Aside

Whatcha readin’?

I want to review more books on this blog, but I’ve been dreadfully behind on my reading goal for 2020—for a lot of reasons, like being busy with work, moving to a new apartment, a global pandemic, among other things—so now I’m playing catch-up. And in lieu of a review right now, here’s what I’m currently reading (or reading soon).

(Not pictured: A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. I’ve been reading it for 84 years. Don’t @ me.)

Look at this cute little stack.

All from the library except the top one. And (unintentionally) all different genres! Sci-fi, horror, contemporary fiction (kind of an umbrella term but, more specifically, like, non-genre bestseller fiction), memoir, and thriller/mystery.

  • A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green: I spontaneously grabbed this sci-fi novel in a local bookstore because I’m a fan of Green’s brother author John Green’s novels—not knowing it was the second book in a duology. Whoops. So, now that I’ve caught up and read book #1 (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing), I’m finally digging into this one.
  • Malorie by Josh Malerman: The sequel to Bird Box, which I read last summer after seeing the Sandra Bullock Netflix movie and learning that it was also a horror novel! I’m excited for this one; only a few pages in and shit is already going down.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: I know only two things about this novel that lead me to picking it up at the library: 1) It has gotten excellent reviews, 2) There’s a miniseries with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington I want to watch (that has also gotten great reviews) but I’d rather read it first.
  • Over the Top by Jonathan van Ness: I haven’t read a memoir yet this year, and normally it’s one of my top genres. JVN is adorable. I love his work on Queer Eye and his commendable work on his own Instagram stories documenting his four cats eating breakfast every morning. If I’m being honest, that’s what pushed me to finally grab this one. *LOLs in cat lady*
  • Someone We Know by Shari Lapena: I’m a sucker for a good mystery and/or thriller, and I’ve enjoyed the other novels by Lapena I’ve read (A Stranger in the House and The Couple Next Door). Thinking I’ll probably crack this open after Malorie.

What are you reading?

Why I underline and highlight in my books

Why I underline and highlight in my books

I used to think that writing in books was sacrilege.

Then, freshman year of college, I was reading a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson I had borrowed from my cousin when I came across a highlighted paragraph. “Why would you do that?” I asked her, scandalized.

“Because I might not read that book again, and this way I can remember the parts I liked,” she answered. I hadn’t thought of it like that, as a way to preserve your love of a book, rather than a sign of careless treatment of it. I changed my mind in about .02 seconds and I’ve been marking up my books ever since. (Never the library’s or any I borrow; I’m not an animal.)

It’s nice to grab a book from the shelf sometimes and page through, reading passages I’ve marked. It’s how I source a lot of the quotes for this blog. And even if I start by reading a few highlighted lines, I may get pulled in and wind up reading an entire page or two—or just decide to start over and read the whole book.

So, funnily enough, my intent in underlining and calling out passages to keep love of books and stories alive without having to read them again, often results in my reading them again.

I’ve played myself, but also not.

Happy underlining, folks.