Last week I was talking about cleaning up my desk, and this week I’m thinking about cleaning up my stacks of books. I had a large stack of print and online books I was reading (let’s not even get into the like 80 items in my Netflix queue although granted some of those are also specific for my husband, but still, when will I ever watch all of that?), and I find myself staring at a much smaller stack. I have 5 ebooks and 4 print books not in my currently reading stack. That feels like a really great number; a number that also means I’ll be able to start buying books again soon.
I also have a stack of I’ve-finished-but-I’m-not-keeping that I’m not sure what to do with yet because I’m not really racking up credit at the used bookstore anymore. hmmmm
Part of the reason my stack went down pretty quickly was because I had time to read, but there were also a few books that I stopped reading. They just weren’t engaging me enough. Some things I did finish:
- The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore is a memoir that looks at two young men with the same name with very different life outcomes. There are times that the book has some cliches (in writing), but the story is very thought provoking. I’d actually like to teach it, or portions of it for discussion.
- I most have been on a memoir bent because I also finished Jon Pineda’s memoir Sleep in Me. I actually didn’t know a lot about the book before I purchased it. I had read both of Jon’s poetry collections after working with him during my time as an MFA student. When I picked readers for my thesis I wanted to work with at least one guy and someone who was not familiar with my work. Jon fit the bill. You can see Jon’s poetic voice throughout this memoir.
- Speaking of mentors and/or people I worked with as an MFA student: I also finished Sally Keith’s third collection of poems The Fact of the Matter.
I took several seminars with Sally while I was a grad student. She was also my second workshop and later my thesis advisor. Heck, she even had to fill in as the faculty member who watched me present my Poetic Closure class. And just like all of those roles, and layers, so is her poetry in this collection. Just think of the phrase that makes up the title. It is an expression itself, but the word matter can mean so many different things which is what you’ll find yourself doing with Sally’s poems: reading and re-reading to try and pick up on all the layers and threads.
- I also finished another great issue of Georgetown Review. If you haven’t picked up a sample issue or submitted there before you should!
- One note on what we’ve been watching (apparently not as much as I’ve been reading!) is that I watched The King’s Speech finally which was just a great watch. The documentary (also on Netflix) about the King isn’t quite as good, but was still interesting.
Ok, I’ve babbled on too long! I think it is time for me to dig in and work on some submission packets before I have to get ready for this afternoon’s exam