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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

A Year in Reading Suggestions: May Recap & June Plans

Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo - Zlata Filipović, Janine Di Giovanni, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood - Anne Enright Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood - Fatema Mernissi MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times - Jennifer Worth

May was probably the month from A Year in Reading Suggestions I was looking forward to most of all. Its theme was:

 

In May, read a book from another country.
Some of the greatest literary achievements are works that have been written far and away from the USA. Eat locally, read globally.

 

I LOVE to armchair travel because it means I don't have to worry about getting sick from the water or getting on an airplane (not to mention how cheap it is). I had high hopes for this month; unfortunately, I didn't get through as many books as I wanted to. Here are the places I traveled and the books that brought me there.

 

Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic (Bosnia) - I started with my "most-international" choice of the month, a book that was written in full in a foreign country and translated to English later. I've wanted to read this book for at least 8 years, so I'm glad I can finally cross it off my list.

 

Making Babies by Anne Enright (Ireland) - I've been looking for excuses to read more of my marriage/parenting memoirs, and this one fit the theme for this month. To the top of the pile it went!

 

Dreams of Trespass by Fatema Mernissi (Morocco) - I don't know whether Fatema Mernissi lived outside the U.S. when she wrote her memoirs, but they are so deeply steeped in a foreign land that I figured they should count, anyway.

 

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (Canada) - I think the MaddAddam trilogy actually takes place in a postapocalyptic United States, but since Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author, I felt fairly confident  that this book satisfied the requirement of being "written" outside the U.S.

 

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth (UK) - I'm still reading this one, but expect to finish it by early next week.

 

So, I can stamp my "book passport" for Bosnia, Ireland, Morocco, Canada, and the UK in May. Not bad! I'm sorry to see this month end.

 

June's suggestion is:

 

In June, read that classic you never read.
Most of us have a classic novel that haunts us because we never got through it. Maybe you got away with reading the CliffsNotes or watching the movie so you could pass a quiz, but now’s your chance to finally read the whole thing.

 

I'm reading Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis because it is a classic AND a group read for a fairy tales/retellings group I belong to on Goodreads. I would like to read more than one classic this month, but I'm not sure I'll be able to -- my beloved cat died last week, so I've been reading some pet loss self-help books. I'm also going to read some Jessica Day George in preparation for the New Moon Girls chat with her at the end of the month. I'll be back with a full report at the beginning of July!