Monday, September 30, 2013


It's the last day of September, so technically, this is not late. I'm just writing about the whole month in one sitting, which is totally fine because I haven't finished very many books (okay, I haven't finished any).

Books Bought:
  • Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
  • This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Books That I Have ALMOST Finished Reading:
  • A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)
  • Commencement (J. Courtney Sullivan)

Based on my pitiful reading list for the month, you may think that this semester is tougher than the really isn't (I mean, besides the fact that I have to complete a full draft of my thesis by December). With that said, though, I'm still figuring out how to schedule in free time, and this semester has been different so far in that I'm choosing to spend most of my free time with people instead of books...which is not a bad thing.

Also, A Game of Thrones is a really long book. And it's pretty gruesome at times, so I'm not reading it very religiously. I've actually been reading this book pretty much solely while working at the library circulation desk. It has the added bonus of being an excellent conversation starter - pretty much every patron who sees me reading it either asks me how I like it or gives me their opinion on the book and/or TV show. So there's that. I should start a blog about opinions on GOT from patrons of the Allen Music Library. 

I picked up Commencement a few days ago and am really enjoying it - already halfway through it. I saw a review of Sullivan's newest book, and while adding my name to the hold list for that book at the library, I decided to pick up her first book, too. It's about four friends and how their lives have changed (or not changed, I guess, in some cases) four years after graduating from their undergraduate. So far, so good, but the thing about reading new authors is that you have no idea about their ending style. 

I bought Walden because connection to the natural world plays a big part in my thesis, and my advisor told me I needed to read Walden if I could ever fit it into my schedule. I bought This Side of Paradise because I began rediscovering Fitzgerald this summer and am hooked. Both of these books were under $5 brand new. Basically, it's financially prudent to read books that were published before 1923

Happy October! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

August: Weeks Three and Four

Books Bought:
  • History and Theory of Anthropology (Alan Barnard)
  • The Anthropology of Music (Alan Merriam)
  • The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-one Issues and Concepts (Bruno Nettl)
  • Music as Social Life (Thomas Turino)

Books Read:
  • My Education (Susan Choi)
  • Love is a Four-Letter Word (ed. Michael Taeckens)

Okay, reading in August became difficult. (Life in flux, see two posts ago.) I bought my textbooks for my Intro to Ethnomusicology class. I've started reading the Nettl book, and it's great. I appreciate anyone who can write an academic book that is not the least bit dry. 

Here are my textbooks amongst other homework detritus.
I finished reading two books this past weekend that I've been working my way through over the past few weeks. I'd read a review of My Education in The Week and thought it seemed interesting (plus, Choi has been a Pulitzer finalist before), so I added it to my library list. Perhaps not coincidentally, the subject matter was quite similar to the memoir/movie An Education - taboo love affair between a student and an older person. I appreciated the writing more than the plot. I know some have called it verbose and melodramatic (the writing AND the plot, I guess), but I think those critics just probably don't remember what it's like to be an intelligent person caught up in loving someone you shouldn't (instant recipe for melodrama). 

Love is a Four-Letter Word is a collection of short stories about break-ups. Like any good short story collection, some are sad, some are funny, some are serious, some are clever. I think I found this book on the sale rack at a store a few years back - if I'm remembering correctly, after my own giant break-up. I probably should have read this book then, but it's an enjoyable read even if you're completely satisfied with your current love life (or lack of).