Holiday Reading List

Not so strangely enough, I am an avid reader. However, I do SO MUCH reading at work that pleasure reading has been winnowed down to reading half a page in bed before passing out and losing my place.

But then I had SEVEN days off in a row! Don’t worry, I still haven’t finished anything I am reading right now and this list is only a small selection of what’s sitting in stacks on end tables that I pick through whenever I get a chance.

Tik Maynard, In the Middle are the Horsemen

If you ride horses and you haven’t started reading this one yet, you are missing out. The engaging narrative starts with how this guy’s journey into exploring all aspects of horsemanship got started and goes from there. I am still reading, so I can’t possibly provide you with spoilers, but so far it’s my top horse book of 2018.

James Comey, A Higher Loyalty

In some part due to my employment, I rarely if ever seek out politically-motivated nonfiction. I mean … I am surrounded by it. But this particular title piques my interest. I think the Comey firing that could have been scandal enough for a year, let alone a week, turned out to be merely a prelude to bigger and weirder and more confounding … actions … of the current White House. Comey’s writing is clear and it’s not so much about the current leader of the free world as it is about approaches to leadership and civic duty that work, versus those that don’t.


On to my favorite type of fiction ever! Gothic. There are SO MANY titles I could recommend if you are at all interested in Gothic literature, particularly from the late eighteenth century through the Victorian Era. I have been wending my way through the “horrid” novels mentioned in a conversation between Isabella Thorpe and Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Which is also good. I am not much of a Jane Austen fan (team Brontë over here) but she satirizes Gothic fiction extremely well. Anyway, back to Clermont … it has all the classic elements of a Gothic tale: abandoned castle ruins, innocent young lady, curiously handsome, dark stranger …. yes, I know, it BEGS satirization. And I LOVE it. The writing is overwrought, as is often the case in Gothic fiction. I can’t get enough of it.

The New Annotated Frankenstein

Here’s one I got for Christmas. Could not be a more spot-on gift. Frankenstein IS my favorite book. It provides endless literary facets to explore. I’ve read it, both the 1818 (which is the currently in-vogue version with scholars and my preference) and the 1831 revision, many times. I have read all kinds of derivative works on it. I have studied with glee Byron’s “ghost story challenge” that spawned the novel. As epistolary novels go, it is one of the topmost influential examples in the English language. I cannot wait to pore over this book during my four-day weekend!

Did you get to do any reading over the holidays? Horse books? Great fiction? Anything for political or news junkies?

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