Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reverb 5 Reading

5. Reading
What has been your favorite book (or books if you can’t pick just one) that you’ve read this year?

I haven’t read many books this year. I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read, for example Brene Brown’s wise and generous The Gifts of Imperfection; Michele Norris’s The Grace of Silence, which documents not only racial history in America but the author’s coming to know family secrets; Jessica Kristie’s Dreaming in Darkness, rich with stories of survival after heartbreak and insights into the author’s own writing process; and Elaine Schuh’s The Traz, delightful and improbable romp of a young brainiac who joins a biker gang.

One that especially made an impression is Present Value by Sabin Willet. It’s a book about value, the monetary kind and in life. It was timely to read around the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, which are mentioned in the book, and then a company and a family implode. There’s elements of uncertainty, the characters are drawn sympathetically, even the wife who is addicted to her Blackberry who then finds herself fallen on the concrete on an icy January day. Maybe I connected with this story because it takes place in my part of the world, I identified with parents being disconnected from their children, the flashbacks to college and the idiosyncratic economics lecturer, and the timeframe of the story paralleled an unsettling time for me. I don’t know if it is my favorite reading from this year but one that haunts me at the moment.


  1. I loved Brene Brown's book and TED talk -- such wonderful views on vulnerability and the marriage of research and personal insight. I'll add Present Value to my reading list!

  2. Thank you for writing, Roxanne. I loved the book and TED talk too, which introduced me to Brene's work. Thank you for your great blog posts and introducing me to great reading through Twitter, the Pico Iyer quiet essay was eye-opening.