Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten TBR Titles for Fall

It's announcement time, ladies and gentlemen!  I, Soy Chai Book Lady, am.... going back to school!  After a year of griping about crappy jobs and a useless English degree (which I so loved earning), I'm returning to Rutgers to for a Masters degree in Social Work.  Classes start on Thursday, and I couldn't be more excited.  There are a lot of reasons I've decided to switch tracks into social work but I won't bore you with them here.  The point of today's post is to talk about some reading decisions.

In undergrad, I generally saved up books I wanted to read for breaks and lulls in my syllabi, because multiple English classes generally gave me enough to be getting along with.  Now, though, I actually get to keep choosing my books year round which has been giving me some things to consider: should I tackle one long book over the semester?  Maybe stick with short stories so that it won't matter as much if I'm distracted and can't read for a few days?  Maybe reread some past loves?  Or just read as normal and see where it takes me?  I've decided to do a combo of rereads that I never seem to get around to, because they're familiar and gaps in reading won't be as difficult to overcome, and short stories because, well, they're short and will easily fit into my schedule.

This whole thought process leads me to today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List.  The following are the books and story collections I hope to/plan to/may not actually tackle in the coming months:

1) The Awakening by Kate Chopin: I actually just started this short novel last night.  My edition comes with some short stories by Chopin as well, so it should keep me busy for the first week of the semester.
2) My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer: I love retold fairy tales and have been meaning to pick up this collection of forty short tales for a while now, so when I saw it at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, I knew that now was the perfect time to add it to my list.
3) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Making an appearance for the second week running, this is an old favorite of mine that I plan to revisit over the next semester.  What with my course load and multiple part-time jobs, it may take the entire semester, but that's okay too.
4) The Boat by Nam Le: After reading about this story collection on Lucia's reading list of Australian fiction over at The Blue Bookcase, I rather impulsively added it to an order I was already putting together from AbeBooks.  It sounds lovely, so why not?
5) The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde: This is neither a reread nor a short story, but it is a fun, light read that will probably make it's way into my semester.
6) Hateship, Courtship, Friendship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro: I started this collection of short stories while I was writing my own collection for my senior honors thesis, but quickly realized that it wasn't connected to my project (I was focusing on connections of connected stories) and stopped reading.  I did like it though, so I think it's finally time to pick it back up and give it the attention it deserves.
7) The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I feel all bandwagon-getting-on for adding this to the list, but my book club chose it for our September book pick, so what can I do?  In all fairness, it does sound interesting; I just don't feel any specific desire to read it.
8) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Okay, so I know I just read this, but I loved it so much that it's worth rereading.  Also, it's our October book pick so that gives me an excuse. :]

Okay so I only hit eight, but considering that I'm going to have four classes to attend a week, 15 hours a week of field placement, and two part-time jobs (three if I get a research assistantship), I think this is already an overly ambitious reading list.  What will you be reading over the coming months?


  1. Congrats on deciding to go back to school! I feel your my-English-degree-is-useless pain.

    I think I'm going to jump on the Help bandwagon soon too. The pull is strong.

  2. Congrats on going back to school! I have to admit I am kind of jealous...first, that you're going back to Rutgers. I'm not sure I'd want to go back there, but when I was in NJ and taking the train home from jersey city, seeing new brunswick made me go all weepy. Second, that you are doing social work, which a few of my friends have gotten into and sounds rewarding and interesting if not the right path for me. Third, I guess just plain that you are going back to school, because there are not many things more fun than shopping in the college bookstore or sitting up in the library at all hours, struggling to not fall asleep on top of notes for a paper.

    I bought my mother she killed me months and months ago, read a couple stories and then moved off onto something else. I want to return to this one, though, because I love retold fairy tales too.

    I can't wait to read about your return to school!

  3. Congrats on going back to school, and hope that you enjoy the course :)