Book lists with Ashley

It has been more than a month since I last updated my reading list–thirty-seven days in fact–and I only finally decided to sit down and make the 41w+Snjfi-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_update because I realized I was in danger of forgetting everything I’ve read. I was running out of the fantasy novels that my brother bought me for my birthday so my friend Mignon and I did a book swap. She loaned me some young adult novels and I loaned her a mix of stuff I’ve been reading, including The Name of the Wind, which I highly recommend to anyone.

So far I’ve only made it through three of the books Mignon loaned me, but two of these particularly struck me as examples of fine writing and unexpected subject matter. Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie was the first of these. It is an old book, first published in 1959 and with slightly yellowed and frail pages and a smell not terribly unlike that of a library book, which you know has seen many lives beyond the one your brief attention gives it. The cover is, I’ll just say not terribly contemporary and leave it at that, so I was surprised to discover prose as elegant as I’d ever read. It’s not a story about a particular person or occurrence so much as it is a story of a certain type of life now long gone, at once wistful and backwards. I dearly regret that I didn’t keep notes of my favorite quotations and passages because there were many pages that warranted such attention, but I was initially silly and went into the reading of the book with perhaps less respect than I should have.

The second, Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child, was at once an incredible surprise and none at all. Of course I was in love with it before I even opened the book. It’s set in Alaska, and not set in Alaska the way a sitcom is sort of loosely located somewhere because it has to be. This book is Alaska. It loves Alaska, describing it tenderly, the way you might retell a nightmare you’ve had so many times that it has become your own. Because it is kind of a nightmare, and a fairytale, all rolled into one. Or, the more I think about it, those fairytales I read as a kid probably were nightmares but I just didn’t recognize it then.

I’m now thirty-eight books into my goal of reading fifty new books this year, which means I’m pretty much on target so long as I read three new books each month. The three weeks I spend traveling in Turkey will probably play a major role in how quickly or slowly I finish. I tend to read a lot while traveling–lots of bus and plane time–but I’ll probably be limited by the number of books that I choose to bring. Choosing which books to bring with me should be a pleasant, if challenging, task. And until then, these are the thirty-eight I’ve read so far.

Gardens of the Moon by Steve Erikson

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

We were liars by e. lockhart

Dragonquest by Donita K Paul

DragonSpell by Donita K Paul

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Lord of the Rings (Books 1-6) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Dome of Tubes by M.K. Fowler

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Island by Aldous Huxley

Dune by Frank Herbert

Sure of You by Armistead Maupin

Babycakes by Armistead Maupin

Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Winterdance by Gary Paulsen

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings

Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings

Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings

If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie



  1. Ashley, so on the plane Hannah spilt water on A Confederacy of Dunces, and I bought you a new copy last night at Elliott Bay. Thanks for recommending that, I enjoyed it (not quite done yet). I also loved, loved Wicked, and The Name of the Wind is too new for me to read (especially after the water thing) so I bought my own copy from EB last night too. I plan to get started on that on the way home tonight. Glad you liked Cider With Rosie, and do keep it, I have more.
    I’ll drop the books off this weekend.

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