Why I’m Not Here


Around mid-April I lost my mom. The part of my brain that says “read more” started saying “read less” and I’ve been listening. I’ve read prayers and Hope Edelmen’s book Motherless Daughters and that’s about it.

But looking ahead, I know the reading part of me that mom nurtured so carefully and tenderly will bloom again soon. The six year old who saw her mom come home from the library with tall stacks of books will rise up and demand I start making those trips again.

So I’m not reading now, but I’m planning for summer reading. Imagining books-on-the-porch and books-by-the-pool and books-at-the-lake.

At the top of my list? First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. It came out ages ago and I’ve been saving it for summer reading. But I’m also looking forward to Kissing in America at the recommendation of Book Riot. And several others:

  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay, a book that made a lot of bookternet headlines earlier this year
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
  • Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler

I have some Read Harder books to read

  • Finish Americanah (if I can ever get it back from the library; it has twenty billion holds)
  • Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
  • Ash by Malinda Lo or Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas for a retelling of a classic

And some Read Harder books to find

  • A microhistory – my students have advised me against SALT, which was at the top of my list, so I’m looking for other options
  • A book of short stories
  • A book published before 1850 (to be fair, this is actually *quite* hard for a former English major/English teacher — I’ve read 80% of the most popular ones still in print, and I am not particularly interested in the other 20%)


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