Bauman’s Latest Reading Report

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I've been much delayed in writing this or anything else lately, due to walking pneumonia. I'm not really sure what that means, but the symptoms matched the descriptor: For about a month, I was quite able to walk around but not so able to breathe. It was uncomfortable. Sometimes I secretly like being sick because I can lay about and read for hours on end with no guilt. This latest illness, though, made even reading un-fun, so I didn't do much of it.

But some reading did occur. And here's where I am right now. First, I'm thoroughly enjoying Girl With Glasses by Marissa Walsh (Simon & Schuster). Full disclosure, Marissa is a friend, as well as a one-time contributor to Identity Theory, and S&S is my publisher. These connections will not stop me from happily and enthusiastically hawking her very funny book, the subtitle of which is "My Optic History," which should say what you need to know, and does, so there you are. Ten pairs of glasses into her life, Marissa takes a look back at the joys and challenges of being a GWG. Even at age 36, I'm still holding on to 20/20 vision, however I am married to someone who bumps into things when not wearing her glasses, and whose glasses-adorned face I adore and cannot imagine glasses-less. This book is a great affirmation of the romantic decision I made. A fun, fantastic, dare I say visionary book.

I'm also happily making my way through Spit Baths, a new collection of short stories by Greg Downs (University of Georgia Press). Downs is my kind of writer, and I am enjoying this book immensely. In describing how the women of a family have decided to live without men, Downs says, "They simply exhaled the men like sighs from their houses." This is a beautifully crafted collection.

And I just finished a book from 2003, Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, about Fundamentalist Mormons, with a fair amount of LDS mainstream Mormon history thrown in for context. Fascinating stuff, from a writer I've long admired.

Happy New Year.

-Chris Bauman

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