Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Month in Review and of Things to Come

I've already hinted at how awesome of a reading month August has been.  I read The Magician King by Lev Grossman, Call me by your name by André Aciman, and Great House by Nicole Krauss, the first two of which I've let commentary for.  I made a substantial dent in Kushiel's Dart.  Also, I read a couple of stories on line this month which is rare for me as I don't like reading on a computer screen--it reminds me too much of work: The Dala Horse by Michael Swanwick and The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland for a While by Catherine Valente.  Swanwick's story has his usaual mark of, "Is this Fantasy, SF, or contemporary fiction?" that I find awesome.  Valente continues to create her own mythology in everything she writes, which I find mind-blowing.  Finally, I've read about a hundred pages of a short story collection by Margaret Atwood, The Dancing Girls, which has done nothing for me.

Oddly, I haven't read anything in the past five days.  I've been busy but more so than this I've been so thoroughly sated by Call me by Your Name that I just haven't felt the need to read a book.  To put an exclamation mark on how good of a reading month this has been, I will say now--with absolute certainly--that my meager 'best book I read this year' award will come down to Call me By your name and Great House, either way I choose, I lose.  At least I've got a lot of time to consider the matter.  So read them both yourself by the year's end and then you can tell me why I picked the wrong one.

August ended on a bit of a bummer: a funeral for a family member, a whirlwind trip, relatives, high emotions and all that goes with it.  I picked up the Atwood book looking for something read in the car, and at the hotel, perhaps the circumstances I've been reading it under have affected how I view the stories but I don't think so.  I missed out on the Grossman book tour stop in Atlanta, but hopefully his publisher will give him the same treatment for the third book, and I'll catch him then.  

Next month I look forward to the Braves clinching a playoff spot.  I plan to finish The Dancing Girls, Gormenghast by Mevryn Peake, and The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Hopefully, I'll also get around to another chunk of Kushiel's Dart.  I'd hoped to get to The Tiger's Wife this month but due to a shipping err that didn't happen.  Not sure about September, but it will get read by the year's end.  I'm tentative on a few writer's workshops in the Decatur Book Festival, which is a really big deal, if you're in the area and thinking about going.

Though it's still ninety degrees in the shade, it hasn't been ninety-eight degrees in the shade for a week or so: I look forward to this trend...

In terms of reading, I need to get August out of my system, Now.  Of the fifty-one books still clogging up my unread stack I'm sure I've got some real good ones, but I've got to get these past couple of gems out of my system if I'm to enjoy anything else.  

No comments: