Whatcha Reading, Ruth Dickey?

Every week we ask an interesting figure what they're digging into. Have ideas who we should reach out to? Let it fly: info@seattlereviewofbooks.com. Want to read more? Check out the archives.

Ruth Dickey is the Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, an avid reader, an ardent fan of independent bookstores, the original inspiration for this column, the only person to have done this column twice, and our current Poet in Residence for January. We've published two of her poems so far this month: "San Jose, Costa Rica", and "Seattle Winter".

What are you reading now?

Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties – I’m late to the party on this one but am loving these haunting stories, and can’t wait to hear her speak on 1/24.

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Towhey – I’m so excited to be hosting these brilliant journalists at the end of the month.

What did you read last?

As we crossed into 2020, I read a lot of books (helped by a 5-hour delay in O’Hare on the way to NC – thank goodness for airport bookstores!). And also when it feels like the world is imploding, I found myself looking for engrossing reads, intricate plots, and insight about love:

  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado – structurally brilliant and I can’t stop thinking about this book.
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – speaking of structurally brilliant, Rebecca Hoogs (SAL’s Associate Director) loaned me this one literally four years ago and I just read it - amazing.
  • Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – Robin Reagler, Executive Director of WITS Houston, recommended this one and I gobbled it up after finding it at an airport bookstore (and I should note the bookseller actually asked me where I heard of it because he’d sold so many copies the day I bought mine).
  • History of Love by Nicole Krauss – having finished all the books I’d packed, I picked this up at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC, because several folks I admire had raved about it.

What are you reading next?

I’m always asking folks for their recommendations and adding to my ever-growing stacks of things I want to read. For some reason I’ve been craving nonfiction, and so on the top of my current pile are: