TBR Shelf February: Shorts Stories and Essays

As you know, I’m really fond of theme reading. It clears my bookshelves and helps me get some genres read that I’ve been meaning to try. This month I thought I’d jump on my short story and essay collections. I have been accumulating them apparently. I’m going to try for the ones I own and if I get through those I’ll reach out to what I have on Scribd and get some recommendations from you guys (throw them in the comments, I’ll try to get to them). I read 34 books in January and I don’t think I have that many essay/short story collections on my shelf so it’s possible. I’m not only reading these, since The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee is coming out tomorrow! (Side note: This took all my willpower not to capitalize all of that and add all the exclamation points.)

Here’s my physical shelf.

  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaimain
  • Nocturne by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • How to be a Heroine: Or What I’ve Learned by Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
  • Ghost Summer by TananariveDue (also my horror pick for my Read Harder Challenge)

On my digital shelf

  • Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman (my religion pick for #readharder)
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
  • Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine edited by Lisa Jervis (possibly my #readharder feminist pick)
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  • Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale

Do you have any recommendations for me? Read any of these? Any I should read sooner than the others? Talk to me, people!

Task #2 A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: Home

Home is my second Toni Morrison book (the first was Beloved) and I really loved it. I didn’t realize how short it was until I started reading it. It was so smooth to read that I finished in one sitting. I kind of wish I would have taken more time with it now, but it was so easy to turn the next page. I read Beloved in 2013 and while it was interesting, it didn’t go on my favorites list. Reading Home makes me continue reading more Morrison. I have The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Paradise so I’m sure I’ll be doing those later. Then of course there’s the new one coming out this year.

Home also is my second diverse book of the year (the first was Pissing in the River about a punk rocker who happens to be lesbian). I’m doing a few rereads that I’m not really going to talk about on here, but as far as my first time reads, I’m 2 for 2 for diversity. That makes me super happy.

It’s hard to talk about Home without giving away a lot. It is complex in spite of the short length of it. Could Morrison given even more depth to the story and her characters? Probably, but Home doesn’t need it. The adage short and sweet is the closest I can come to describing the story except the story really isn’t sweet.

Have you read Home? If you’re doing the #readharder challenge, have you finished any tasks yet? What are you working on?