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An Update from My Bookshelf

February 28, 2012

Fourteen months ago, I wrote here about the Most Touching Gift Ever, a vertical bookshelf stuffed with books from my close friends and family, all of them accompanied by notes about why the books were meaningful to them or might be meaningful to me. It was my MFA graduation gift, organized by J. and put together by those who aren’t fellow VCFA-ers or in Salon Esse (my writing group). I loved that part: curated literary gems from those who spin orbits different from my writing/editing one, but with whom I have very close relationships.

I just finished another one—Patricia Hampl’s I Could Tell You Stories from M.—and thought it would be fun to return to the spreadsheet to check in.

Total books received: 40
Books read: 16

This might seem a little sad, but the truth is I’m a relatively slow reader. Plus, with reading to teach, reading to edit, reading for my workshop group, reading literary journals and magazines, and reading friends’ blogs, I suppose I do read quite a lot. How delicious, too, to make this gift last and last. More data:

Books by category:
7 children’s books (I’ve read 6)
10 novels (I’ve read 4)
1 book of short stories
3 memoirs (I’ve read 3)*
1 book of poems
7 essay anthologies
1 narrative nonfiction
3 books about cats (I’ve read 2)
7 nonfiction, including both informational and procedural, about topics like philosophy, religion, health, and history (I’ve read 1)

So … the first category I’ve closed is memoirs. And the second will be either children’s books or books about cats. Ah, data, how well you know me!

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