30 Comments
author

Ha! Hey everyone, turns out I had comments turned off. I was wondering why everyone was keeping their reading lists so close to their chests. Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

Expand full comment
Jun 29, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Have you read H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald? Lovely book about the author and a new goshawk she trains as part of grieving after her father’s death. But what connects to your post is that interweaved into the book is a biography of TH White and in particular his attempts at training hawks and generally living a certain kind of medieval English countryside life that he aspired to. It’s a great book - really evocative descriptions of East Anglian landscapes too. I bought The Sword in the Stone for my boys as a result of this book - I think I read it when young but not sure. It’s sitting on their shelf unread so I think it should be our next read aloud book whilst they still let me (they are 10 and 8)!

Expand full comment
author

I did read H is for Hawk and I liked it...pretty well. But it did provide some interesting background that I keep recalling as we're reading TOAFK... Good luck prolonging that read-aloud time!

Expand full comment

Oh gosh I started this book and it was so good, but the cruelty of White made me sick to my stomach and I couldn't finish it. Should I power through?

Also, on that note, we have a few hawks in our backyard and after watching one of them recently, and having a lot of feelings about its struggle to hunt, my husband suggested we listen to the Parable of the Sower audiobook together. The main character has "hyperempathy" syndrome. So I guess this is the story of how Parable of the Sower and H is for Hawk will now forever be connected in my mind.

Expand full comment

Ooh that's been on my TBR so for long!

Expand full comment
Jul 1, 2022·edited Jul 1, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land is a sublime modern novel in the classic style, and one of the best things I've read in a *long* time.

And since we are in the depths of winter here in Australia, I have a Winter Reading List instead -

Currently reading:

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Then:

Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro (short stories by a master novelist)

Phase Six - Jim Shepard (novel by a master short story writer)

Collected Stories - Shirley Hazzard (underrated Australian writer; somewhere in the weird territory between Katherine Mansfield and Shirley Jackson, by way of Alice Munro)

Expand full comment
Jun 30, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

After making my way through all of Austen and the Brontë sisters, I’m currently reading Nicholas Nickleby, thanks to your initial post about Dickens. It definitely satisfies my penchant for semicolons 😂. I love the work you have to put in to keep track of all the thoughts Dickens crams into one sentence (much like Austen). I often have to read three to four times to fully grasp everything, and I feel quite triumphant at the end. Yay, me! I understood a paragraph! Totally digging his style of sarcasm, too.

Do you ever read from the Brontë sisters? I highly recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Expand full comment
author

I’ve read Wuthering Heights and that’s it, I’m ashamed to say. Will def check out this Wildfell Hall book...

Expand full comment

I can't think about Wuthering Heights without also simultaneously hearing Kate Bush singing in my head.

Expand full comment
Jun 30, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I’m planning on reading Black Cake, Postcolonial Love Poem, The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, Four Treasures of the Sky, One Italian Summer, and Sorrowland this summer!

Expand full comment

TOAFK is amazing, I advised my eldest when he didn't want to pick it up again this summer that the 1st page tells how the kids governess gets fired for showing her A%% to Sir Ector and they found out she spent years in a lunatic asylum. I am reading to my 10 and 8 year old this summer. I need this book to become a part of their conciousness. TH White is hilarious in spite of this ugly world.

Expand full comment
Jun 29, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I was lucky enough to end up with the art for the murals at Travelers' Rest 2, the ones with the TOAFK quote (wish I could share a pic):

"But I, Lyow, choose Lay-making, of loud lilts which linger.

Horn-music, Laughter song, Epic-heart, Ape-the-world:

These Lyow, the singer."

They're being framed by Emily J. right now and should be amazing when I pick them up in August.

I am currently reading We Lived in Berlin by Hannelore Krollpfeiffer, who happens to be my friend Steve's mother-in-law. It's about her life in the closing days of WWII as the Allies moved in. She was always an interesting person to talk to but it turns out she was a long time magazine editor and author in Germany and led a far more amazing life than I ever imagined, and then also this book! Her daughter Katrine, who is a rad person and killer bass player, translated this book and it is only just now available in English (sorry for the Amazon link, not available at Powell's last I looked).

https://www.amazon.com/We-Lived-Berlin-Story-About/dp/B09SBVC83Y

Expand full comment
author

Cool!

Expand full comment
Jun 29, 2022Liked by Colin Meloy

I've been in kind of a slump but I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid just pulled me out of it and now I've got a bunch of horror/horror adjacent titles I'm hoping to get to. Devil House by John Darnielle has ben in the TBR pile since it came out. Some new stuff I'm on the library waitlist for, Hacienda by Isabel Cañas, The Fervor by Alma Katsu, Black Tide by KC Jones. Honestly I don't know much about them I'm just going to dive in!

Expand full comment

Watched the movie last year and immediately had to read that book!

Expand full comment
Jul 1, 2022·edited Jul 1, 2022

Ahh I need to check out the movie! I loved the book it gave me an incredibly dreadful feeling like "Oh god I don't want to keep reading because something awful is going to happen but I HAVE to keep reading!" That's my favorite feeling when I'm reading because I like to torture myself I guess lol.

Expand full comment

I read that book cover to cover in a sitting. Bring on the dread! I totally get that feeling!

Expand full comment

Heck yeah! If you like that feeling and like horror and haven't already read him, Nathan Ballingrud's short story collections "Wounds" and "North American Lake Monsters" gave me that same feeling big time!

Expand full comment

I haven't - thank you, and short stories sound GREAT considering my attention span at the moment.

Expand full comment

BIG TIME RELATABLE

Expand full comment

Currently reading The Overstory by Richard Powers... 100% lives up to all the hype! High recommend. Short stories about people, history + trees. Great characters, even greater trees. Thanks for the TOAFK tip. :)

Expand full comment

I started The Overstory last year and didn't finish it. This is inspiring me to pick it up again!

Expand full comment

Total recommend. Funny b/c when I first picked it up I put it right back down. It sat around for a month or two until I picked up again. Now I don't even understand why I put it down!!

Expand full comment

Still reading and it gets even better. Want to say so much more!! There are 3 sections in the book: Roots, Trunk, Branches. Just started Trunk. This author is brilliant.

Expand full comment

I love your commentary. I was watching Before Midnight and the commentary was talking how everyone in Greece was well educated and you could have an intelligent conversation with anyone you met on the street. Must be like your circle of friends.

Expand full comment

Coming in late (my summer reading clearly doesn’t include staying caught up on email newsletters), but: you worked in a bookstore in ‘03 and ‘04? I would have thought the band was a full-time concern by then. I guess not!

Expand full comment

Read TOAFK in Honors English back in '96 but would love to revisit (perhaps I will read to my 11 year old after we finish the second Wildwood ;) Currently reading (to myself) Mother Noise, a memoir that is about both addiction and motherhood, separately. For a lightweight summer "period piece" that is truly a kick, I recommend Valley of the Dolls.

Expand full comment
Jul 4, 2022·edited Jul 5, 2022

Thanks for sharing that about your sons. Very similar experience with our boys - the first one Charles loved being ready to at bedtime. I read him the complete LOTR. His mom read him The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, and the complete Harry Potter series. His brother Ian preferred more spontaneity, so I “invented” a long-running series on The World’s Greatest Mountain Man and spun a stream of consciousness episode every night. My summer reading list includes Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery and Plain, Honest Men by Richard Beeman. And on your recommendation I am now going to finally tackle The Once And Future King.

EDIT: Put away Soul Of An Octopus for now. Just purchased Sword In The Stone on eBay, so that one’s gonna be next.

Expand full comment

Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So. Recommended by my local independent bookstore, here's the note they left inside the book for me: "This book is gorgeous, heavy and affecting. It was So's debut. He was a rising star in the literary world who unfortunately passed away before this book came out. We are so lucky to have his work and stories still with us. I hope you love these characters at much as we did."

Expand full comment

Just reading the description of Bloodlands on Wikipedia gave me absolute chills.

Expand full comment