Saturday, December 31, 2016

What I Read in 2016

I had a great reading year.  For one thing, I read a LOT, and for another, I read some wonderful books.  I'll start this post with the last few books I completed this year, and then link you to the other Reading Update posts I did.  (And if I finish any more books today, well then, I'll just add them!)

Book #135 of 2016 was The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters.  This is the story of several relationships (mostly lesbian) in World War II in London.  The interesting twist is that the story moves backwards; the first section is set in 1947, the second in 1944, and the third in 1941.

Book #136 was My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout.  This was a pretty uneventful book, and yet I couldn't put it down.

Book #137 was All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane, by Amy Elizabeth Smith.  This was so much fun, a travel book slash Jane Austen book.  Smith spends a year traveling in Latin America, setting up Jane Austen discussion groups in each country she visits.  Highly entertaining to Jane Austen loving expat like myself.

Book #138 was Do You See What I See?: Exploring the Christmas of Every Day, by Ross Parsley.  This was a quick Christmas read.

Book #139 was Ordinary People, by Judith Guest.  I thought this one was good.  Now I want to see the movie.

I read book #140 at the beach, and it was my first Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie book, and also her first novel, Purple Hibiscus.  This was a gift from my daughter.  Now I'm going to read all her other books as soon as possible.

Book #141 was Writing Day In and Day Out: Living a Practice of Words, by Andi Cumbo-Floyd, a fun read with some useful writing advice included.

Here are the other books I read this year:

Books 1 to 7
Books 8 to 12
Books 13 to 23
Books 24 to 35
Books 36 to 40
Books 41 to 51
Books 52 to 55
Books 56 to 75
Books 76 to 84
Books 85 to 91
Books 92 to 100
Books 101 to 109
Books 110 to 117
Books 118 to 125
Books 126 to 128
Books 129 to 134 (and this post includes three books that I've been rereading this year)

What did you read this year that you particularly enjoyed, and that I should add to my list?  Here's to another year of wonderful books!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Poetry Friday

I've missed three weeks of Poetry Friday, and I really can't miss another one.  I just got back from the beach, where I've been writing, but nothing I'm ready to share.  This poem is really for tomorrow, not today, but the idea of ducking as 2017 heads our way seems prudent. 

Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!

Ogden Nash

Here's today's roundup.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Poetry Sunday

I'm up in the early hours of Christmas morning, listening to the loud, discordant music in my neighborhood.  It's not a silent night in my part of the world.  Seems like a perfect time to get caught up on the Poetry Friday roundup that I missed again this week!  Merry Christmas to you!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Poetry Saturday

Another crazy Friday, culminating in my daughter getting home for Christmas break (hooray!), and I missed another Poetry Friday.  But once again, others did better.  Here's the roundup.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Poetry Friday

My students' final writing pieces were due today, plus unexpected chaos happened.  It ended up being a not-so-good day, in fact, and I didn't get a post written.  But fortunately, other people were more successful.  Here's the roundup.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Poetry Friday: The Next Poem

The Next Poem

 by Dana Gioia

How much better it seems now
than when it is finally done–
the unforgettable first line,
the cunning way the stanzas run.

The rhymes soft-spoken and suggestive
are barely audible at first,
an appetite not yet acknowledged
like the inkling of a thirst.

While gradually the form appears
as each line is coaxed aloud–
the architecture of a room
seen from the middle of a crowd.

The music that of common speech
but slanted so that each detail
sounds unexpected as a sharp
inserted in a simple scale.

No jumble box of imagery
dumped glumly in the reader’s lap
or elegantly packaged junk
the unsuspecting must unwrap.

But words that could direct a friend
precisely to an unknown place,
those few unshakeable details
that no confusion can erase.

And the real subject left unspoken
but unmistakable to those
who don’t expect a jungle parrot
in the black and white of prose.

How much better it seems now
than when it is finally written.
How hungrily one waits to feel
the bright lure seized, the old hook


Bridget has the roundup here.