Friday, July 20, 2018

#24in48 Readathon: 20 Minutes to Start...

I'm absurdly excited for this year's 24in48 Readathon -- I've got a big ole stack of books prepped, some audiobooks in the queue (Welcome to Lagos as well as another non-fiction book about the Civil War as background research for my novel), plus a knitting project I'm dying to start. Iced coffee, dark chocolate, and three sleepy cats. I'm determined to clock in 24 hours this year, too.

Are you participating? What are you planning on reading if so?

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 2018 #24in48 Readathon Commitment Post!

I love readathons and I occasionally sign up and I almost never, EVER, never hit any goals (other than, like, an hour of reading and two or three hours of cheering). But much like NaNoWriMo, I can't stop trying.

So here I am, once again, signing up for the #24in48 Readathon! It's a simple premise -- try to read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. For this month, it'll be July 21-22, and even though I've got a busy Sunday, I'm still going to try. Who knows, maybe I'll make 12 hours of reading happen!

Will you be participating? If so, share a link where I can check in on you and cheer you along! I'll most likely be updating on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy (@unabridgedchick).

Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review: Basic Black with Pearls by Helen Weinzweig

First line: Night comes as a surprise in the tropics.

It took me less than a month, but more than two weeks, to read this brief novel; it's incredibly interior-oriented, which isn't a bad thing, but it didn't allow for lazy, quick reading. Our narrator, Shirley, is clever, and you can't be sloppy to keep up with her.

The feel of this novel is Erica Jong meets Kate Chopin. Shirley is a smart, passionate 40-something housewife who travels the world meeting her spy lover.

But their latest tryst takes her back to Toronto, where she grew up and still lives, and as we watch Shirley attempt to untangle the clues that will connect her with her lover, we start to wonder just how much of this might be real.

And yet, that's not precisely the point of this novel. In her pursuit of her lover, we're exposed to Shirley's entire life -- her childhood, her marriage, her anxieties and hopes -- and a complicated-but-familiar portrait emerges. By the end, I found myself wanting happiness for Shirley, and I was unconcerned with what was real and what was imaginary. I just wanted her happy.

I feel sorry for the girl who (still) wanders darkening streets carrying two or three library books, shifting them now and against from left arm to right and back again. Sometimes both arms hold the books across her chest like a shield. They belong together, she and her books, and as long as she carries them, she is safe. The writers of books will become her familiars and protect her from betrayal.

Title: Basic Black with Pearls
Author: Helen Weinzweig
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / 1980s / Canada / Marriage / Love / Happiness)
Publisher/Publication Date: NYRB Classics (4/17/2018)
Source: My public library

Weekend reads, or what I'm not reading...

Here's the stack of books I'm presently not reading.

Serious book rut.

Not helped by the 100 degree weather here which makes focusing on anything but ice impossible.

How's your summer going? Reading anything good?