Week in Reading: A Birthday, a Burden, and a Stack of Books

It's been a week. It's been what feels like the longest week possible. It's been a dark week. It's been a hard week. It's been a trying week. It's been a crying week.

It seems almost trivial to sit here and write about books in a week when far more important things are happening in our world, but I believe that books are, now more than ever, crucial to our existence. They are the means by which we can understand this crazy, fucked up, upside-down world of ours, learn from the mistakes of the past, and try to apply reason to the insanity of the present, and the means by which we can escape it. They are a way of leaning into the horrors, of seeking comfort from the same, and a means of hiding from reality when need be.

My reading list this week reflects that dichotomy. I escaped into a large section of The Count of Monte Cristo last week (at page 877, I'm only 600 pages from finishing this wonderful beast). I plan to spend today curled up with The Killing Moon. I've taken comfort in re-reading large sections of Tiny Beautiful Things, and I plan to start some of the pieces in Upstream: Collected Essays, by Mary Oliver, seeking that same experience.

I'm trying to learn more about what brought us here with select non-fictions (and though I'm not actively participating in Nonfiction November, the reading dovetails quite nicely). I finally picked up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I'm slowly stepping into At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White. I'm planning to pre-read a few options for next year's Social Justice Book Club* -- which will continue, strong and loud and proud and perhaps slightly revised in structure, in 2017 -- starting with Enrique's Journey (thanks to Stephanie for the recommendation).

Today is my 29th birthday, and I took the day off to read (and run and bake and probably drink a few too many glasses of wine). I'm looking ahead with a sense of dread, knowing the challenges we will face. But buried beneath that is a tiny glimmer of hope, that we will find kindness and compassion in each other as we face the horrors yet to come. We are brittle, we are battered, we are burdened, but I hope that we have not given up.

Happy reading, ya'll. Hold each other close.**


* If you'd like to nominate books to be considered for next year's Social Justice Book Club, you can do so here.

**I'm taking a step back from social media for the next few weeks (FB, IG, and Twitter), so if you'd like to reach out, shoot me an email: ofabookworm AT gmail DOT com. I'm also on Litsy as @kerry if you want to talk books.

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