h is for hawk


we are very bad at scale. the things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. we are bad at time too. we cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. we live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. we take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.

helen macdonald

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book report // 2015 recap


guys, i read a lot this year. i think i read more than usual knowing i would be “reporting” at the end of each month…but not really much more than usual because i’ve always loved to read. and when you hear how many books i read you’ll be like..marci, get a life. because that’s kind of what i thought when i saw the number. and my husband told me i should take a break this year, haha. but really, if i hadn’t spent all that time reading i probably would have spent at least half of it watching tv or looking at my phone – so i say time well spent.

i read 47 books in 2015. maybe that’s not even that impressive but it feels like a lot. so in no particular order, here they are:

  1. gilead by marilynne robinson
  2. the history of love by nicole krauss
  3. the dirty life by kristin kimball
  4. wouldn’t it be nice – the making of pet sounds by charles granata
  5. essentialism by greg mckeown
  6. the life changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo
  7. the art of asking by amanda palmer
  8. station eleven by emily st. john mandel
  9. my faraway one by georgie o’keefe and alfred stieglitz
  10. my antonia by willa cather
  11. a visit from the goon squad by jennifer egan
  12. sacred marriage by gary thomas
  13. you are what you eat by gillian mckeith
  14. how the garcia girls lost their accents by julie alvarez
  15. never let me go by kazoo ishiguro
  16. tiny beautiful things / dear sugar by cheryl strayed
  17. how to love by thich nhat hanh
  18. a field guide to getting lost by rebecca solnit
  19. crazy love by frances chan
  20. may cause miracles by gabrielle bernstein
  21. the book of ruth by jane hamilton
  22. stitches by anne lamott
  23. to the lighthouse by virginia woolf
  24. love does by bob goff
  25. actual air by david berman
  26. indian killer by sherman alexie
  27. not that kind of girl by lena dunham
  28. transcendence by norman rosenthal
  29. 1984 by george orwell
  30. my salinger year by joanna rakoff
  31. why not me? by mindy kaling
  32. a poetry handbook by mary oliver
  33. a praying life by paul miller
  34. one thousand gifts by ann voskamp
  35. the namesake by jhumpa lahiri
  36. happier at home by gretchen rubin
  37. red rising by pierce brown
  38. golden son by pierce brown
  39. a prayer journal by flannery o’connor
  40. the silver star by jeannette walls
  41. a grief observed by c.s. lewis
  42. a room of one’s own by virginia woolf
  43. letters to a young poet by rainer maria rilke
  44. m train by patti smith
  45. the hours by michael cunningham
  46. h is for hawk by helen macdonald
  47. the bible – literally! beginning to end!

obviously i had some favorites, and some not so favorites…but generally i enjoyed most of the things i read. if you’re wondering which of these you should read here are my top 10 (i just tried to do a top 5 and it was impossible).

  1. the namesake by jhumpa lahiri
  2. a field guide to getting lost by rebecca solnit
  3. my antonia by willa cather
  4. to the lighthouse by virginia woolf
  5. the bible (ecclesiastes was particularly beautiful, i thought)
  6. actual air by david berman
  7. the history of love by nicole krauss
  8. gilead by marilynne robinson
  9. the hours by michael cunningham
  10. never let me go by kazoo ishiguro


honorable mentions:

why not me? by mindy kaling
sacred marriage by gary thomas
tiny beautiful things by cheryl strayed
may cause miracles by gabbrielle bernstein

annndd that sums up my year of reading. hope everyone is having a good start to 2016.

xoxo,
marci

 

book report // 09

girl with flowers

september started off slow for me. i dont think i started reading anything until after my birthday (the 19th) – but i’ve been reading a lot since then.

i can really tell my friends and family know me well, because i received about 7 different books for my birthday. brent asks every year what i want, and i always tell him “just get me a book.” i think he thinks i’m being humble or low-maintenance or something, because i never ask for anything very grand. but i’m serious when i ask for a book – it’s the best gift. books give me a ridiculous amount of joy…especially real books, physical books, i’m not the kindle type. and yes, i’ve tried one. used to have one…gave it away.

so here is what i read in september:

my salinger year by joanna rakoff – this book was not entirely what i expected it to be, but i liked it. it’s an interesting, cozy, coming-of-age memoir. i read it in a day or two. if you’re looking for a good fall read i’d suggest it.

why not me? by mindy kaling – i love mindy kaling. i devoured her first memoir and passed it around to friends and family. this is her latest one that just came out this year. my sister, karissa, sent it to me for my birthday and i read this one just as fast as the first. i laughed out loud a lot…i just love her sense of humor and off-hand remarks about things. quick, easy, enjoyable read.

a poetry handbook by mary oliver – i’m kind of picky about poetry, but i love mary oliver. many times when i’m reading good poetry i’ll stop and think….i could write something like this. so when i saw this book at the thrift store i picked it up thinking it would encourage me to try my hand at poetry. i read through the book, still feeling confident….and then i sat down in front of a blank page. WRITING POETRY IS HARD. very hard. try to write some, you’ll find a whole new respect for your favorite poets.

i feel like i’m forgetting one more that i may have read…if so i’ll just include it in next month’s list. i’m currently reading one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. she’s a little flowery in her language, but the main point of the book is really encouraging me. i’ll write more about it in the october book report.

as always, feel free to send suggestions my way!

p.s. the picture is of a painting i did awhile ago – i’ve been posting art on a new instagram account – follow along at @marci.eliza

book report // 08

the books i read last month were ahhmazing. i loved all three.

kate's place

i’m not sure if they just came to me at the right time, or if they really are completely profound and beautiful and can stand on their own regardless of where you are in life. i don’t want to write a review for each, because i’m not really sure how to summarize them. anything i can think to write seems like it would be insufficient in expressing my feelings about them. you know how when you find something beautiful, but you try to explain it to someone else and the beauty is just totally lost? yeah, that’s what i think would happen.

so i’ll do something different this time around.

gilead

“I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing. I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.”

history of love

“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”

the dirty life

“I was forced to confront my own prejudice. I had come to the farm with the unarticulated belief that concrete things were for dumb people and abstract things were for smart people. I thought the physical world – the trades – was the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job. Did I really think that a person with a genius for fixing engines, or for building, or for husbanding cows, was less brilliant than a person who writes ad copy or interprets the law? Apparently I did, though it amazes me now.”

that’s all for this month. as always, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. as of right now, i have nothing lined up to read. halp.

you can read all previous book reports here.

book report // 04

here is what i read in april…

how the garcia girls lost their accents by julia alvarez: i read a book by this author while i was in college. i didn’t love it, and so although i’d heard that this one was good i was hesitant. i found it at goodwill in the beginning of april and decided to give it a try. i think i read it in a day or two. it’s an easy read, and i really enjoyed the way it was written (from the perspectives of all the daughters in the family). i liked it…i don’t think i’d give it five stars, but it’s worth a read.

neverletmego

never let me go by kazuo ishiguro: i really enjoyed this book. i haven’t read a ton of fiction lately…i like my memoirs a lot…but this was pretty good. a dystopian novel that slowly reveals more and more as you go. it was good, though pretty depressing.

dearsugar

tiny beautiful things (advice on love and life from dear sugar) by cheryl strayed: i’d have to say this was by far my favorite read of the month. i loved cheryl strayed’s memoir, “wild”, and i loved this book just as much if not more. it’s a compilation of advice columns that she wrote anonymously years ago, and she writes with such heart, honesty, humor, and humility that it’s hard to not fall in love with her. i cried through a few of the letters..and laughed at others. all in all a beautiful read.

how to love by thich nhat hanh: i think i first read a book by thich nhat hanh while i was still in high school. he encourages mindfulness, acceptance, and love. i learn something, and am reminded to be more compassionate and loving, every time i pick up one of his books. i haven’t quite finished this one yet, but it’s very small and doesn’t even have chapters, just little thoughts on how to love. it’s a good book to pick up every few days.

that’s all for this month. i found “a visit from the goon squad” at a thrift store a few weeks ago, and will probably start that soon. i’m also still trying to get through the bible in a year – i’m currently in jeremiah. i think one of my favorite books so far has been ecclesiastes, which was a surprise. it’s beautiful.

IMG_1209

brent and i went camping in big bend last week/weekend. it was so beautiful! i’m going to try to post some pictures sometime later this week (here’s a sneak peek). as always, feel free to leave reading suggestions in the comments. xo.

see book reports 1, 2, and 3 here.