recently finished: I finished the audiobook of Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years. I love the whole of the Adrian Mole series (it starts with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, and follows him throughout his life). It's a charming series, and I love it to bits. One of my reading goals is to read everything of Sue Townsend's. I haven't gotten there yet, but everything of hers that I have read so far has been amazing. Other favorites: The Queen and I and Number 10. I also just finished my yearly trek through E.L. Konigsburg's Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. The urge to reread it hits me every year between the start of school season and Halloween. This book was a revelation to me when I was a kid--I'm not sure why, it just was--and it still warms that same place in my heart. So I reread it every year or three and remember what it was like when I was a kid.
currently reading: My current favorite is a book called Radio-Free Vermont, about a small band of individuals in Vermont who rebel against the nationalism and try to go independent. It's out a week from Tuesday, but it's definitely worth putting on your radar. Also, I'm reading a charming novel about an ex-celebrity chef and a tear-jerker about rescue dogs. And a histor of The Improv comedy club. Expect some good blog posts this week.
up next: I'm still digging out, so there are lots of possibilities here. There's a new one coming out by Henning Mankell (he wrote the Wallander series; this is a stand-alone, but I'm sure it's still beautifully written). I still haven't gotten to the new Alice Hoffman yet, or the latest Celeste Ng, despite intending to read it weeks ago. I will keep doing what I can to read and review, and I hope that some books resonate with you and your tastes.
I will say this. I was getting discouraged. I was so far behind, and it felt as if I didn't know if what I was doing was worth it. I quietly wondered if I should give up. It would be easy. I could read whatever I wanted without worrying about publishers or release dates or letting anyone (myself mostly) down.
Then last Sunday afternoon there was a knock on our front door. I answered it, and there was a man, a neighbor, who handed me a package and told me that it had been delivered to him by mistake. It was a book, an advanced copy that St. Martin's sent to me. That got put in my hands on a Sunday afternoon. It was just so surprising that it felt like the universe was telling me that I was on the right path. So to whoever it was that delivered it to the wrong random address, and to the kind neighbor who went to the trouble to bring it by, thank you. I'm sticking around here for awhile.