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Showing posts from August, 2017

Monday....musings? August 28

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The things that feel summery-y for me are coming to an end: our summer hours at work, which end after this week; vacation for school kids; college kids moving into the dorms; a kind of shift in the weather from muggy heat to tolerable heat; the farm in full harvest mode.

We went camping this weekend, and it was really perfect; I finished Ship Fever which was unbelievable. I love historical short fiction in a way I don't always love short fiction generally -- and while a few of Barrett's stories were too neat, the titular story was un-believable. I'm currently in the throes of Damon Galgut's Arctic Summer, which was a free range reading find, and now confirms I'm just going to browse the library or catalog subject index until a title or book cover catches my attention. (I'm still struggling to finish Middlemarch for my 9/21 bookclub!)

Inspired by Andi of Estella's Revenge, I'm starting to think a little more -- creatively -- about what I want to do with …

Bout of Books, Day 2 and Wordless Wednesday, August 23

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Yesterday I started, and nearly finished Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut, a short novel about E.M. Forster. It's just beautiful! and so poignant! and bittersweet! and sad! and talks about exoticization (this is a word, right?) of people of color and repressed homosexual impulses and writing and travel and moms and ... basically, it's working for me and has lured me away from my other current reads which is ... good?

My Wordless Wednesday offering is today's Bout of Books challenge: book spine rainbow!

My rainbow is less rainbow-y than it should be, I realize, but it was the best I could do between making dinner, getting toddler to bed, and, obviously, reading! (It's very blue-y which I vaguely recall reading somewhere is the most used color for book covers, maybe because it's a popular color? or something...? Any book cover/design nerds care to weigh in?)

Bout of Books Update, Day 1 and Teaser Tuesday, August 22

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My teaser for this week's Teaser Tuesday comes from the volume of short stories I'm reading: Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett.

It's a fabulous volume (winner of the National Book Award in 1996) and though I'm naturally disinclined toward short fiction, they're working for me now. I'm a little overtired and suffering from allergies, so these short, subtle stories are perfect for distracting me.
During our brief courtship, I told Richard only the things that I thought would make him love me., from "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds".#boutofbooks Day 1 Update

I managed a little reading yesterday -- more Middlemarch and more Ship Fever -- and I hope tonight to finish the latter. I did my six-word intro on Instagram yesterday.

Bout of Books!

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Like a cat and cardboard box, I can't pass up a readathon. Plus, I'm in a reading funk but recently got a stack of library books so ... Bout of Books, here I come!

Here's info about this readathon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Are you participating? I'm hoping to finish Ship Fever tonight and then think I'll start my new Penelope Lively novel.

Weekend reads and some free-range reading...

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After going through a glut of reads compelling enough to keep me reading, I've hit a dry spell.

Despite being on the hook for a number of reviews, the galleys and digital ARCs just haven't grabbed me. So I did some browsing through my library's online catalog and made some impulse requests, and so far, the experiment has worked!

My weekend reads is Andrea Barrett's short story collection, Ship Fever, which has been recommended to me more than once by a variety of readers I trust. I grabbed some books that I'm familiar with -- a Penelope Lively I haven't read, The Girl from Rawblood which crossed my radar sometime in the last twelve months -- as well as some I've never heard of -- Silvina Ocampo.

I'll resume Middlemarch on Monday.

What are you reading this weekend?

Muddling through Middlemarch...

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I'm muddling my way through Middlemarch, a read I've long had on my TBR and am finally getting to because my book club selected it for our September read.

I anticipated loving it for ... reasons ... and at times I'm enjoying it, while other times I feel like it's going over my head. It's been a long time since a book has hit me this way, so I'm trying to roll with that -- and for good and for bad, there isn't another book clamoring to be read. Middlemarch it is.

Have you read Middlemarch? Love it? Hate it? Reading anything great right now?

Book Review: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

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First line: It was Monday night.

Persuasion is my all-time favorite Jane Austen, so when I came across this Persuasion-inspired romantic comedy, I had to have it. It ended up being a very zippy read, super fluffy, the kind of thing you can dip in and out of easily.

Our heroine, Ruby Atlas, comes from a small town in Massachusetts where her father amassed a wealth in real estate. Her sister Piper is high-strung and snobbish. Before heading to her first grown up job after college, Ruby meets Ethan Bailey, son of a mechanic, who bartends at a neighborhood dive. It's instant chemistry between them. But not perfect.

In the now, Piper is engaged to be married, and Ruby is her maid of honor. Only hitch? Piper is marrying Ethan Bailey's best friend, and Ethan is no longer a poor kid from the wrong side of time. He's a billionaire tech inventor, lauded and sought after, and Ruby is in agony at having to see him again. The novel alternates between this story line and that of their ti…

Weekend reads and feeling witchy...

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Another week in which I didn't land on something to read; I've got nine? ten books going -- and by going, I mean, I've started and have read a few pages and then moved on to something else -- and I keep perusing others in hope something sticks.

In the meantime, I'm deeply distracted by a new tarot deck -- the Ostara Tarot -- which is gorgeous. So my weekend reads is ... reading for me!

What are you reading this weekend?

Book Review: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

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First line: Winslow Remington Houndstooth was not a hero.

I wanted to love this book so badly, and I'm so unhappy that I didn't even like it.

It has all the things that should make it a book I adore -- premise, characters, setting -- but the end result is weirdly flat, predictable, and boring. (It took me about three weeks to push through 120ish pages!)

Gailey's story imagines a US where hippopotamus ranches exist -- the result of a historical proposal that was rejected in our world, but was embraced in hers. The delta of Louisiana is home to hippo ranches and swamps full of violent, vicious feral hippos. A crew of criminals and misfits is hired to do some job (I'm still fuzzy on what it was, precisely, they were to do!) and it doesn't go to plan.

In a nutshell, I don't think Gailey had enough space to really stretch out and run. Everything in this novella smacked of shortcuts and assumption of goodwill, as if the reader has already bought into this ragtag bunc…

Weekend reads, and I got nothing...

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I'm late with this post -- which also pretty much has nothing to do with books -- because of allergies and the migraine that came with them.

Goodreads says I'm currently reading 9 books, which sounds both totally possible and really quite ridiculous.

What are you reading this weekend? Anything I should pick up that would rattle me out of this fug?

Teaser Tuesday, August 1: Hippos!

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My teaser for today comes from River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey. It's a novella that imagines 1890s Louisiana as if an insane idea had really been brought to fruition: hippos were bred in the Delta for meat.

Our hero, Winslow Houndstooth, is a hippo rancher, hired to do a mysterious job in a part of Louisiana thick with violent, feral hippos. He assembles a crack team, and as you can probably tell from my summary so far, it's a bananas story. (But so, so intriguing!)

"I think you've only been retired for a year, and already, you'd poison a stranger just to break up the monotony." (p22)
The sequel, Taste of Marrow, comes out next month.

So, what do you think? Would you read more? What are you reading right now?