Fall 2018 Semester Reading List

Welcome to my semester reading list, also known as the reason why posts may be lacking throughout the next three months.  I’m actually reading some relatively interesting books for class this semester, thanks to my Young Adult Lit class, which keeps things a bit easier when I’m jumping around 3-4 books at a time.

Course: Young Adult Literature

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillion

Picking these novels apart and learning how the young adult genre has changed over the years is fascinating.  I was a huge YA reader in middle school and early high school, but gradually grew out of it around my senior year, while I applied for colleges and suffered from a serious identity crisis.  Revisiting the genre in an academic setting has been enlightening and has rekindled my love for YA, especially the older, “classic” coming-of-age stories like The Outsiders.

Course: Writing About Literature

Lying by Lauren Slater
The Marquise of O by Heinrich von Kleist
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Textbook: Critical Theory Today by Lois Tyson

I just finished reading Lauren Slater’s Lying, and it’s absolutely phenomenal; it proposes a lot of questions and really makes you think about the blurred lines between fact and fiction, specifically regarding memoir.  No spoiler alerts, but the ending blew my mind.  We’re also reading a lot of short stories, recently Raymond Carver’s “Gazebo,” which I loved even after reading about twenty different times.  Hopefully, the rest of these reads and our class discussions will be just as interesting.

Course: Literary Criticism

Billy Budd and Other Stories by Herman Melville
Textbook: Literary Theory: An Anthology

This class will be the death of me.  How many times can one read “Billy Budd” before spontaneously combusting?

Have you read any of these?  Any interesting books on your college reading list, past or present?  Let me know!


Current Reads: August 19, 2018

Right now, I’m on an eight-hour train ride to New York, where I’ll be for the next week.  Monday-Thursday I’ll be finishing up my publishing internship, meeting with editors, agents, and other industry professionals, and wandering around the city to get a feel for that NYC lifestyle I crave so much.  Then, Friday-Sunday I’ll be spending time with my family for my cousin’s christening and sightseeing at all the popular tourist destinations.  (I’m beyond grateful the planning worked out so perfectly, though I would have loved to make two trips to the city.)

I shared my first Current Reads a month ago, when I felt I was juggling a handful of books for many different projects.  I’m sharing this one, now, with the same reasons, though this time I have the added pressure of required reading for class.  I thought I’d share my current reads with you, since, let’s be honest, I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment.

As a mood reader, it’s always difficult to try to decide which books to bring on a trip, but I decided pretty easily on packing these titles.  First up, Tonight I’m Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson, which I bought for the sole purpose of reading on the train.  I thought it’d be nice to travel with an essay collection, something that’s easy to dip in and out of among the hustle and bustle.

I’m also bringing along Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, which has been on my nightstand since April, so it’s about time I’ve gotten around to it!  I’m always hesitant to read books that are over-hyped or popular because I’m afraid I won’t like it as much as everyone else, which is why I put Pachinko off for so long.

Last but not least, I have the latest edition of Tin House, because who doesn’t love a good literary magazine?  The Paris Review and Granta are my favorites, and I’ve never read a physical copy of Tin House, but their online content never fails to disappoint (plus, I could spend the entire ride admiring the cover art).

After this week’s meetings, my internship is officially over!  The whole experience felt so surreal, knowing that my dream of working in publishing is actually attainable.  When it comes to working in the book industry, it’s all about who you know and what internships you’ve done, so having one internship under my belt gives me some confidence that I could actually end up having my dream job someday.  During my time at the literary agency, I read two fiction manuscripts and a handful of queries, while also working on an awards database.

For the first time ever, I’m falling behind on ARCs.  I just finished Three Things About Elsie and Crudo by Olivia Laing (September 11), which were both sent to me fairly recently, and I’ve started A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua (August 14), but I have yet to read Ohio by Stephen Markley (August 21).  I’m ecstatic for all of these, but the last few weeks have been jam-packed with other responsibilities, and I’ve had to set ARCs on the back burner.  Hopefully I can finish these up in September before midterm week hits.

Classes start up again the day after I get back from the city, and while I’m sure I’ll be exhausted from my trip, I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.  I’m taking an online music/film class, a Management class for my minor, and three English classes: Criticism, Writing About Literature, and Young Adult Literature.  The first two are pretty basic requirements, but YA Lit seems like a pretty fun elective course.  I just got the reading list a few days ago, and it contains classics like The Outsiders and The Catcher in the Rye, but also more contemporary titles like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and The Hate U Give.  Either way, I’m thrilled to get back into the semester’s routine.

What are you currently reading?


Current Reads: July 19, 2018

I used to be a one-book-at-a-time gal, but the times are a changin’!  I’m currently switching between five different books: two novels, two manuscripts, and a poetry collection.

I dove into The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon on Sunday morning.  It’s my most anticipated release of the year, and I already know it won’t disappoint.  I’m only around eighty pages in so far, but I’m really trying to take my time with it; it’s one of those books you want to read slowly in order to absorb every word.  Massive thanks to the lovely people at Riverhead Books for sending this one my way!

I also picked up Philip Larkin’s Collected Poems on Tuesday.  I read a few of his poems for my English Literature survey class last semester and I fell in love, especially with “Aubade” and “This Be The Verse.”  I was in the mood for something really different, and I don’t normally read poetry outside of coursework, so I thought I’d pick this one up.  Reading a poetry collection feels very non-committal, something I’m in desperate need of right now while juggling jobs and responsibilities.

Speaking of jobs and responsibilities, my internship is sucking up the majority of my reading time, but I absolutely adore feeling a part of the publishing process!  I’m interning at a literary agency; so far I’ve read two queries, and I’m currently working my way through two manuscripts, one acquired and one for evaluation.  I honestly wish I could talk more about them, because they’re both fantastic and I can’t wait to see them published.  One’s an apocalyptic thriller, Station Eleven meets Gone Girl, and the other’s a searing, honest tale of motherhood.  Both have me mesmerized.

Lastly, I’m reading a few books for review.  I finished The Bucket List by Georgia Clark over the weekend, and my review will be up later this week.  Spoiler alert: I loved it!  It was a sweet, smart, sexy read that I devoured over one sleepless night.  Up next is A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua, which I plan on picking up tomorrow.  I’ve heard nothing but great things so I’m eager to start reading it.  I’ve talked about both of these titles briefly in my Summer 2018 ARC List, so check that out for more!

What are you currently reading?