So much to cover, so little time! I had so much fun participating in Armchair BEA last week, at least as long as I was able—work came crashing down and has been non-stop. Thanks very much to everyone who stopped by to say hello! Let’s get right to it, shall we?
- Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about being embarrassed having people seeing me run? Cue laughing universe. Just a few days after that, I was running at the Chattahoochee River and I did a spectacular face plant on a crowded trail. I ended up with two bruised and skinned knees, a skinned palm on my left hand, and an entire front side covered in dust from red Georgia clay. I had just started my four mile run and I was determined to finish so I went to the restroom, washed out my hand as best I could, and went back to running. The moral of this story? Dirt and sunscreen and sweat are a nasty combination. Try not to fall in dirt when you are wearing sunscreen.
- I didn’t get to post my Top Ten this week, which was Top Ten Books That Should Be in Your Beach Bag. You can’t just trot outside in the heat of summer with any old tome and expect magic to happen. (See me, circa 2002, on the beach with a copy of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. Another thing that doesn’t mix well with sunscreen? Pre-WWI sanatoriums for the tubercular patient.) Anyway, here’s my list:
Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
A Girl Named Zippy, Haven Kimmel
Anything by Gillian Flynn
Anything by Tana French
The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett
Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, E. Lockhart
The Sisters Brothers, Patrick DeWitt
- I finally finished The People in the Trees, and my thoughts on it are coming soon, but can I just say that Norton Perina is truly despicable but brilliantly written? The crazy thing is, he’s despicable for so many reasons besides the most obvious, which is not made entirely, gut-wrenchingly clear until the last few pages of the book. That said, the novel is fantastic.
- I am also almost finished with Tom Rachman’s The Rise & Fall of Great Powers, which will be published next Tuesday. It’s a much, much different novel than The Imperfectionists, which I loved (and I think many of you did, too). Anyway, that’s all I am going to say about it for now. I am planning to finish it and compose my thoughts this weekend, so you’ll just have to wait!
- So what do we all think about the great battle between Stephen Colbert and Amazon? This is a tough one for customers, I think. I’ve been very happy with Kindle, I own a lot of Kindle content (although I no longer own a Kindle; I use the app on my Nexus 7 tablet), and I am not sure now if I want to try to switch to Nook or Google Books or some other e-reader. That said, I realize I read a lot of authors who are published by Hachette, and I also believe in voting with my dollar, so I did purchase a copy of Edan Lepucki’s California at Powells (where I’ve been a long-standing online customer and which I feature regularly in my links, although I am not affiliated with them in any way). The novel was not on my radar until all this happened, but even if I don’t end up loving it I believe it was money well-spent.
- Even before all this Amazon nonsense (and by “nonsense” I mean Amazon acting like a jackass), I have been wanting to move my reading wishlist over to Pinterest so you all can see the madness for yourselves. (And remove old pins from Amazon…ongoing effort.) Our own wishlists may seem daunting, but other people’s are always fun (and sources for more items for the wishlist, of course).
- So I guess some cranky woman posted an article on Slate telling adults they should be ashamed to read YA novels (nah, not linking to it). On the one hand, I will admit to being surprised at how many book blogs there are devoted to YA, which was not the case when I started this blog. Nothing wrong with that, except perhaps for a startling lack of diversity in books at times. To be fair, I have the same complaint about literary fiction blogs that all seem to be reviewing the most recent releases only. That said, I think good writing is good writing, whether it’s YA or sci-fi or literary fiction. Plenty of people read poorly written “adult” fiction.
- This weekend I’ll be picking up The Fever by Megan Abbott, and then after that I am not sure! If I believed I were capable of finishing more than three books in a month I would totally join Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer Challenge at 746 Books. I may put together a list just for the heck of it.
Okay, that’s it! Happy Friday and have a great weekend!