Bookends: November 2013

The first day of each month, I’m posting a summary of what I read the previous month and what I plan to read in the coming month. I would love if this could become a conversation in the comments about what’s on your reading list, too!

The day after Thanksgiving, I lost my voice. Two days later, I’ve yet to find it.

I actually don’t mind losing my voice. It keeps me from yelling at my kids and gives me an excuse not to answer the phone. The only thing I miss without my voice is singing. Luckily, it’s the choir’s week off at church, so I don’t need to miss out on that.

But with all vocal activities suspended (or at least reduced to a whisper), I have more time to blog and to read, which are two things I quite enjoy doing.

Here’s what I finished this month:

Grown-ups’ Books:

The History of England, Volume V by David Hume. (YES! I finished it! I feel invincible now!)

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (our November Sisters Book Club selection; a mild-mannered elementary school teacher meets an Italian artist from Paris and her family and her life will never be the same again)

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (third of the dystopian/apocalyptic MaddAddam trilogy)

…and three I stopped reading before I got to the end: Raising my Rainbow by Lori Duron, Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I just needed to clear my currently-reading pile before my Big Books in December, and these were the ones that didn’t make the cut.

Kids’ Books:

Redwall by Brian Jacques (Warrior mouse channels departed warrior mouse to defeat psychopathic rat)

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley (A boy gets shipwrecked on a desert island with a wild stallion and they make friends and wow the world when they return to civilization.)

Mossflower by Brian Jacques (Prequel to Redwall, in which we get to see how the departed warrior mouse became a legendary warrior to start with. Hint: It involves battling a megalomaniacal cat.)

Currently Reading/To-Read for December

After successfully finishing Volume V of David Hume’s 18th-century The History of England, I felt so intellectually powerful, I decided to participate in TWO classics read-alongs/challenges in December. I’ll be reading Ulysses by James Joyce (also the December Sisters Book Club selection) and the 5th-century classic that apparently shaped medieval Christianity, The City of God by St. Augustine.

Along with those, I’ll be finishing Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (first book of the MaddAddam series). I read it shortly after it came out, but that was nearly 10 years and two kids ago, and I wanted to remind myself of that part of the story now that I’ve read the other two books in the trilogy. I’ll also be reading The Seminal Gospel by George Kimmich Beach, which I’ll be reading for a book discussion group at church. It’s a UU minister’s look at the Gospel of Mark.

On the kids’ books front, I think I’ll read Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three with my kiddos, and listen to Mattimeo (the next Redwall/Mossflower book) on CD.

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for December? If you blog your answer, please post a link in the comments (and/or link back to this post, if you’re so inclined).

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