I have a problem, and I suspect that some of you out there might suffer from it, too: there are too many books in my bag.
I try to keep their numbers down—after all, I really only bring my bag to work with me, and I work less than ten miles from home—but no matter how many times I empty it, no matter how many times I make room for my wallet and cellphone and charger and Bloomer notebook and liter of seltzer and other necessary sundries of the day, the books take over.
Two books is my minimum, and the number that I supposedly shoot for. Whatever I’m currently reading, and whatever I have on deck, just in case I finish the first one. And...well, I feel like I should always have my Kindle with me, just in case.
And yet. Somehow, by the end of any given week, those two books—plus the hundreds of other books on my Kindle—have been joined by a whole pile of others. So, every weekend, part of my routine is to empty it out in an ATTEMPT to start fresh the following week. Here’s what I pulled out this time:
Currently reading: Noteworthy, by Riley Redgate
A female theater major at a private arts prep school cross-dresses in order to infiltrate an all-boys a cappella group. I am LOVING this one so far—yes, stories set in arts-heavy prep schools are my jam, but I’m loving it for a lot of reasons beyond that—and it’s very likely that I’ll write about it at length later this week. Starred review from Kirkus.
On deck: Just a Girl, by Carrie Mesrobian
I mentioned this one in my round-up of March releases, so see that column for details about plot and so on. I’d want to read it anyway, because rural life and gender-based double-standards, but I’m especially looking forward to reading it through my Bloomer Lens.
Andddd here’s everything else (minus what’s on my Kindle, because if we did that, we’d be here for the next fifteen years):
the princess saves herself in this one, by Amanda Lovelace
Poetry collection divided into four parts—the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you—that deals with loss and grief and growth and healing.
Fly, Bessie, Fly, by Lynn Joseph, illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan
I’ve been working my way through all of the Bessie Coleman picture books that I can find, and I think I’ll be caught up after this one? (Of the others, I especially loved Nikki Grimes’ Talkin’ About Bessie—the poems all have such separate, distinct voices, and the art is gorgeous—though I understand the Kirkus reviewer’s sadness over the lack of source notes.)
The Ecstatic, by Victor LaValle
Ever since I finally got around to reading The Ballad of Black Tom, I have been on a LaValle TEAR. I want to read everything he’s written, everything, everything, EVERYTHING.
The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright
I have also been on an odd Haunted Doll Stories kick, so obviously I want to revisit this one. (Recommendations for others are welcome!)
Mockingbird: I Can Explain, by Chelsea Cain, illustrated by Kate Niemczyk and Ibrahim Moustafa
Collection of the first five issues of Mockingbird, the sadly short-lived Avengers spin-off by crime writer Cain.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, edited by Hope Nicholson
Nonfiction anthology of comics and prose about girl geekdom, by an all-female roster of creators that includes Margaret Atwood, Marguerite Bennett, Marjorie Liu, Noelle Stevenson, and Mariko Tamaki. Pardon me while I swoon.
Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights, by Deborah Kops
Biography of GUESS WHO? Starred review, Bloomer nomination.
Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
Collection of poetry about race, and more specifically, on the experience of being black in America. National Book Award finalist.
The One Hundred Nights of Hero, by Isabel Greenberg
A graphic novel about the “secret legacy of female storytellers” that uses an Arabian Nights-ish framing story. Has been compared to Kate Beaton AND Through the Woods!
And you? How do you deal with this situation, and what are you currently lugging around everywhere? Or do you have the modicum of self-control that I am apparently missing?
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom and The Backlist, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.