It’s already October, y’all! This year is flying past. The older I get the quicker time goes, but nevertheless, I’ll be spending the rest of the year the way I always do – reading and writing. I have a couple books already on my radar for the month of October, so I figured I’d post a TBR list.
1. I am Sorry to Think I have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russell
I slept on this book too long. I can say that with confidence even though I’ve only read the first 3 chapters so far this month. My mom got me this book for Christmas a few years ago, but I never cracked it open past the first page. I came across it on Amazon when I was looking for essay collections and memoirs, and I liked that it had themes of masculinity and family. The reason I never picked it up was because I thought it’d be dense and hard to get through (due to Russel’s journalistic style), but that’s really not the case. At this point, I Am Sorry to Think I have Raised a Timid Son is one of the oldest books on my unread-shelf, so I’ll feel accomplished once it moves to my read-shelf.
2. @HalfwayToItBlog Instagram Pick (TBD)
I want HalfwayToItBlog Instagram followers to pick one of my books this month. I got this idea because I realized it takes me so long to pick my next read unless I’m already in the middle of multiple books. Since I plan on finishing the books I’m currently reading pretty fast, I thought it’d be cool (and maybe more efficient) to get my Instagram follows pick one. I’ll be posting about this on Insta soon, possibly before I even post this blog, so if you want to vote head over there now.
3. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
I started the audiobook for Why We Sleep, and so far, it’s fascinating. It’s basically a case study on sleep, and I feel like I learn something new each time I pick it up. Walker looks at the biological and evolutionary evidence for why we sleep in the first part of the book, and I’m excited to see what the rest comes next. I love a well-researched book on a useful topic like this one. Since the audiobook is due back to the library in 4 days as of my writing this, I need to hustle and finish reading asap!
4. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
I started the audiobook for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing as well while on a long car ride at the end of September, and I’d like to wrap up my reading of it this month. I held off on picking this up because I just wasn’t sure I’d like the story (robots, 20-somethings in New York, a lot of internet culture references), but so far, I’m liking the main character’s narration and humor. This one is also due back to the library very soon, so I need to finish reading it.
5. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
This is basically a reread. I read most of Steal Like an Artist more than a year ago (and have recommended it several time), but it was my boyfriend’s scratch-and-dent copy so it basically fell apart while we were reading it. Now I have a brand new copy, so I’m stoked to read it cover to cover this month.
6. If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird
Blythe Baird is one of my favorite contemporary poets. A handful of the poems from this collection have appeared in spoken word form on the Button Poetry Youtube channel and racked up more than 8 million views collectively. She’s an amazing poet, so I felt like picking up this collection was a safe bet. Plus, I haven’t read any poetry in a few weeks, and it’s always nice when I come back to it.
Those are the books I’m hoping to get to in October! I’ve got freelance work on my radar for October, but I’m planning on limiting my social media so my free time doesn’t get sucked up by too much social media or Youtube.
What’s on your radar for October? Are there any books you're looking forward to reading? Let me know!
This year, I really want to focus on reading from my own bookshelf before bringing more books in, so I’ve picked out 10 books to share with you that I can’t wait to get to this year.
1. The Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
I was more than halfway through the audiobook when it was due back to the
library. I was late to the Harry Potter party and started reading them when I was in college after the final movie came out. I’ve really enjoyed working my way through the biggest part of the series this year. Reading them as an adult certainly hasn’t put a damper on the magic at all, but I’m ready to finish this series and see how it ends!
2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Can’t wait. I love The Lord of the Rings movies, but have never read the books. This year, I will get to The Hobbit and work my way forward. I have a feeling my love for LoTR will be reignited.
3. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
The subtitle is self-explanatory, but it’s on my TBR because I’ve done research in the past on child soldiers and even interned for an organization that helps rehabilitate them. I’ve never read a full book about the issue, so this will be a good way to learn more. Helping former child soldiers is a cause that I really care about.
4. Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters / Seymour an Introduction by J. D. Salinger
I want to be able to say I’ve read all of Salinger’s work by the end of the year, and Roof Beams is the only collection I haven’t read. I would really like to tick this one off the list this year and be able to say I’ve read all of Salinger’s novels since he’s one of my favorite writers.
5. I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russle
This was a Christmas gift several years ago, and I’m disappointed that I haven’t finished it yet. This is Kent Russle’s first essay collection. It explores masculinity and what it means to be a man in America. I plan on reading an essay from the collection here and there until I finish it.
6. If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski
Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, and this book is a collection of essays about his work and life. Based on the blurb, I’m hoping this book will fuel my motivation to make change in the world and inspire me to keep going, but at the very least, it will be intriguing to read about the beginning of TWLOHA.
7. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
A few summers ago, I read Every Exquisite Thing by Quick, and it resonated with me even more than I thought it would. Since then, I’ve read another of his books and really like the way he dealt with the topic of mental illness. This year, I’d like to also read Love May Fail since I already own it, and maybe even borrow and read his newest book, The Reason You’re Alive.
8. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
If you can’t tell, I’m always late to the hype on books. I can never settle on one book to read next, and popular books, though they’re on my radar, don’t make it onto my TBR for quiet a while. I read half of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a little more than a year ago (a millennia after it came out) and by then the hype had fizzled out. I loved the story and Oskar as the main character, so I am bent on finishing the second half this year.
9. Ghostbread by Sonja Livingston
Sonja Livingston is a former professor of mine, and I love her writing. Basically, I want to read all of Sonja’s work, but finals got in the way and I only finished half of Ghostbread when I picked it up a few years ago. I’d like to start from the beginning and dive back into this one, and then maybe read her other two books, Queen of the Fall and Ladies Night at the Dreamland as well.
10. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
Marina Keegan was a talented, young writer who died in a car accident shortly after her graduation from Yale in 2012. I read some of Keegan’s writing before buying the book, and I was not only intrigued by the premise of the title essay The Opposite of Loneliness, but also struck by the strength of her writing. I want to read it now so hopefully I can learn something from her craft and also to celebrate her life.
These are just a few of the books I’m dying to get to this year. The theme seems to be finishing what I start and going with my gut. I hope the new year finds you well and exited for the future too. Let me know what books you’re most excited to get to!
There are only a few days left in 2017, but there are still so many books I want to read. As always, my to-read pile is overflowing, and even though I would like to cut back on my book accumulation this coming year, that trend will probably continue even if I do stop buying books (I literally just checked out 5 books from the library. So. The TBR pile will never cease.)
Here are three books I want to make sure I finish before the end of the year. Let me know if you’ve read any of them!
1. The Screwtape Letters
This one is a reread. I first read The Screwtape Letters in high school when a friend recommended it to me, and uncharacteristically, I have since forgotten almost all of what happens in the book. I’d like to reread this one via audiobook before the end of the year as a refresher. I love C. S. Lewis and have enjoyed indulging in his books this year. During the spring, I read Out of the Silent Planet by Lewis and reconnected with the voice and storytelling that I liked so much about the Narnia series, so I am definitely excited to check this off my list before January!
2. Mrs Dalloway
I’ve never read a full novel by Virginia Woolf. That seems like English-major-feminist blasphemy, but it’s true. I’ve owned a copy of Mrs Dalloway for serveral years which I picked up at a bookstore in Nashville during a visit with a friend (if I’m remembering correctly) and just haven’t gotten around to it until now. So far, I find it really interesting how the narrative voice moves around examining the characters, giving a close up of so many people while still anchoring on Mrs Dalloway. In the interest of reading the oldest unread books on my shelves, I would really like to finish it before the new year.
3. The Hate U Give
This books seems to be on every YA reader’s end of the year list, whether as a favorite or a book they just have to get to next. It’s culturally relevant right now, and from what I’ve read so far, pretty engaging. The reason I want to finish this book before the end of the year, instead of letting it role over into January, is because it was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend. I have begun a tradition of reading whatever book he inevitably buys me for Christmas before the new year. Last year, it was Hi, Anxiety by Kay Kinsman, and this year it will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I look foreword to immersing myself further in the story and seeing what Angie does with it.
What books do you want to squeeze in before the end of the year? Let me know! To make sure you don’t miss future blog post you can follow @halfwaytoitblog on Twitter!
Poet. Reader. Lifelong Student.