston again in the fall to teach another year at the college where they were able to extend my one-year contract into a two-year contract. In addition to the two moves, I also have a wedding in Florida and a Midwest road trip, so things may be a bit spotty on here for a while. That said, the sense of grounding and routine I get from the blog may actually help balance the lack of routine I experience over the next few weeks, so maybe I’ll end up making time for it as a form of self-care. We’ll see!
One thing I definitely plan to make time for over the summer is more pleasure reading. I have a list started, but I always love to get recommendations from readers, so please feel free to comment with anything you’ve read and loved lately!
Two of my best girlfriends raved about The Secret History, so I’m adding it to the top of the list. Wikipedia describes this campus-set murder mystery as “an inverted detective story, not a Whodunit, but a Whydunit?”
I admire Roxanne Gay’s feminist essays and I’ve heard great things about her fiction. Her new book, An Untamed State, has been getting rave reviews. It sounds heavy–the plot focuses on a Haitian-American woman who is kidnapped by a gang in Haiti–but I’m so excited to read it.
As the title suggests, this is a collection of stories about people’s tattoos. The introduction is written by (my favorite) Cheryl Strayed. I have eight tattoos and I wouldn’t change a single one of them. I adore how each one reminds me vividly of who I was (and where I was, and who I loved, and what I was listening to, and how I thought, etc…) at the time I got them. I look forward to reading other people’s stories!
I’ve been wanting to read this Jeanette Winterson memoir since it was released. I honestly didn’t know if I was in a place in my life where I could handle it when it came out, though. I wasn’t very happy, but I wasn’t ready to confront truths that were going to help me be happier. Anyway, I’m ready for this book now. (And if you haven’t read Winterson’s Written on the Body, please add it to your list, posthaste!).
I know some people who swear by this book, subtitled “a spiritual path to higher creativity.” As someone who used to fancy herself a (creative) writer and musician, I am looking forward to tapping into the creative bones in my body that academia has muffled.
Of course, my pleasure reading is always coupled with academic reading. I’m working on some exciting projects this summer and I look forward to reading books and articles that push me to ground my thoughts more rigorously. But it’s also really nice to not have to read one page of a book three times to fully understand it, you know?
What are you going to/have you read this summer? I’m noticing the two fiction books I have listed are pretty dark, so if you have any lighter suggestions, I’d love to hear them! I’m also super open to poetry suggestions! And self-helpy stuff as long as it’s not something I’m going to roll my eyes at a ton.