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“These things are your becoming”: Books read in 2013

This was a year of shoddy record keeping. Between buying a house, moving, getting married, and finishing a book, I had long periods of time where I lapsed in jotting down what I read from one week to the next. As such, the numbers below represent the books I was able to record and I suspect a few titles aren’t accounted for. To be fair, if I can’t even remember a book I read (which is kinda the purpose of me writing them down in the first place!) it probably isn’t a book I’m going to highly recommend. And so, that being said…

Books read in 2013: 107
Comics and graphic novels included in reading total: 14
Books of poetry included in reading total: 5
Books reread included in reading total: 7
Academic & Education related books included in reading total: 12
YA and Junior Fiction books included in reading total: 14

A few thoughts (As usual, here are my posts on books read in 201220112010, and 2009):

One of the first books I read in 2013 was Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. It is the book I most regularly come back to. And I admit that I’m thrown by the fact that the book I’m most fond of this year–the book that lingers in my mind–is essentially a collection of advice columns from formerly anonymous “Dear Sugar,” Cheryl Strayed. The columns are raw and honest and tender. I suspect those are adjectives thrown at this book regularly. It was from this column that I took the plunge. Maybe that’s a good place for you to decide if it’s a book for you too.

Likewise, I lingered slowly through The Conversations and found Walter Murch’s approach to editing and filmmaking to resonate with my own pedagogy of inquiry-driven teaching and learning.

Big Day Coming was a fun read because well… Yo La Tengo:

I want to tell you to read White Girls by Hilton Als but I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. A series of essays. Fragments. An explanation about why Michael Jackson is a white girl. And Truman Capote. And Malcom X’s mother.Hilton’s relationship with his friend that falls apart. Richard Pryor and the N Word. Gone With the Wind. Each sentence precise and lacking imperfections. Like the Winogrand photo that adorns the cover, it works as a fleeting snapshot of one person’s outtake on race, class, gender and sexuality now, here, in America.

As many of my posts have suggested, I spent a lot of the second half of 2013 reading Role Playing Game books or books about RPGs. Peterson’s Playing at the World is by far the most comprehensive of these texts. Not for the faint of heart (or at least not for those who don’t want to carry a brick of a tome with them – it’s a BIG book), Peterson’s history on the beginnings of Dungeons and Dragons is a well researched work that was a helpful foundation for my current research.

I suspect my reading to pace to dwindle a bit in 2014 as the year is looking to be writing-intensive and checking in with journal articles beckons. That being said, I’m currently reading this biography-ish book about the KLF and have this book about the life of Charlie Parker on deck. See you all in 2014!

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