As February ends, I start looking ahead to the March book theme—geography. So broad as to be overwhelming, even if one limits oneself to one’s own books. (For those of you who don’t follow my reading proclivities, I have a lot of books—a few thousand. The book themes serve to bring some of the older titles to the head of the class, and I’ve discovered some gems.)
Back to topic: Geography. Going through the books I had pulled off the shelves (without a thorough scan) I found a lot of America. So I’ve decided to focus on America for the geography theme (all of a sudden I had a throwback to sixth-grade, where I decided to focus on Fort Snelling for my history theme project—don’t know where to go with that but remind you I’m in Minnesota, which is home to Fort Snelling, which we visited when I was a kid).
I’ve already started a nonfiction book in the March Geography theme. I finished a nonfiction book a few days ago, and towards the end of the month, I always like to move ahead into the next theme. As I perused titles, I noticed America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, by James Gustave Speth. I’ve a keen interest in economics and the balance of consumerism and sustainability. I’m not against buying things, but living in our consumer culture (70% of the U.S. economy is based on consumption), which is basically just getting people to buy more things, has gotten a bit over the top for me. So I’m interested in different economic models (anything downwards of 70% is a good start).
And that, really, was the start of the America theme. Also in the nonfiction arena that pulled me in this direction:
- What Is America? Ronald Wright
- Janesville: An American Story, Amy Goldstein
- Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, Stephen G. Bloom
- Heartland, Sarah Smarsh
- Still Life in Harlem, Eddy L. Harris
- American Bloomsbury, Susan Cheever
- American Wasteland, Jonathan Bloom
Fiction also has a number of stars. I am looking forward to:
- Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
- The Kingdom of Ohio, Matthew Flaming
- Kitchens of the Great Midwest, J. Ryan Stradal
- An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Poetry is also falling into my subtheme, at least a little bit, with:
- American Smooth, Rita Dove
- American Primitive, Mary Oliver
- The San Francisco Haiku Anthology
So I have decided to focus on America for the March reading theme; no generic city, country, state or territory (that could be its own theme for sure).
But America gets old, and I’d like to take a vacation or two. I have several options:
- Versailles, Kathryn Davis
- Murder in the Marais, Cara Black
- The Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven Galloway
- Frankenstein in Baghdad, Ahmed Saadawi
- A Palestine Affair, Jonathan Wilson
- South Pole Station, Ashley Shelby
- The Rain in Portugal, Billy Collins
March looks promising. Thirty-one days. So long compared to February. And every day, three more minutes of sunlight. Happy reading all—spring is around the corner!