Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Month in Review and of Things to Come

The summer is fully upon us.  The April and May anomalies of 90+ degree heat have given way to the expectation of sweating in the shade.  The reality is worse but that's enough talk of the weather.

My blogging activity took a massive nosedive in June and yet my stat tracker says my blog has never before seen such activity.  Even more surprising, June marked the first month that my review of Easton Press Books was dethroned as the most widely read entry on my blog.  The usurper was Kathleen Winter's Annabel by a factor of three at that.  Activity for Annabel included four variant spellings of the author's name and one query asking if it was a true story.  This information is more banal that most I share on my blog, but for some reason it amuses me.

My slower-than-last-year reading trend is holding true.  I got through three books this month; all of which were fabulous.  Stories of your life and Others by Ted Chaing, Lavinia by Urusla K Le Guin, and Titus Groan by Mervye Peake.  I owe a review for the latter.  It's coming...  June's meager reading is thus far a front runner for taking all the 'Year's Best' awards.  This month's reading also put into sharp relief why I don't mind being behind the current reading trends.

My 'to be read' stack is somewhere between 50-60 books.  Only one of which was printed this year.  I can't thank enough all the readers, reviewers and bloggers out there who sift through stacks of ARC's of varying quality only to infrequently find something substantial.  I'm impressed by the quality of my own reading if I may say so.  There have been duds to be sure, but all-in-all not being the first to read this week's latest and greatest has really helped me find and focus on what stands out and why, sometimes years past a books initial publication.

I'll find another door stopper for July and I also plan to hunt my selves for some 'lighter and easier' reading material than the 'dense and heavy' stuff I've been doing as of late.  Perhaps I'm being a wuss but whatever.

Apropos of nothing, I know two people who read what I thought to be the best piece of fiction my eyes came across last year, The Local News by Miriam Gershow.  My father--who brought the author to my attention--thought it was one of the best pieces of fiction he had read that he didn't care for in the least.  I agreed with him that the tone is not for everyone; I was happy to see we both found the quality beyond dispute.  Maria had some pleasant things to say for it as well, which perhaps redeems the past near clunker I recommended her.    

As for July, I've got a lot of time on my hands and not much to do so I'll try not to get into too much trouble.  No promises.

No comments: