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35 Books for a Spooky Season TBR!

Happy SPOOKY SEASON, also known as THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR. For me Spooky Season starts on September 1st and ends sometime around the end of November, so I’ve got a good three months to tackle this TBR, but even so, it’s extremely ambitious and it’s highly unlikely I will read all of these unless my slumpy mood suddenly improves rapidly and significantly. (Also, there are a bunch of season new releases coming out in the next few months that may impact this TBR. We shall see.)

Also, I’m doing something slightly different this year, in an attempt to make a dent in the books I physically own, so the majority of these books are off my physical TBR! I kind of went through my bookshelves and picked out all the books I need to read that are seasonally appropriate.

This is one of my absolute favorite posts to make; I love thinking about what seasonal books I’m going to read for my favorite time of the year, and I’m really excited about all of these books I’ve chosen!

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13 Books I Want to Reread

A few years ago I wrote up a similar post about books I’d like to reread, but I wanted to do an updated version that was more niche. In this case, these are books I want to reread for one of two reasons:

  1. I distinctly recall enjoying the book very much, but have almost entirely forgotten it, and could not recall specific details if my life depended on it.
  2. I read it when I was much younger and would like to reread it with a fresh, older perspective to see how I feel about it now.

Most of the books I mention fall under a combination of two of these conditions.

I am also trying to stay away from series starters, which fall under a whole other category (yes, several of the books I mention are technically part of a series but can also stand alone, so I’m not counting them).

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Fireside Chats: How to Read Nonfiction

As a history major, one of my required courses was historiography, or the study of historical writing. I didn’t retain very much from the course, mainly because it was taught through the lens of colonial American history, which at the time did not interest me in the slightest (and still doesn’t, unless it’s filtered through Hamilton), but one thing my professor taught us left an indelible mark, and that thing was: how to read a historical monograph.

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Book Review: A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed

A Border Passage: From Cairo to America — A Woman’s Journey
Leila Ahmed

Penguin, 1999
★★★★☆

It was as if there were to life itself a quality of music in that time, the era of my childhood, and in that place, the remote edge of Cairo. There the city petered out into a scattering of villas leading into tranquil country fields. On the other side of our house was the profound, unsurpassed quiet of the desert.

With these vivid, lyrical words, Leila Ahmed begins her memoir. With this almost languid imagery she establishes what will be the tone of her life story. At times incredibly personal, at others broad and historical, Ahmed interweaves her own personal history of growing up in Egypt with the more general history of the country itself, which was going through turbulent times as Ahmed was growing up.

It is, above all, a gorgeously told story, rich with colorful imagery and evocative prose. Ahmed’s writing skill is unparalleled. True, sometimes you can tell that she is an academic and not a novelist, in that at times the writing comes across a bit too formal, a bit too stilted, and perhaps a bit too detached, but it never stops being beautiful.

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