Monday, August 13, 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.

Our temps hit the triple digits several times in the past week.  It was 103 today and we're looking at four more as warm or warmer before it draps back to the mid 90s this weekend. 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.  Handling the netbook is as fun as cuddling with a heating pad.

To add to the 'fun' is the smoke from a forest fire somewhere south of the valley.

Last week I participated in the blog tour for The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal with a review on Tuesday and an author interview coupled with giveaway on Wednesday.

I finished reading In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault this morning but have yet to write the review.

Late last week I finished  Say You're One of Them by Uwen Akpan.  But again no review yet.

Between the heat, daily posts and the fact that this month I'm participating in both Camp NaNoWriMo and Write Fifteen Minutes a Day I'm afraid what there is of my writing mojo isn't being directed at reviews.

The mail coughed up We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine. over the weekend.  Another story exploring the impact of fundamentalist religion on the dynamics of family.  Anyone following my blog would know what that theme means to me.

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.

The heat has slowed me down on the list of NF I've been plugging away at for weeks or months now.  I'm creeping through most of them tho for a couple I'm closing on the finish line.

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.

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 Vonnegut.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them.

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

And these nine ARC novels some of which I've had 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.  This one arrived earlier this month or late in July

We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.  This one arrived over the weekend

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 four blog tour books in the pipes:

Sulan a Cyberpunk YA which I've finished but the blog tour isn't until September when I'll be posting my review.

Primal by Deborah Serra  A thriller about a mother defending the lives of her children from escaped convicts who invaded their camping site.  I'm doing a review for the tour in October

What Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson.  I'll be doing a review with giveaway in September.

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.

Hellfire & Damnation II by Connie Corcoran Wilson  a collection of short stories in the horror genre.  I'll be doing a review and giveaway with author interview for this one in October

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