On the Bookshelf

I always have 4-5 books on the go: often two fiction books and a handful of non-fiction books. I was organizing my living room and stacked up all the books I’m currently reading, and I realized that it provides a pretty good snapshot of what’s on my mind these days.

On the bookshelf - May 2013 | Postmodern Craft

From top to bottom:

Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. Obviously, blogging is something I’m very interested in, and this book is a great primer on developing a methodical approach to blogging. It also highlights the many different types of blogs (personal blogs, craft/lifestyle blogs, blogs to promote a business, etc.) through case studies and interviews with successful bloggers.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I haven’t started this novel yet, but I need to start soon because my family is having a “book club” when everyone convenes in Maine for our annual extended family 4th of July reunion and this is the book! I’ve never read any Barbara Kingsolver, but I’m really looking forward to getting started and to discussing the book with my cousins, aunts, and other family members.

Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. This is a great book about growing organic food (veggies and herbs) in a small space or a container garden like mine. It is equal parts inspiration and practical advice, which is perfect for me, because I can’t do one without the other. It’s been very useful as I pick which plants I want to attempt to grow in my container garden.

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. Of all the books I’m reading right now, this is probably my favorite. It’s a cookbook, I guess, but it’s so much more than a cookbook. It’s a very personal story of one woman’s development as a home chef, from her early adult life when it was just her and her husband, through the “new mom” years, and finally to the “family dinner” phase of her life. I am not a great cook, but everyone has to start somewhere, and I appreciate her candor in describing the struggles that she and her husband have had in the kitchen, not just the successes. She has obsessively written down every single dinner for 14+ years, and my probably-undiagnosed-OCD self can appreciate that kind of commitment to record-keeping. I also love her blog, which is where I recently discovered a fantastic dark and stormy recipe.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. This book has received a ton of press recently, and the phrase “leaning in” has become synonymous with women committing to their careers and fighting sexism in the workplace. Many of the women in my office are also reading this and we are planning a book club in June to discuss the book. It’s been an emotional read for me, because although sometimes I struggle with whether I want to stay in my corporate job, reading this book makes me feel indignant about all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that women are disadvantaged in the workplace (and all the ways we hold ourselves back). I think that all working women AND men who care about equal rights and about work-life balance and families should read this book. I’m only halfway through, but it’s definitely changing how I approach certain interactions with my co-workers.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This beast of a novel was given to me by my boyfriend on our very first date, more than 9 months ago. I’ve picked it up and put it down several times, because it is long and challenging, but it is also quirky and wonderfully entertaining. To me, it seems like the American answer to Ulysses by James Joyce (another quirky, wonderful, long, and extremely challenging novel that I read in college).

Any suggestions for other good reads?

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