A Reading List a Mile Long: Daedalus Books Late Spring 2017 Edition

Today is the start of a new season (hello, spring!), which I think is the perfect time to share a new reading list! Let’s jump right in!

  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas by Roger Crowley ($6.98) #70307
  • Centuries of Change: Which Century Saw the Most Change and Why it Matters to Us by Ian Mortimer ($7.98) #64307
  • Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City by Catharine Arnold ($4.98) #70519
  • The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen ($4.98) #70327
  • On London by Charles Dickens ($3.98) #53757
  • West’s World: The Extraordinary Life of Dame Rebecca West by Lorna Gibb ($4.98) #53607
  • Beethoven: The Man Revealed by John Suchet ($6.98) #61107
  • The Stardust Revolution: The New Story of Our Origin in the Stars by Jacob Berkowitz ($6.98) #62330
  • The Great War in 3D: 1914-1918–A Book Plus a Stereoscopic Viewer and 35 3D Photos of Men In Battle by Jean-Pierre Verney ($7.98) #70594
  • By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review Edited by Pamela Paul ($6.98) #70043
  • The Fool’s Tale by Nicole Galland ($4.98) #70176
  • Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson ($6.98) #70041
  • The 40s: The Story of a Decade (The New Yorker) Edited by Henry Finder ($6.98) #70288
  • Recollections of Virginia Woolf by Her Contemporaries Edited by Joan Russell Noble ($4.98) #63001
  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman ($4.98) #70315
  • A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich ($4.98) #70336
  • The Year 1000: What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger ($5.98) #70129
  • Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain ($5.98) #70337
  • Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller by Tracy Daugherty ($4.98) #33185

Off-topic Post: The 100 Years Show (2015)

The 100 Years Show (2015) is a charming, sweet, and inspiring documentary short about Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera. Her work is extraordinary.

Just as intriguing?

Her life story and glacial climb to prominence in the art world. (She turned 99 during filming of the documentary.) Oh, and a work ethic that puts us all to shame.

The 100 Years Show (2015):

  • Directed by: Alison Klayman
  • Starring: Carmen Herrera
  • Runtime: 30 minutes
  • Release Date: January 2017

The film is currently streaming on Netflix (USA).

I Read a Lot of Books in 2016, But Still Didn’t Reach My Goal…

I read 82 books in 2016, but fell 28 short of my (rather ambitious) goal of 110. My year was way too busy to read as much as I would have liked. I finished the majority of the books during the first half of the year, as life obligations slowed my pace after summer. On the bright side, 2017 will get off to a good start reading-wise, as I am close to finishing half a dozen books.

Here’s a list of every book that I finished in 2016, with some very loose ratings.

KEY:

*=Read as research for my novella

**=This designation means that I liked the book in spite of myself, but as such find it too hard to assign a fair grade

1=You are my enemy

2=We’ll stay acquaintances, thanks

3=I like you, but I don’t like you like you

4=You are my friend, but not my best friend

5=You are my love match, but don’t expect fidelity Continue reading

What Are You Reading in November?

What is on your reading list, as the days become darker and shorter? Do your habits change as the weather turns cold?

I’ve been much too busy by half to read as many books as usual. At this rate, I won’t make my 2016 goal of finishing 110 books.

Since 1st November, I’ve finished:

  • The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino
  • Making Tootsie: A Film Study with Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollock by Susan Dworkin
  • Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles by Francine Prose

I’m currently reading:

  • Film Noir FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about Hollywood’s Golden Age of Dames, Detectives, and Danger by David J. Hogan

To be read by 30th November:

  • Hooray for Captain Spaulding: Verbal & Visual Gems From “Animal Crackers” by Richard J. Anobile
The Marx Brothers, 1931

The Marx Brothers, 1931

Which book on your list do you most look forward to reading, and why?

Please share with me in the comments!

What Are You Reading in September?

I am on something of a reading tear this month, and being on vacation this week means that I’m able to tie up some bookish odds and ends.

Since 1st September, I’ve finished:

  • The Pre-Raphaelites by Robert de la Sizeranne
  • A Place in the Country by W.G. Sebald
  • City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock by Melissa Magsaysay
  • Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes by Adilifu Nama

I’m currently reading:

  • The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski

To be read by 30th September:

  • Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World by Thomas Cahill
  • Kahlo by Gerry Souter
  • Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert
  • The Big Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World’s Finest Actor by Robert Schnakenberg
  • My Paris Dream by Kate Betts
  • Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru

Which book on your list do you most look forward to finishing?

Please share with me in the comments.

Happy reading!

A Reading List a Mile Long: Daedalus Books Summer Preview 2016

If I’m not reading, I’m adding books to my to-be-read list. That list is monstrously long–maybe not a mile, but getting there!

Here are some of my newest additions, courtesy of the Spring Preview 2016 Catalog from Daedalus Books.

  1. Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson (#60392). $4.98.
  2. The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff (#60993). $5.98.
  3. The Calvin Handbook Edited by Herman J. Selderhuis (#60437). $6.98.
  4. Zaida Ben-Yusuf: New York Portrait Photographer Contributions by Frank H. Goodyear, Elizabeth O. Wiley & Jobyl A. Boone (#41026). $6.98.
  5. Charles Dickens’ Favorite Daughter: The Life, Loves, and Art of Katey Dickens Perugini by Lucinda Hawksley (#51293). $5.98.
  6. All the Poems by Stevie Smith (#69176). $27.95.
  7. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (#60819). #12.98.
  8. The True Benjamin Franklin: An Illuminating Look Into the Life of One of Our Greatest Founding Fathers by Sydney George Fisher (#54011). $4.98.
  9. The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford by Wendell Berry (#53435). $3.98.
  10. Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (#54592). $4.98.
  11. Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion by Anne Somerset (#54294). $6.98.
  12. The Dragon Throne: China’s Emperors from the Qin to the Manchu by Jonathan Fenby (#61060). $5.98.
  13. The 1900s: Britain in Pictures Edited by Paul Richardson (#54183). $5.98.
  14. The 1910s: Britain in Pictures Edited by Paul Richardson (#54184). $5.98.

The Lost Tudor Princess

I won a copy of The Lost Tudor Princess by Alison Weir, via a Goodreads giveaway.  Goodreads informed me that it would be 4-6 weeks before I received my book, but Penguin Random House had other ideas. It came in the post yesterday…a whopping 48 hours after that Goodreads email.

I’m excited to start reading my new book. A review will follow.

The Lost Tudor Princess

The Lost Tudor Princess

What Are You Reading in November?

What is on your reading list this month?

Have you given yourself permission to take it easy, as the year comes to a close?

Or, as we race the clock to 2016, are you trying to stuff as many books into your brain as possible?

I am doing the latter.

Very much the latter.

Since 1 November, I’ve finished:

  • Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell
  • Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes
  • Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music by Neil Powell
  • All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays by George Orwell
  • Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell
  • Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star by Stephen Michael Shearer
  • Vintage Reading: From Plato to Bradbury: A Personal Tour of Some of the World’s Best Books by Robert Kanigel
  • A Woman of Temperament by Lucile Duff Gordon (in progress)

To Be Read by 30 November:

  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (the only novel on the list!)
  • Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
  • Madcap May: Mistress of Myth, Men & Hope by Richard Kurin
  • White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple
  • The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan
  • Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker by Patrick McGilligan

And, if I finish all of these…I have Michel de Montaigne’s essays waiting in the wings.

What is your favourite book this month?

Which book on your list are you most looking forward to reading?

Please share with me in the comments!

Happy reading.