Friday, June 22, 2012

What I'm Reading

I used to only read one book at once. But in the past year or so, things have changed and now I read too many books at the same time. In some ways I hate reading that way, but I also can't manage to pick just one to read.
So here's what I'm reading now:
Yesterday I finished Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman. It was so tender and tragic - a mix of Year of Magical Thinking and Invisible Darkness - but I also found it incredibly beautiful. The capacity of the human heart to ache and to love is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
I'm reading two books by Gregory Orr. One is The Blessing which is possibly the saddest book I've ever read, but also super addicting and wonderful. I think that because Orr wrote it in his 50s, he can turn his emotional energy into words elegantly. The other one is called Poetry as Survival which is, bizarrely enough, one of the most difficult books I've read in a long time. Like 3 pages into the introduction I was huddled up crying, not because it's sad - it's really not - but because it felt like Orr was telling my story. In fact in the margins I wrote THIS IS MY STORY. And that's sorta difficult to read, if that makes sense.
I'm also (still) reading Faulkner's Light in August. I've been reading it for like two months now, but it's a book that takes more intellectual energy to read than the others - just because Faulkner's writing, while elegant, isn't easy to read - so I can only read it at certain times. It's totally worth reading, and I'm going to finish it before I go to college.
There are also several poetry collections floating around my life (wanna talk about the fact that on Tuesday I went to The Kings English and dropped $90 on poetry?) I recently finished Anne Carson's NOX which will, at some point, get a post all it's own, because c'est incroyable!
Now I'm on to Carson's Autobiography of Red which has the most interesting format style. I love poets who use the page as a canvas for art instead of merely a tool like a screwdriver to get done what they really want to.
Plus there's Sharon Olds' One Secret Thing which is simply good poetry. Clean and crisp and perfect for days that just need a little poetry in them.
Plus there's Franz Wright's Walking in Martha's Vineyard which I ordered on a whim like a month ago and am just now getting around to. It's jam-packed with things that make me whimper in the best way possible.
And finally, there's CD Wright's One Big Self which has the most interesting premise. It's about inmates in Louisiana state prisons and it makes my heart sigh and ask what are we doing to people?
So yes, that adds up to seven books I'm reading right now. Which is maybe a little out of control, but they're all excellent, so I have no remorse. I love that I get to be in that stage of life where there's more classically excellent literature for me to read than I possibly can; where I don't have to reread things or browse the newly published sections to get my hands on something new (to me) and wonderful; where pretty much every book I read stuns to silence.
I'm exploring the world of literature like I would a European city. Lucky me.

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