I am here again to report on my reading. It looks like I read eight books.
I started off the month reading my selection from the list of 100 best non-fiction books, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolff. I had ever thought about reading it before and really didn’t have much of an idea about it. But I thought it was great. The basic idea is that women, as a group, cannot succeed as writers unless and until they have a room of their own. Physical space (and the money to maintain it) are critical to writing. The freedom that room allows the writer to flourish. I realize that I am able to write because I have that freedom. I do not take it lightly. But the text really goes beyond writing to talk about women in general and our need for that same freedom. It was a very interesting book.
This was followed by The Sign of the Four by Sir ArthurConan Doyle. I had never read it before and decided I would now since it was on the list of the 100 best novels in English. It was a typical Sherlock Holmes story, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am not 100% sure why it was on that list (#26), not because it wasn’t good but because I am not sure what makes it better than other Sherlock Holmes stories. I love them all!
I read three mysteries, books 2-4 in a series I started some time back. They were Two Bare Arms, Garden of the Damned, and Let Us Prey by Blake Banner. They are all part of the Dead Cold Mystery series, stories of two detectives assigned to work on cold cases, in part because no other cops want to work with them. I enjoyed these books, maybe more than the first one, An Ace and a Pair. The mysteries are good, and the characters have developed into interesting people.
I read two entries in a speculative fiction series I started a while ago, too. Darknight and Darkmoon by Christine Pope are the second and third books in her Witches of Cleopatra Hill series. They were fun to read. Witch Angela has found her consort, Warlock Conner. The problem is that they are from families who are feuding more than the Capulets and the Montegues. Fortunately, they don’t have to kill themselves in the end, but no one makes it easy for them. This is pure escapism, but I enjoyed escaping for a while.
I also read Waking up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. A frind had recommended it, so I bought it and read it. It was a very thought-provoking book. My experience growin gup was not like Irvings, but I did benefit from white privilege. I have lived in many parts of the world and have been in the minority, so I have had some of the experiences she felt were invaluable to her awakening. I also majored in history in college, but at a time when Black Studies programs were becoming popular, so I learned a lot of things she talks about In spite of all I knew, though, the book made me realize how much of being white I have taken for granted. And, of course, since reading the book, I see things all over than help to drive home the point that things ae really getting worse. For instance, Roads to Nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality was published in The Guardian late last month. And, on a lighter but realted note, What is white culture was published just a few days ago. I think reading Irving’s book allowed me to see these related pieces of information, wich I might have overlooked before.
So it wasn’t a great month, but it wasn’t bad, either. I start back to work next week, though, so this time next month I may see this as having been a great month after all!