Reading life review: November

Books read this month: 6
Books read in 2011: 108

I'm still serial-dating my books, still taking a number too great to be called decent out for a burger and fries, a movie, a kiss at the door even, and then not calling. Christmas vacation will offer the time I need to tackle the book stack of reproach. Until then, you must again sign me, An unapologetically promiscuous reader.

Blue Nights (Joan Didion)
Memoir. Related entries here and here.

Henry IV, Part II (William Shakespeare)
Play, classic. With the Misses.

Elizabeth Rex (Timothy Findley)
Play. The excellent CBC Stratford Festival Reading Series recording accompanied my reading of this wonderful work. The recording also accompanied Mr. M-mv to and from work for two days and earned his recommendation. We're looking forward to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production, directed by Barbara Gaines and featuring Diane D’Aquila as Queen Elizabeth. (D’Aquila originated the role in the premiere production at Stratford Shakespeare Festival and voices Elizabeth in the recording.)

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (Michael Pollan)
Non-fiction. This title arrived on my stack for one reason only: Maira Kalman's whimsical illustrations. (Related entries here and here.) That said, the book is a cheerful reminder -- one perhaps more than a few of us require during this food, food, food season -- to eat mindfully and well.

Toxic Parents (Susan Forward)
Psychology. Subtitled "Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life," this self-help manual provided background material for a recent research project.

DMZ: Volume 10: Collective Punishment (Brian Wood)
Graphic fiction. Apparently, the series will conclude with Volume 12, and I'm beginning to agree with some of the harsher critics: The plot has stalled.


Recent acquisitions

❧ The Mountain and the Valley (Ernest Buckler)
Apparently, it's one of Paul Gross' favorite books: "A sadly overlooked, magical novel about the fragility of time and art."

❧ The Map of My Dead Pilots: The Dangerous Game of Flying in Alaska (Colleen Modor)
An entry at Melissa Wiley's blog led me to this Chasing Ray entry: "It is clear to me that this is going to be one reader at a time, one book sale at a time, one long year of trying to gain notice."

❧ P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters (edited by Sophie Ratcliffe)
I blame Girl Detective; she sent me the link, after all: "Countless readers of Wodehouse have testified to the way his novels have their own 'stimulating effect' on morale, providing not just comic, but almost medicinal effects...."