What I’ve Been Reading — September 2005

This article (the August 2005 version) has officially been published in Prime Magazine.

More on that later, though.

Books bought (actually, all borrowed):
An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
Dry – Augusten Burroughs
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

Books read:
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
An Englishman in Paris: L’éducation continentale – Michael Sadler
Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
Salt: A World History – Mark Kurlansky (not finished)
Dry – Augusten Burroughs

September, the first official month of my experiment in “reading the books I currently have on standby instead of buying new ones,” seemed to go by rather quickly. I hardly scratched the surface of the overflowing bookshelves in our dining room, instead choosing to read borrowed books (aside from one) all month.

In doing this, however, I’ve found that I have rekindled my interest in the library. I know, I know; how could I ever let the library become an overlooked vessel in my current literary mind? My answer to that: I don’t know. Somewhere along the line I started selfishly using the library to help me find a book, after which I left without so much as a “thank you.”

So I felt like a completely new person when I went to the library the other day to look. I simply browsed though the books. I enjoyed myself immensely; I found authors I had always meant to read and a series I had loved growing up. I had a stack of five books in no time, and knowing how I’d never get around to reading all of them, I smartly put some back – remembering where they were for a future visit – and left with three classics and a sequel: Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, and Augusten Burroughs’ Dry.

Before I get too far, though, let me tell you about the reading I did this month. I was nearly thematic in my selection of books – the four I actually finished were memoirs, in one form or another. When you’ve got as random a selection of reading material as I do, that’s about as close to a theme as I get.

My selection followed this path: Michael Sadler’s An Englishman in Paris was chosen because I was trying to read some of the books I’d purchased months ago. This led to Rosenthal, though the connection between the two is simply that I finished one book and the other happened to show up at the library that same day. Running with Scissors was read by Kerrie as I was tooling along through Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia, so I naturally was jealous and started it as soon as I could. I followed this up with the sequel, Dry, and kept myself content with just four books. Well, five if you count the ten pages I read of Salt while I was waiting for Kerrie to finish Running with Scissors.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 2nd, 2005