Monday, August 20, 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.

I am about sixteen hours late posting this Monday post as we lost Internet while I was working on it last night and just not got it back--2:22pm Tuesday.

Our temps here in the Rogue Valley have been hitting triple digits nearly every day this month.  103 to 105 most common with and occasional 107.  I heard rumors of two or three degrees higher than that but saw nothing official.  We have no AC so the heat has zapped me.

How I beat the heat: I've taken to sleeping through the afternoon and evening from 2ish thru 9ish.  I take a frozen water bottle in a sock to bed with me, tucking it inside my shirt and sometimes a second one positioned against my back. And the fan is blowing across the bed.

For a few hours after I get up I wear a frozen rag around my neck and sit with a frozen gel pack tucked against the small of my back.  I use a little spray bottle to spritz my face as the fan blows on it.  Usually by midnight I no longer need anything but the fan and can even enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea.

I make frozen yogurt treats by putting yogurt in a mug and setting it in the freezer returning to stir it after an hour and ever 30 minutes after that until it has the consistency of soft serve icecream.

I do most of my housework in the hour or two right after Ed gets up--between 5 and 7am.  At seven it is time to shut all the windows to keep the cool in as long as possible.

A reminder:  I participated in the August blog tour for The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal with a review and an author interview coupled with giveaway.  The giveaway is ongoing thru Saturday.

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.

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 finished reading In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault last Monday morning and then posted the review on Wednesday.  It's the first time in some time that I've posted a review the same week I read the book.  Even rarer for a book that wasn't a ARC..

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

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.   This is the one I spent the most time with this week.
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 about ten days ago.  It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.

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

0 tell me a story:

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