I’ll warn you up front that this post will not only be an excuse to talk about Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, but a chance to mention all the different books I’ve acquired lately. I don’t usually post about the books I checkout from the library, and many of the ebooks I buy or request from Netgalley get missed in Book Haul posts. So for those of you who’re interested, here’s a snapshot of what I’ve bought, requested, checked out, read, and considered reading in the past few weeks:
The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry
All of the ebooks I bought were romances that I read over Christmas. I loved both of the Courtney Milan historical romance novellas, but I’ll probably only review one. Any preferences between The Governess Affair or A Kiss for Midwinter?
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn
The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Very excited about these.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
I read Hounded for book club, which was a fun urban fantasy. I rarely read middle-grade but I’d thought I’d give The False Prince a chance, the raving reviews and all. And I’ve always wanted to read something by Emily Wing Smith. Which book of hers should I start with?
And finally *dun dun dun*
Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau
The much-coveted Bantam Classic edition from the 90s no less! Let me go back (not that far), to explain why and how it was claimed. In December I read Francisco Stork’s The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, which is about Pancho, a boy seeking to avenge his sister’s murder, and DQ, the boy he’s assigned to help, who is suffering from brain cancer. It is a thought-provoking read with several memorable passages. One that stood out the most was an exchange between DQ and Pancho, in which DQ quotes these famous lines from Walden:
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. . .
That last phrase is part of a definitive moment that confirms DQ’s choice of Pancho as his friend and fellow Death Warrior, one which I love on its own. I love it even more because the reference inspired me to return to the source material. I read Walden as assigned high school reading during the summer I turned 16 – appropriately enough – while I was vacationing with my family at the lake. Whether I was sitting on the shore when I read it or not, it was one of the few assigned reads which made a lasting impact on my view of the world at that time. I felt complete claiming it from my parent’s house over the holidays and rereading my old annotations and markings. (When you are the oldest of four sisters on the AP English-track, you have to share the copies of assigned reads like hand-me-downs until the youngest is grown up. )
One of these days I will track down copies of the January releases I’ve been anticipating, all YA (Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder, Catherine by April Lindner, and Just One Day by Gayle Forman). Maybe I’ll even buy a copy of Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, you know, only the last book in one of my most favorite series of all-time that came out last November. I am officially a slacker.
Which titles are you reading or hauling? Which assigned high school reads made a lasting impression on you?