Monday, September 18, 2017

What I'm up to September 2017

Dear blog-reading friends,

I miss you all!  I wanted to quick check-in and report that I have been writing, writing, writing, even though I'm not posting as much as I usually do.  A lot of the work I'm producing for my MFA is not yet ready for primetime, but there are still some juicy bits to share.

The motto at Bennington is "Read 100, Write 1"...books that is.  So needless to say, I've been devouring words. I think you might enjoy a peek into the "best of" in my reading list for the month.  If you guys like this I'll continue to post.  I would definitely love to hear what you're reading.  Please post what's on your nightstand in the comments!

This month's "best of" includes:

On Tyranny, Timothy Snyder.  A collection of 20 very short essays about preserving civil society written by a Yale professor who studies the history of fascism.  I especially appreciated some unintuitive tips about staying connected with your community and upholding ethical values in group settings such as at work and at schools.

"A Few Words about Breasts," essay by Nora Ephron

"A Portrait of My Body," essay by Phillip Lopate

"An Evening Out," short story by Garth Greenwell from the 8/21/17 New Yorker.  The dog at the end, you'll never forget her.  Bonus, the audiofile of Greenwell reading the story is also included in the link.

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf.  Dinah Lenney, my current instructor (The Object Parade: Essays and Bigger than Life: A Murder, A Memoir) calls it life-changing.  So I'm in.

Not pictured here, but both fabulous reads:

The Suicide Index:  Putting My Father's Death in Order, Joan Wickersham.  Wickersham is an instructor at Bennington. In this book she reflects on her own father's suicide, using the structure of an index to give shape her complicated, unresolvable experience.  The way she ruminates on the page is sharp, original, and at times very funny.  One of my favorite books so far.

She's Not There:  A Life in Two Genders, Jennifer Finney Boylan.  A transgender transition memoir--a contemporary classic in this subject area.  Boylan is a columnist for the New York Times.