On two recent episodes of Reading Glasses, Mallory and Brea talked about the books that would be on a shelf to encapsulate who they are as readers right now–books that best exemplify their current interests, tastes, wheelhouses. Their book selves. Those very Mallory and Brea books.
It’s not exactly a shelf of favorite books, though I’m sure some of their favorite books are on their lists. It’s more a snapshot of the kinds of books that appeal to them right now, the kinds of reading they find most engaging today. It’s a list that could definitely change.
What books would I put on my own book selfie shelf to represent my reading tastes right now?
Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri. Wistful literary fiction in translation where nothing much happens beyond observations and descriptions.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Cerebral space opera with a sentient spaceship. Sentient spaceships are number one on my reading wheelhouse.
No. 91/92: Diary of a Year on the Bus by Lauren Elkin. A diary of a year in which nothing much happens but with acute observations and vivid descriptions.
News of the World by Paulette Giles. I would read literary Westerns nonstop if only there were enough of them.
Bird Art Life by Kyo Maclear. A book about writing and bird watching structured as a year of acute observations and vivid descriptions in which nothing much happens? There’s definitely a theme here.
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. 20th-century British women’s novels with older protagonists, biting wit, and an unsparing view of humanity? Also yes.
Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith. Wide-ranging essays on literature and life, warm, erudite, never taking themselves too seriously.
Recommendations welcome, of course. And what would be on your reading identity bookshelf?
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