Last weekend I spent a night at my mom's house, as she is getting older and sometimes needs a little additional help.
It actually turned out to be kind of a nice night without the Internet (she doesn't have it at her house) and TV (which I didn't want to watch because I didn't want to be too noisy). Luckily I had planned accordingly and taken enough books. What was in my travel bag?
Edward Snowden's memoir Permanent Record, which I have read before but wanted to read again because, hello, Edward Snowden, I could read about Edward Snowden for a thousand hours and still not get bored.
Terry Brooks's The Elfstones of Shannara, because even us nonfiction kids need a little fantasy every now and then, and it's a good nostalgia read, since I haven't read any Terry Brooks since I was about twelve.
Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities, because I'm reading it for background info for a novel project I'm working on, and might I just say, goddamn, Jane Jacobs even makes sociological writing interesting.
Kathy Aarons's Truffled to Death: A Chocolate Covered Mystery, because sometimes lately I just need a cozy mystery.
The essay collection Table Talk from The Threepenny Review, because I just subscribed to The Threepenny Review in print and have really been enjoying the short essays I find there. (And, let's face it, I am trying to learn how to write essays because I had a lot of essay rejections this year and I'm desperate to know what I'm doing wrong.)
Daniel Berrigan's Essential Writings, because the actor John Cusack responded to me at Twitter and suggested I read Berrigan and also Noam Chomsky. And when Lloyd Dobler talks, friends, I LISTEN.
Last but not least: Robert Jackall's Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers, because I want to live blog reading this bad boy next year. I'm ten pages in and it has basically explained America to me.
I also wrote in my journal and did some other work and a few hours after she first went to bed my mom woke up and had kind of a surreal conversation with me, in which I learned a few details about my own birth.
Wild times in CR Land. My hope for you this holiday season is that, wherever you are, you have enough books.*
*In other news, title links now go to my affiliate store at Bookshop.org; anything you buy there after entering the site through these links sends a small percentage of the purchase price my way. Thank you!