Reading Surge

With my completion of the very difficult (for me) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and a discussion with some of my future classmates about our recently-read books, I realized how very far behind I am in the 100 Books Challenge.  More than halfway through the year, and I’m still in the 30s!  (Mansfield Park made 33.)

With that in mind, I now know how desperately I need to get cracking on my reading list.  I know I should be reading more than I have been, especially since I’m going to school in the fall, but work this summer has really not been helpful to my summer reading, and I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I should immersed in my books.

So instead of going to the library to fill up on “junk” books — grabbing every young adult novel in sight, as I normally do — I’ve decided to do something different.

I’m going through my own personal library and rediscovering books I haven’t touched in ages.

The first three books on my Rediscovering list:

  1. The Great Wing by Louis A. Tartaglia.  I received this book when I was in grade school and we read it as a class.  The book is a parable based on the migration of a flock of geese.  It really is a beautiful book — at least, that’s how I remember it.  Honestly, I should probably re-read it before making judgments.
  2. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang.  This is the book on which I wrote my Honors thesis while at the University of Toledo, which I did during my second year of college.  You can read more about the book here, since it’s much too complicated for a brief summary here on this blog, but the book had a huge impact on my life and the way I thought of myself, since I’m half Asian-American and half European-American.
  3. Dread by Ai.  I’m not a huge poetry person; I really enjoy writing it, but I don’t usually go out of my way to find a poet.  Ai’s work is totally different for me.  For some reason, I fell in love with Ai, especially the collection Dread.  It’s terribly sad and very dark, but somehow still beyond beautiful.

I’m reading these three books this week, though by the time you read this I’ll probably have at least one of them done.  All of them are under 150 pages, with the actual play portion of M. Butterfly under 100 pages, and I’m definitely familiar enough with M. Butterfly to zip through it.

After I finish these, I plan to read a few other books: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, loaned to me by my boyfriend; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which I haven’t touched since high school; Legend by Marie Lu; Erin Morgenstern’s beautiful novel The Night Circus; and, naturally, the entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.  Brave New World is the only one I’ve never read, and the rest will all be re-read.

Threaded throughout the re-reads, I’ll be making an attempt at Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  I know it’s very strange I haven’t read it yet, but — like Mansfield Park — I was always for some reason unable to make my way through it.

Do you have any book recommendations?


Published by Feliza

Feliza Casano is a writer and editor with a love of speculative fiction, graphic novels, and good books. She writes and edits at Girls in Capes ( and contributes to other websites on science fiction and fantasy topics.


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