This edition of All reserved was originally emailed to subscribers on January 3, 2023. To get our literary newsletter delivered to your inbox, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.
Hello, book lovers!
Welcome to 2023. Ahh… a new year and endless possibilities! Like most of you, I’m sure, I’ve spent the last week reflecting on 2022 and the kinds of things I want to bring this year. As for reading, I’ve cut back on book clubs and other “must reads.” I want to resume reading for myself and for fun.
I’m definitely a mood reader, which means I have to be in the mood for a certain type of book to enjoy it. It’s a curse, especially when I run a book club and need to read a specific book in a certain amount of time. So in 2023, I’m going to read with my gut. It might mean I’m going to read an entire series at once because I want to stay in that universe. The 2022 me would have been worried about not having enough variety for this newsletter. And I guess I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about it yet, but I’m trying to be more okay with it. In 2022, I found myself in several reading crises because I was struggling through a book that did not work for me. Reading should be fun. Period. It is a form of entertainment. So it’s your disclaimer that you’ll get my unfiltered reading this year. In this newsletter, you’ll see what I’ve read, what I’m looking forward to reading, and, of course, recommendations. I hope this will result in more books read, more books liked, and more books shared.
I also want to get to know you a little better. What kind of books do you usually read? Do you primarily read one genre or do you read a variety of genres? Do you primarily read physical books, e-books, or audiobooks? Do you like different formats for different genres? I gathered a short survey it will help me to know your reading tastes. I have also included a few questions on this newsletter. I want your comments. What kind of things would you like to see included? Do you have any suggestions for topics? It’s completely anonymous and just for fun.
During the holidays, I read two books. One I loved and the second one wasn’t for me, but I can see why others like it. I’ve included locations for both below.
I’m a big proponent of going into a book knowing as little as possible. I try not to read synopses or reviews too much because most of them overshare. My pitches below are short and sweet just for that reason.
A week ago, I hadn’t read a single book by Fredrik Backman. His books are so popular and get amazing reviews, so I was a little worried that I might not feel the same way. But I was so wrong. I absolutely loved Backman’s bear town. The book follows a small town whose heart and soul is in its high school hockey team. Even if you don’t like sports or hockey, I know you would still love this book.
If you have read this before and liked it, then I think you might like to read michigan vs the boys by Carrie S. Allen. You can also enjoy watching Alaskan filletsa film that came to SBIFF a few years ago.
I originally took I want to die but I want to eat tteokbokki by Baek Sehee because one of my favorite book podcasts, Unbound books, made it a community reading. I generally like memoirs, but I didn’t like the format of this book. This memoir is mostly told in a dialogue between Sehee and her psychiatrist. It’s an intimate look at his therapy sessions. Personally, I struggled through it and didn’t have to keep reading. I finished it but was disappointed with my reading experience. I think I expected something different from what was given.
If you are interested in memoirs on mental health, complex trauma healing and therapy, then I recommend What my bones know by Stephanie Foo. Foo was a producer on This American life, and here are his memoirs. Definitely check the content disclaimers for this book if you are considering picking it up.
As always, I would love to hear from you. What did you read while on vacation? What is your first reading of 2023? let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also, if you have time, I would like you to take my investigation.
Your loving bookworm, Emily
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