Happy Spring! Well, it’s pretty cold here in Philly, and there was a bit of snow yesterday. But, it IS spring. A new season! Which means I’m here to wrap up all the books I read this winter. My reading goal this year is 30 books, 5 more than last year, and so far I’m on track! I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction, and learning a ton! I’ve got plenty more books I want to read on my Good Reads account, but it’s one step at a time. Or, one BOOK at a time. I wish I could read faster!
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
I started off the year with one doozy of a book. 945 pages of interwoven characters and decades. Let’s just say that’s a long, long book. I’d heard about City on Fire (Garth Risk Hallberg’s first novel) back in the fall of 2015. When we got it in at work I knew it’d be the first book I’d read in 2016. The story takes place in mid 1970s New York City. There are a ton of characters whose stories interweave in a number of ways. While it was definitely too long, I did enjoy the story, and look forward to seeing what Hallberg comes up with next.
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan
I tend to pick up some random books because I work in a library. I thought the idea behind Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading seemed like a cute, quick read, so I decided to give it a shot. Maureen Corrigan is the head book critic for NPR, so she’s a trusted source. Her history of falling in love with reading reminded me a lot of my family. Her references to catholic school and other more personal ideas kind of through me off because I couldn’t relate. Overall it was a nice story.
Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
So I’m sort of obsessed with everything Tiffany related. It goes back to my love of Truman Capote and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When I saw this short memoir, Summer at Tiffany, of a young woman’s summer working at Tiffany, I knew it’d be a fun way for me to learn more about the workings of the story. Marjorie Hart and her friend were the FIRST women to work as pages at the Tiffany store in New York back in the 40s. Her stories of the store, life on the town and the ending of the war were cute and sweet.
Love: A Philadelphia Affair by Beth Kephart
I’ve lived in Philadelphia for…oh boy…7 years! now, and I guess I’ve had a little bit of a love affair with the city myself. Love is a series of short essays by Beth Kephart who is a writer and professor. I was excited to hear little stories of the neighborhoods and places I love so much. The stories ended up being too…prose-like for me. They didn’t come across light-hearted, relatable, or really that interesting. I felt like I was reading poetry, which isn’t really my style.
Facepaint: The Story of Make Up by Lisa Eldridge
I already did a full book review on Facepaint since it’s beauty related, but I’ll mention it once again here. I loved Facepaint for its beautiful pictures and rich, detailed history of make up. I learned a lot, and definitely want to learn more! Lisa Eldridge did such a good job with her research, making the topic even more interesting than I thought it would be.
Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection by Catherine Price
I’ve read a lot of food industry related books in the past, and Vitamania sort of fits into that category for me. In this book, Price took a pretty complicated topic and made me become a little obsessed with it. It was so cool to learn about the discovery of vitamins, it’s something I’d never thought about before. I learned a lot about what vitamins ACTUALLY do inside our bodies, and what happens when we don’t have enough. I’m now paranoid about vitamin deficiencies, but essentially learned that it’s impossible to be deficient with how enriched the American diet is.
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
Now here is something totally out of the ordinary for me. A little background: I grew up pretty much without religion, and this have no actual education in the matter. I knew the book Zealot had gotten great reviews, and I knew a ton of people that read it. I figured, hey, why not teach myself a little about Jesus? Maybe it’ll help me answer a few Jeopardy questions. It’s a little hard to read with all the names and such, but for the most part Reza Aslan takes a complicated topic and makes it pretty easy to understand.