On the bookshelf: December 2014.

Hello fellow book lovers, 

I've decided to post my "On the Bookshelf" reading lists here as well as in the "Bookshelf" tab so that those who are subscribed to the blog get an update about it. And if you aren't subscribed? Go to the bottom of this post (or any post--but you only have to do it once, and it doesn't matter which blog post you subscribe under...it's not the best system, sorry) and click to sign up via email.

I'm in the middle of a few good books now, but those will get posted in January's Bookshelf post. I also have some New Year's Resolutions related to reading, so stay tuned! Let's just say that the new year will continue to involve a lot of reading! I finally have access to a wonderful English, non-digital library here, so I'm looking forward to digging into a lot of books in 2015.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller--This memoir of growing up in Africa was a delightful. I couldn't put it down; it was funny, sad, and haunting all at the same time. It also reminded me why I'm living in Europe and not in Africa.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris--This book was so good, especially the stories about his brother, "The Rooster," and his time spent in France (I connected with the language learning portion and the fact that sometimes when you're living abroad, you just want to watch movies and not go outside). If you aren't familiar with Sedaris, he is a little off-color, but such a wonderful writer, and I love his voice. (He also reads a lot of his stories aloud, and those are available on Youtube.)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling--Yes, I realize I am very, very late to this whole Harry Potter world. Maybe it was my desire for non-conformity ("The masses are reading it and I WILL NOT!") or possibly my supposed inability to get into the genre of fantasy (it's growing on me), but I read books one and two in college and left the series there. I am thoroughly enjoying something new (to me) and different from what I typically tend to read. And yes, now I'm on book four.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn--No. Do not read it. It will suck you in and you'll be all, "WHA?" and you'll keep reading (when you really have MUCH better things to be reading, anyway, like the next Harry Potter!), and suddenly you're nearing page 300 thinking, I can't put it down now, even though you're tiring of the drama and the five thousandth f-bomb, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention, the ending is the worst; there wasn't an ounce of redemptive-ness that I could muster out of it. 

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders--A different side of George Saunders than I've read before. In college, I was exposed to Saunders in a class on the essay, and I studied one of his essays on Dubai from his collection The Braindead MegaphoneI (wrongly) assumed that he was more of a humorous writer, but after reading Tenth of December it's clear that he doesn't just make readers laugh, he can also make them seriously think. This is a great collection of stories that was given to me by a friend this Christmas, and I enjoyed it very much. They're stories I will reread in the future, I'm sure, so that I can think more about the themes he develops throughout the collection. As a bonus, the book includes an interview between David Sedaris and George Saunders.