How is it already August? This year is flying by, and while it’s been full of goodness, it’s also been just that, FULL.
That said, I’m making decent progress against my list of books I want to read in 2017. I’m up to 48/80 books in total, and I’m just a few chapters shy of finishing my current read, so I think I’m on track!
Here are some updates on my reading life lately.
Three books by the same author (V.E. Schwab): goal completed!
This was great! It was fun and also educational to read some of Schwab’s earlier work and see her evolving skills. I hear there’s a sequel in the works, which sounds intriguing (although I think this one ended nicely as a stand-alone.)
Our Dark Duet – originally, I listed The Near Witch as Book #3, and I’m still quite likely to read this come Halloween season. In the meantime, I’d forgotten about the summertime release of Our Dark Duet. It did not disappoint! I felt that Schwab didn’t pull any punches with her storytelling here, and the world-building was creative and unique (if not fully realized or explained to my satisfaction.)
(Book 1/3 was A Conjuring of Light, which I reviewed briefly here.)
A book nominated for an award in 2017:
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye, Edgar Nominee for Best Novel (Powells)
I resisted reading this book for quite some time. I’m not really sure why; the premise sounded campy, and I just couldn’t see the relevance or the appeal.
Then, I saw Faye speak at an event last fall. I picked up her first Holmes & Watson book. I began to appreciate her wit and her voice. So finally, I put this on the list and picked it up from the library.
And the buzz was right — it is so good! It’s creative, inspired by the original but still stands alone, and is infused throughout with the type of adventuring, independent woman that I so love to read about. Faye is now on my short list for holds on the rest of her backlist.
Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative:
The Mortifications, by Derek Palacio (Powells )
Oh man, this book. I tried. I really did. I even hauled the hardcover with me all the way to Canada and back. And I just can’t connect with it. I made it more than half way though, and it’s been sitting on my nightstand judging me since May. But, one of the privileges of being a grownup is (according to John Irving, via Modern Mrs Darcy) abandoning a book you’re not loving, I’m exercising that right today and officially declaring this book abandoned. I’ll take it to my local Little Free Library in the hopes it finds a better fit with another reader.
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Third Quarter Reading Plans
Summer 2017 has been unprecedentedly busy. For some reason, I thought that as a freelancer with control of my own schedule, I’d find more free time. Ha. Apparently not! (Apologies, dear blog reader. I am working on a scheduling solution to get back to my once-a-week posting.)
That said, fall awaits just over the horizon. We have a big roadtrip to Colorado and a few other plans in the works, but I’m hoping to find a bit calmer schedule and a few more hours with a good book.
Here’s where I plan to start:
Books On Hold At The Library:
From the challenge: Finish a book about sports: Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer, by Lynne Cox (Powells) — I started this on our recent backpacking trip, but the loan expired before I could finish. Hopefully I’ll have it back soon, as I’m finding the story incredibly inspiring!
A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit. I haven’t actually read any Solnit yet. Apparently this is to my detriment. I have three of her books on hold, and this one will be the top of the list. (Powells)
The Weight of Night, by Christine Carbo. Carbo is a local author and I enjoyed the first two books in her mystery series set in and around Glacier National Park. I’m excited that I’ll be able to meet her at an author conference later this summer, so I’ve got to get caught up on her latest book! (Powells)
Books From My Shelf:
From the challenge; I’m currently about half-way through: Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location: English Creek, by Ivan Doig (Powells) *I listed this one last update, but haven’t picked it back up yet. Summer is just too active for this more contemplative read — I think I’ll come back to this in the fall.
From the challenge: *Read a classic by an author of color: Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler (Powells). I read Butler’s Parable series years ago, and don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to read more of her work. I’m excited to dive into this one here soon!
From the challenge: A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection: Upstream, by Mary Oliver (Powells). I just started this and somehow I didn’t realize that it’s not poetry, but rather Oliver’s musings. Still beautiful, and I still can’t wait to discover all of the goodness it has in store for me.
Other Books I’m Excited About:
Two mysteries by two of my favorite female writers:
Louise Penny’s latest, Glass Houses (Powells) , which comes out at the end of the month. I finally caught up on this series and can’t wait for the next installment.
Elizabeth Peters’ (RIP, sob) Painted Queen ( Powells ) — the final installment (?) of the Amelia Peabody series. I was first introduced to Amelia by my sister-in-law. Her stories were my first entry into the fabulously entertaining world of women exceeding the expectations of society and going on to do interesting things (see also books by Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander, Ariana Franklin, etc.) I’ve got this on hold from the library and can’t wait to enjoy it (slowly).
If you’re interested in real-time updates and brief reviews, please join me on Goodreads. It’s a great platform to share recommendations and track your own reading history! Otherwise, I’ll pop in from time to time with a specific book review or a quarterly update on what’s been going on in my reading life. As always, I welcome recommendations and good bookish conversation!
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