Monday, August 06, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

My reading intentions like my writing intentions over this past week took a hit from several life events out of my control: a sister's surgery, a heatwave and another bout of some kind of stomach thing.  The surgery took place hundreds of miles north of me so I wasn't kept from reading by needing to be at her side but by not being able to keep my mind on anything else until my anxiety was alleviated by excellent status reports twelve to eighteen hours after I knew she had left her home for the four hour drive to the hospital.

Our temps hit the triple digits--103F plus--Thursday through Monday. The heat not only zaps energy for reading but sitting in front of the fan tends to dry out the eyes making it harder to focus.

I had hoped to get this posted in the wee hours of Monday as part of my promotion for my participation this week in the August blog tour for The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal but because of the heat and very spotty Internet access over the weekend I am only now getting to it and will have to start prepping my review for this book immediately upon posting this as it needs to be up in the next three to six hours so I won't be able to surf IMWAYR until after it is posted which probably means not until after I wake up tomorrow.

For this tour I'm to post twice: a review on Tuesday, August 7th and an author interview with giveaway on Wednesday, August 8th.  I'm excited as this is my first author interview.  I've already got the answers to my interview questions back from Ms Bantwal and can't wait to share them.

I'd hoped to be further along, even finished with several of the following by now as the list below has remained fairly stagnant for a couple of months.  I'm creeping through most of them tho for a couple I'm closing on the finish line.

On other bookish fronts:

I have continued reading the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April: At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon.  The short little chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters.

I also continued with the several non-fiction books I've had going for some time: 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack

All of those are research for the writing side of my life.  The third one for a character tho I won't deny there are potential real life application for the info.

I am taking all five slow as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer.

I am still targeting for review Grace McCleen's The Land of Decoration which I read the week I was preparing for the trip back to Mom's near the end of March and loved but I have had to start rereading it what with the first time being in the midst of upheaval and the emotional impact of it carrying its own upheaval due to the emotional triggers rooted in my personal history which I am having difficulty separating out from the 'legitimate' author-intended emotional impact.  Tho maybe I'm mistaken in thinking that is necessary.  If even possible.

The narrator protagonist is a pre-teen being raised in a fundamentalist Christian sect that is so similar to the one I was raised in, it might even be the same one or the parent sect to the parent sect of ours.  The author doesn't name the sect though.  She is being bullied at school because of the strangeness her faith imparts on her in the eyes of the other kids--just as I was.  And she escapes the pain of this isolation through elaborate daydreams and building of a model of the Promised Land aka Land of Decoration out of scraps, trash, weeds and clay.  Just as I did if you substitute story dreaming, reading and writing and the world building of those stories in my daydreams.

I have also returned after a long hiatus to Say You're One of Them by Uwen Akpan.  It is actually multiple stories of various lengths and I set it aside after reading a nearly novella length one several months ago.  I started the next story after finishing the Bantwal book.  This was an Oprah Book Club selection several years ago and at the time I could not get my turn with the library book before the O Book Club met to discuss.  I had been able to read the first story tho as gave away a pdf of it.  The first two stories are quite disturbing as is this one shaping up to be.  The theme of them all seems to be the terrible situations life deals to children in Africa.

Recently a September blog tour feature ebook arrived in my inbox and I spent hours trying to get it open in my Kindle for PC.  After several restarts, and a re-install of the application I finally got it open and then started to read it just to see what I was getting myself into.  It is Sulan by Camille Picott. I was over 30% into it before I noticed.  It is a Dystopia Cyberpunk with a strong female teen protag and after finishing it in under three days I found it stands up well in comparison to Hunger Games.

I've always read multiple non-fic concurrently but I nearly never used to read two novels at once let many now?  They are not all listed here.  Only the ones I spent time with this past week and/or intend to spend time with in the coming week.  

Besides Grace McCleen's novel I have more review copies lined up and there are more on the way:

These two NF which I began last winter and have posted a kind of reading journal for but need to get back to before I have to start over:

And So It goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonegut

This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese a collection of personal essays

And these six ARC novels which I've have for weeks and in a few cases months:

The Variations by John Donatich

The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith

The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!

Skios by Michael Frayn

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo

Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman

Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

Then there are three blog tour books:

Sulan (mentioned above)

Primal by Deborah Serra  A thriller about a mother defending the lives of her children from escaped convicts who invaded their camping site.

What Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson.  I just discovered my copy is signed by both authors!  I've dipped into it several times since it arrived by snail mail and find it hilarious.  Did you know dogs actually love the leash because it makes it safe for them to bark and growl and pasture at the other dog on a leash in the comfort of knowing there can't really be any consequences such as having their throat ripped out or ear bitten off.

0 tell me a story:

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