October Reads

October was long. I mean, so are all the other months, but October seemed like a marathon. I think it was just... well everything, right? I had some moments where I really had to rally and keep moving, but that's everyone these days. The month definitely ended on a high note, though, since I spent the evening with one of my best friends outside in her lovely backyard on Friday and then we had a super festive Halloween at home. Sawyer went as Harry Potter and we walked around the neighborhood to see the decorations and ended the night with excessive candy eating and screen time.

Reading was another bright spot, the five books I finished each being outstanding. I read two two foodie memoirs this month, David Chang's Eat a Peach and Hungry by Jeff Gordinier. Chang's book is about his rise from a young golfing prodigy who choked to the king of Momofuku. He writes in his typical voice, one part ego and one part self-deprecating (he's a lot like Anthony Bourdain in that way). Jeff Gordinier, a food writer, wrote about his time with one of the best chefs in the world, Rene Redzepi, traveling the world and learning about foraging. I loved that this was part travelogue and part restaurant industry homage.

For work I read "Master Harold"...and the boys (yes, the punctuation is intentional) by Athol Fugard, a play set in South Africa during the Apartheid. This is my fourth time reading and teaching the text, but it felt so much more relevant this year, given the racial inequality in our current times.

Our English department book club read Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous and lemme tell ya, that book is all-the-way gorgeous. The writing, the raw emotion, the narrator's honesty... just so good (probably a contender for my top ten of the year). Little Dog tells a story about being the son a single mom who is struggling from severe PTSD after the Vietnam war, his sexuality, and finding his voice. It's the perfect example of how to do a coming-of-age story right. 

Finally, I just finished Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout and I loved very second of it, just like I did the first Olive book (which I might go back and reread). Strout crafts stories about the people in the small Maine town and weaves in Olive's life around them, so that it feels like a short story collection and novel at the same time. This book made me miss my grandparents so much and simultaneously look forward to aging and be terrified of it. 

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