The Year of No Summer: A Reckoning

I did not finish this, though I feel that, at some point, I might go back.  Certainly I think I’ll be tempted to do so.  Odd and intriguing.  My first thought was stream of consciousness, but…well…maybe.  Freeform history?  Some sort of literary tone poem?  Or something like that.  Say what?  The language is beautiful and poetic, sometimes coalescing into more straightforward prose; and I wanted to read this simply for the words, lovely words; but then that coalescing comes along, taunting me with the possibility of narrative.  I’ll let the author speak for herself, and she ends by saying, “I’m standing here thinking it all fits together, but how or why, I know not.  My hands are too small for God.”  Yes, right there, and Rachel Lebowitz, I admire what you’ve done, and I think it fits together, too.  I want it to.  Maybe I’m just not ready for it.

But you might be and, if so, click here to order from your local indie bookstore or from Amazon

Full Disclosure:  A review copy of this book was provided to me by Biblioasis via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  I would like to thank the publisher, the author and Edelweiss for providing me this opportunity.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.

Just a few minutes here and there!

I usually have my nose stuffed in three or so books at any one time:  one physical book, one or two Kindle books and one audiobook.  Right now, I’m reading the trade PB of 52 Loaves:  A Half-Baked Adventure, by William Alexander; Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking (which just dropped today from Random House) on Kindle, as well as a horror, short-story anthology, Suspended In Dusk, edited by Simon Dewar (also on Kindle); and finally, on audio, the second installment in Marcus Sakey’s near-future Brilliance Saga, A Better World, narrated by Luke Daniels (love me some Luke D.!).  I’ve just finished Furiously Happy:  A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) but wish it had been about a thousand pages longer.  It deserves, and will get, a blog post all its own.

52 Loaves  Thirteen Ways of Looking  Suspended in Dusk  A Better World  Furiously Happy

The audiobooks carry me through my one-hour long commute each day (one-way!) and the Kindle editions keep me going through endless miles on the treadmill.  The actual books and the Kindle versions compete for the remainder of my reading hours . . . or minutes or seconds!  All depends on when I can squeeze in a few more word-filled moments throughout my day.

If I had a nickel for every time someone has whined to me, in the most high-pitched, nasal tone she can muster, “I love to read but I can never find the time” . . .  Believe me, if you truly want to read you will make the time.  Besides the drive time and the gym, I also squeeze in a few pages while I get ready for work in the morning, on my lunch break, while the Hubs watches something loud and obnoxious on television (i.e., war movies, more war movies, and oh, did I mention war movies?), and lying in bed at night waiting to fall asleep.  It’s not that difficult if you put your mind to it . . . unless you have kids – then I know the challenge is truly amplified for you and your priorities are where they should be, with your kids.  Sure, I would much rather have a solid, uninterrupted hour or two (or three or four or five!) to really dig in and lose myself in whatever I’m reading but that’s not always realistic.  I’ve learned to appreciate the time I can get, when I can get it and to make the most of it!

Hello World!

So, first blog post EVER! Why am I doing this? I read and I love to talk about what I read. So join a book club, you say, if you want to discuss your reading choices.

Tried that. Didn’t like it so much. The reasons why would fill up an entire blog post on their own so I won’t bore you with that here. Maybe later . . . in another life.

My mother is the only person I know who reads as much as I do and who just as thoroughly enjoys talking about what she reads. We have our own little book club of two and we hash out what we’re reading on the phone everyday as I make my tedious one-hour commute home from work. We’re not always reading the same books at the same time, but we talk about them nonetheless. She gives me her reading suggestions and I return the favor.

So why don’t you write a little memoir about that, you say? Well, I think Will Schwalbe already did something similar with The End of Your Life Book Club. Only difference is my mom’s not dying, at least not yet!

But Mom won’t be here forever and I can barely get my husband to crack open a book, so I decided to do this for myself mostly. I can talk here ad nauseum about the books I love and the books I didn’t love. If no one ever reads this little blog, so be it. That’s fine by me. But if I manage to turn one person on to a book, author or genre they might not otherwise have discovered or tried, then I’ve done my good deed for the day.

I may also have a slight case of bibliomania. I have way more books than I’ll ever be able to read in the near (or even far) future, yet I keep buying more. I get grouchy if I don’t get to read at least 30 minutes or so a day. I honestly don’t care if I never turn on a TV again (except for football – Go Carolina Panthers!).

I’m no literary expert, but I know what I like and what I don’t like, what works for me and what doesn’t. This isn’t rocket science or quantum physics. It’s just me talking about the books that make me want to sing, the ones that I get a good laugh over and the ones that I want to flush down the toilet. I welcome your comments. Your opinions may differ. That’s okay. No one ever said we have to like the same things. But I do believe we have to respect the opinions and ideas of others and agree to disagree sometimes.

Don’t expect to read about new releases all the time, although I will spotlight those as I do receive ARCs from various publishers. I delve deep into the past with my reading choices too. In fact, I spend most of my time futilely trying to catch up on my “to be read” stack, so unless I’ve received something new directly from the publisher for review purposes, you’ll find yourself reading my musings on the dusty piles cluttering every corner of my house more often than not. No matter. A good book recommendation is a good book recommendation regardless of the copyright date of the thing.

And I reserve the right to blather on about any other subject that comes to mind if I choose. It is my blog after all. Some days I may want to gush over the wonderful creatures that are the two American Saddlebred horses that I ride and show, or I may want to talk about my dogs, or God forbid, politics! I also cuss like a sailor and I apologize in advance if my salty language creeps in from time to time. I’ll try to keep it clean, but I’m just giving you fair warning now. If you are offended in anyway, do the sensible thing, the thing that reasonable people do, and just exit out of my blog and move on to something more to your liking. Don’t fill up the comment section with reasons why my blog shouldn’t be allowed to continue to exist. Just move on and hang out with people that suit your sensibilities. As I said above, opinions differ and I believe you should respect those differing opinions, not try to eradicate them from the face of the Earth!

With that said, this blog is officially a reality. Welcome, and I hope your life is filled with good books and good company!