Here’s A Start…


But it’s just a start. I’m pretty sure I’m going to swap out some of these books, because once again, I have too many other books that have been staring at me from the bookshelf for months or years and are telling me to read them immediately, if not sooner. One project I “bookmarked” for this particular summer was to continue reading the big classics I’d never had a chance to read, like this one:


Or actually two, since reading Moby- Dick means I’ll probably need to read Nathaniel Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick? first to find out, so already I have problems! And then of course noticing some of the books on borkali and meredith’s lists, not to mention the book swap book….and then there’s my usual overestimation of what I’ll actually be able to achieve in the next ten weeks. Of course, I have few excuses now that the house is quiet with my kids orbiting on their own summer trajectories. And the summer days are so long here in Western New York, the garden is a good place to read until the mosquitos arrive, deadlines are less pressing these next few months…why not?

Here’s the line-up:

Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory

Elizabeth Willis, Alive (inspired by meredith’s post–I also came to Willis’ poetry through ModPo)

Neil de Grasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (so I can make a small attempt at understanding what my son the astrophysics grad student is talking about)

Dani Shapiro, Hourglass (I heard her read here in Rochester, and I bought this book, which she autographed, so I better get to it)

Oliver Sacks, On The Move

Lorrie Moore, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (my one-cent book)

Adam Phillips, Winnicott

Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched with Fire (This spring, I read her psychobiography of Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire,which was deeply moving)

Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge (also heard her read here, and her evocation of the West and the delicate balance environmentalism seeks to preserve resonates deeply with me–the West of my memories)

Kory Stamper, Word By Word

David Leitte, Notes on a Banana (because with a title like that, who could resist?)

And so we’ll see how overly ambitious I am, or how much this list changes over the next ten weeks. But I hope it doesn’t grow, at least for now…….



5 comments on “Here’s A Start…”

  1. Oh what a cool list Nadia! I am going to swipe your Neil de Grasse Tyson book to add to my list! I love being able to leave a little room to be inspired 🙂

    I also meant to mention on Alison’s list Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Touching Peace” is one of my favorite books, I actually read it on one of my Maine trips a few years ago– and seeing Terry Tempest Williams on your list is wonderful- one of my top ten favorite books of all time is her “When Women Were Birds”…

    This is so fun so far!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As always, an ambitious pile Nadia! I read Gratitude by Oliver Sacks over the winter challenge and it was just wonderful– he’s awesome. I first read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat in high school– such a mind-bending read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my! That is quite the pile! I now feel less guilty about not getting you your book swap yet! It will happen this week, I promise! I wonder if you read “Why Read Moby Dick” first, if you then decide you don’t need to read Moby Dick afterall. I’m sure that won’t be the case, but it sounds like something I would do.

    And for the record, I have never read Moby Dick. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read Moby Dick in my early teens and I actually enjoyed it much more than I could have hoped– however, I do not feel a need to read it again right now– I’m looking forward to how Nadia approaches these two reads!


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