september nick hornby copycat

Books Bought This Month
From Romance to Realism by Michael Cart
The Ghost Wore Gray by Bruce Coville
The Ghost in the Third Row by Bruce Coville
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt edited by Ruth Andrew Ellenson
Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature by Nancy Thalia Reynolds
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart by Barbara Kathleen Nickel
Proust Was A Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (as a gift for someone; got it signed)
No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Michaux Nelson (got it signed; talked to the author and illustrator)
The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (out of copyright and free on Kindle)

Books Received This Month
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George (ARC from publisher for review)
Dear Teen Me edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally (from publisher for blog tour)
Homesick by Kate Klise (from publisher for review)
Splintered by A.G. Howard (netgalley ARC)
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch (from publisher for review)

Books Borrowed This Month
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Cleary Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity by Marcia Alesan Dawkins
Claiming Place: Biracial Young Adults of the Post-Civil Rights Era by Marion Kilson
The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett
Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women by Michael Gross
Sleeping With the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen
The Style Strategy by Nina Garcia
Write Here, Right Now by Nicole Clarke
Fashion: Design Course by Steven Faerm

Books Finished This Month
Freakin’ Fabulous by Clinton Kelly
Skim by Mariko Tamaki
The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
No Escape by Michelle Gagnon
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
Homesick by Kate Klise
The Souls of Mixed Folk by Michele Elam
Mixed edited by Chandra Prasad
If you want, you can buy any or all of the books here.

This month has been exhausting and basically a failure in pleasure reading. Never in my life have I had to return copious amounts of books to the library unread, with the understanding that I will probably never read them ever, or at least no time soon. It makes me feel like a bad person, and it also makes me feel like I will never be good at time management or compulsion/laziness management (because I probably could have read at least a couple more books this month if I weren’t so obsessive about staying on top of my shows) if I can’t go to work and school and do homework and still read a more acceptable amount of books for pleasure each month. Especially since I have always had a rule that school, no matter how required it is in K-12 or how much money it costs after that, is never something that should be allowed to impinge on your entire life, and I never let it. If I have spent a decent amount of time and effort on schoolwork and it’s midnight and I’m still not done, I quit it. Sorry, but no. It has never been worth it in my book to sacrifice (too much of) my sanity or health just because school tells me to do things, unless it has been my own choice to waste time or get distracted on other things first (which is often the case). But quite frankly, I don’t think abandoning everything in life that makes you happy, sane, or interesting makes you a good student anyway.

I think it’s worth it (and kind of mean, but evidently I’m becoming meaner and meaner and caring less about it) to point out that I feel like a failure because I’m getting two graduate degrees, I work two jobs, and I have some semblance of a life and have ONLY read 10 books for pleasure this month plus an uncountable number of books and articles for school. This is why I can’t abide the majority of people who claim that they have no time to read, because it’s often less about time and more about priorities.

I am also worried, because I have a third, nebulous category in between FORSCHOOL and FORPLEASURE, and that is FORTHATPAPERISAIDIWOULDPRESENTATTHEYALSAYALITERATURESYMPOSIUM. The symposium is in early November, I’m definitely presenting, and then they’re publishing the paper. And right now the paper exists in my head, on this blog, and on copious notecards and scribbled Moleskine pages, but not in an actual form that indicates that I am intelligent and that I got into my MA program. I have a lot of books to read for that, and I’m making my way through them, but somehow, since they aren’t assigned and yet aren’t for fun, per se, I’m not being really good at spending the time with them I should. If anyone from YALSA reads this, rest assured that, at the very least, pressure makes me BOSS at producing work that’s actually rather good, so I will have something in November. But until then, I will have stomachaches. And guilt about the reading I’m doing, the reading I’m not doing, the writing I’m not doing, and the books I’m buying that I can neither afford nor read anytime soon.

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