Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Books of 2013 January 3, 2014

Filed under: Books,Totally Me — leighj @ 2:53 pm

I was really trying to finish Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen before the end of 2013, so I could add this hilarious and awesome book to my list. Alas, it’s going to have to wait until next year when I will have probably forgotten it.

Ones in bold I really enjoyed. They may not be for everyone, but I liked them and thought about them a lot. Ones in italics are ones I read for work. Ones with an * are rereads, and ones with ^ are library books. Here are the books I read last year:

1. Maine (J. Courtney Sullivan)
2. I Married You for Happiness (Lily Tuck)
3. Edgar Huntley (Charles Brockden Brown)
4. Hope Leslie (Catherine Maria Sedgwick)
5. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashears)*
6. Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
7. Second Summer of the Sisterhood (Ann Brashears)*
8. Critical Encounters in High School English (Deborah Appleman)
9. Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (David Herman, et al)
10. Girls in Pants (Ann Brashears)*
11. Narrative of the Life (Frederick Douglass)*
12. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)
13. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Harriet Jacobs)
14. Grassroots: A Field Guide to Feminist Activism (Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards)
15. The Queen’s Fool (Philippa Gregory)*
16. Behind a Mask and Other Stories (Louisa May Alcott)
17. How to Be a Woman (Caitlin Moran)
18. This is How You Lose Her (Junot Diaz)
19. bitchfest (Ed. Lisa Jervis)
20. The Ordinary Princess (MM Kaye)*
21. Bossypants (Tina Fey)*
22. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (David Sedaris)*^
23. When You are Engulfed in Flames (David Sedaris)^
24. Your Four Year Old: Wild and Wonderful (Louise Ames and Frances Ig)^
25. The Wind Done Gone (Alice Randall)
26. Family Trust (Amanda Brown)^
27. I Feel Bad about My Neck (Nora Ephron)^
28. Bringing up Bebe (Pamela Druckerman)^
29. The Man of My Dreams (Curtis Sittenfeld)^
30. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (David Sedaris)^
31. Attachments (Rainbow Rowell)^
32. The Myth of You and Me (Leah Stewart)^
33. Nurture Shock (Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman)^
34. Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)^
35. The History of Us (Leah Stewart)^
36. Where’d you go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple)^
37. A Room of One’s Own (Virginia Woolf)*
38. Drown (Junot Diaz)^
39. Sisterland (Curtis Sittenfeld)^
40. Passing (Nella Larsen)*
41. The Next Time You See Me (Holly Goddard Jones)^
42. Cheaper By the Dozen (Ernestine and Frank Gilbreth)*
43. The Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan)*
44. The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing (Melissa Bank)
45. Mother Tongue (Demetria Martinez)*
46. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (bell hooks)
47. Anne of Windy Poplars (L.M. Montgomery)*
48. In Another Place, Not Here (Dionne Brand)
49. Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman)

Some of these are rereads–something I do when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I have a David Sedaris, Curtis Sittenfeld, Leah Stewart, and Junot Diaz theme this year. My favorite reads were This is How You Lose Her, especially because Diaz spoke at Marymount this year. Bringing Up Bebe and Nurture Shock were fun parenting books. Your Four-Year-Old made me more patient with Seamus when he was acting like a nut this year. For sheer enjoyment, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?The Myth of You and Me, and Sisterland were my favorites. I read a lot more in the summer for fun. The weekend I had jury duty, I knocked out several.

**Edited: I forgot Borderlands/La Frontera (Gloria Anzaldua). So a nice even fifty even if I didn’t finish the other.

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5 Responses to “Books of 2013”

  1. George Hardy Says:

    Not a single book in common.

    GFH

  2. Heather Says:

    I am reading Oscar Wao right now and am loving it. There are so many details. I will probably end up rereading that one. I might try This is How You Lose Her next.

    • leighj Says:

      You’ll love it! I taught it in my Intro Women Studies Class, and the students really got some of the stuff about gender, then Diaz says to the whole group, “Masculinity is wearing a mask without even knowing why.”


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