november reading in review

Books Bought This Month

Books Received/Acquired This Month
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan (ARC) [IndieBound]
Lily’s New Home by Paula Yoo (Edelweiss ARC) [IndieBound]
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind by Anne Charnock (Kindle First) [IndieBound]

Books Borrowed This Month
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon [IndieBound]
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (audiobook) [IndieBound]
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (audiobook) [IndieBound]
Fitness: Theory and Practice by AFAA
Exercise Standards and Guidelines Reference Manual by AFAA
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki [IndieBound]
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor [IndieBound]
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor [IndieBound]
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle [IndieBound]
Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger (audiobook) [IndieBound]
Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande (audiobook) [IndieBound]
Fire in the Ashes: 25 Years Among the Poorest Children in America by Jonathan Kozol (audiobook) [IndieBound]
Serpentine by Cindy Pon [IndieBound]

Books Finished This Month
Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David Randall [IndieBound]
The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow [IndieBound] {a few thoughts}
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon {a few thoughts}
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan [IndieBound] {a few thoughts}
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys [IndieBound]
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (audiobook) {a few thoughts}
Exercise Standards and Guidelines Reference Manual by AFAA
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (audiobook) {a few thoughts}
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson [IndieBound] {a few thoughts}
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff [IndieBound]

I felt very mired this month when it came to reading. Technically I read a lot, but about 600 pages of that A Lot was physiology and kinesiology, which I obviously find interesting or I wouldn’t read about it, but it was accompanied by a lot of stress and anxiety. I read those books for a certification test, so I was anxious about passing and about how stupid it was that I spent $299 on a test I was totally not going to pass and might only possibly be able to take off my income tax. I passed the practical, but I still don’t know if all the reading paid off. But it sure took up my time.

I read more books for adults than for any other age group this month, which is astonishing and probably the first time since I started recording what I read that something like that has ever happened. I found it both refreshing and disappointing. Generally, I enjoy adult nonfiction, especially when it’s about science or social science, so the Ronson and the Randall both fit the bill, but I was pretty bored by each. The Groff is something I read for a book club that never materialized, but I’m mainly glad I read it. It’s rare that I’m so close behind the zeitgeist with adult fiction; even when it’s something that sounds interesting, I tend to not pick up the It book until a couple years later, probably so that I can see if my reader friends* have vetted it.

All month I have felt pressed for time and have been struggling with paralyzing anxiety attacks and the inability to focus, and as a result I have really come to rely on audiobooks as a way of keeping my brain engaged. If possible, I may now drive even more than I did when I was living in California, which is astonishing, so I have been going through audiobooks at record pace (sorry, NPR). I finished two this month and am nearly finished with a third, so it seems I’ve finally learned how to focus when it comes to listening, just as I seem to be losing that skill when it comes to sitting down with a book.

Anyway, two more deadlines and a new apartment to move into are still ahead of me, but I look forward to spending the second half of December with books.

*this, I hope you’ll understand, is an entirely different beast from a friend or acquaintance who happens to like to read.

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