What Are You Reading (offline, that is)?

what are you reading

We love to hear what our friends are reading when they step away from the computer. Drop us a line and let us know what’s blowing your mind. Erin Boyle, Reading My Tea Leaves State of Wonder by Ann Patchett This week I finally dug into Ann Patchett's State of Wonder and somehow, miraculously, I've made the adult decision to tend to weekday obligations rather than holing up in my bed for the duration and gobbling each delicious morsel. It's the kind of book I don't mind dog-earing. Or rather, it's the kind of book I can't help dog-earing--there is so much I'd like to return to later. A taste of my favorite passage so far: "Had they not been so hopeful and guileless her birth would have been impossible. Marina reimagined her parents as a couple of practical cynics and suddenly the entire film of her life spooled backwards until at last the small heroine disappeared completely."

Kelly Beall, Design Crush The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice I've been a huge Anne Rice fan since college, and I always eagerly await her next book. Anne's explored so many genres throughout her career that I was thrilled when I heard she was going back to her roots with the supernatural. I think you get the idea behind the book from the title, and so far it has not disappointed. I'm about 75% finished with the book and only started Monday! A great summer read, for sure.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Being not only a design blogger, but a graphic designer, Steve Jobs has played a massive role in my life through his creations at Apple. I was devastated when he passed away last year. This book is an all-revealing look at his life, not only the accomplishments and successes but also the mistakes and defeats. Biographies can tend to be slow-moving and dry, but I literally can't put this one down. A must for anyone who's life relies on the products he brought to life.

Shani Gilchrist, Camille Maurice Lately I find that the only way to plow through the books I want is to keep a few on my nightstand at a time. With work, kid,s and life it’s the best way to keep my reading momentum moving forward.

Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew Bergman I connected with Megan via Twitter through another writer who was giving me advice about returning to school for my MFA (I haven’t applied yet, but it’s still in my mind). It turned out that we both attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts in the 1990s, and then I was delighted to find her piece, “Housewifely Arts” in the latest edition of Best American Short Stories, so I couldn’t wait to read her collection. Megan is a teacher and mother with an uncanny ability to understand the varied conditions life stages-- from loneliness to amusement with one’s own state of affairs. I’ve been taking my time reading this collection because I find myself needing to process the emotions of each main character.

Guide To South Carolina Vegetable Gardening by Walter Reeves & Felder Rushing I’m a South Carolinian with a decent sized yard and an irrigation system. Therefore I try to grow stuff. Last fall we had a storm with downdraft winds so strong that they left us trapped on our block with a pulsing and swollen creek on one side and fallen trees blocking street. The good news—the despised 100-foot pine behind our koi pond had to be removed as a result, leaving room for what will be a vegetable garden. The book is a great guide to when and how to plant various herbs, fruits and vegetables in our temperamental climate.

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman I developed a huge girl crush on Elif Batuman when I read her New Yorker piece about traveling through eastern Turkey to observe a mysteriously intense orinthologist. A neighbor who is a friend from high school borrowed (stole) the book while housesitting for us a few months ago. I just got it back and am as smothered with the book’s fascination with Russian culture and literature as I am by the topics on their own. It is a fantastic testament to the timelessness of Russian storytelling and the lives of people who love books.

Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness: What It Means To Be Black Now by Touré The introduction to this book is captivatingly true. We live in an age where people deprive themselves of experiences because of their racial identity, yet we live in an age where we believe that the election of the first president of color is supposed to liberate us from such behavior. Both attitudes are extreme in their own way, and Touré provides an unflinching look at the most recent complexities of race and culture.