Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading: Week Eight

Summer is winding down fast. I have to work again, starting next week. (Sigh). And I didn't read nearly everything I wanted to. Of course, doing that would probably have meant that I stopped doing anything besides reading. So, no child care, eating or preparing food, taking care of the dog or house, and definitely no writing. And I like all those things, too. Still it makes me sad to think that I won't get to all those new books I just got from storybundle . . . at least not before school starts again.

This week I finished reading Greatshadow by James Maxey. It had a very satisfying ending that left good promise for future books. I know he's written and released said books, but I've got other things in the queue ahead of those right now, so they won't be my immediate next needs. Still, I give James props because even though I'm not a big dragon-fantasy fan, Infidel, the main character, was awesome enough to pull me along well.

I've continued to read and enjoy Don Quixote de la Mancha. The translation I'm reading maintains the old fashioned feel without making me feel lost. I had the thought that DQ is a cautionary tale for gamers: a book fan gets into cosplay, then becomes a LARPer, then loses complete touch with reality! Yikes! The book club discusses it next week. I'm interested to see what everyone says.

I've also begun reading a collection of short stories by a writing friend. Borrowed Time by Chad C. Clark. I've only finished one of the stories so far, but it was a winner. In the tradition of Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling, there's more to what's going on than you think and the ending changes the whole story. On the basis of the first story, I'm expecting to really enjoy this collection!

I made some progress on my research reading for the second in my series of historical novels. I've been reading Women and the American Experience: A Concise History by Nancy Woloch for a while now, a chapter or two at a time. I'm reading about the progressive era and the concept of the New Woman right now, in preparation for writing the next phase of Freda's life: on her own in Indianapolis. There's so much I don't know about this time period in American history and Woloch's book gives me a lot of food for thought. I'm finding I really enjoy reading about history fact and then using what I know to write fiction. Putting myself in the shoes of women characters in an era so different from my own lets me explore a lot of my feelings about what it means and has meant to be a woman in this country, and the variety of challenges we face and have faced as attitudes have shifted and our options have reshaped around us.

My other reading was unpublished works again: short stories and novel excerpts for writing friends and online communities. I read so much good stuff this way, and learn a lot about what makes writing powerful in trying to articulate helpful feedback.

After devouring all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, repeatedly, NJ picked up a new graphic
novel series this week: Fangbone: Third Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex.  It's very charming and less gross than the Diaper Baby stuff that had her attention a few weeks ago. She read #1 and #2, and has already put in her request for #3. (She was thrilled to learn that I can request books and the library will just email us when they are ready--she loves being a 21st century girl). I'm hoping that library will have it for us tomorrow, so we can pick it up on our way back from blueberry picking.

In audiobooks, we finished all the Ghosthunters books (Cornelia Funke) our library had available and also listened to one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (Roderick Rules). That worked way better as an audiobook than I expected, given the visual nature of the books.

The big girl is not reading so much. Her attention is focused on visual art, and her boyfriend. You'd think she was a teenager or something. Jeez. I do need to get her started on her reading assignment for high school though. She's only got three weeks left to do it!


  1. What a fabulously diverse reading list! I haven't made it through nearly that many, but I enjoyed a few and also have been working through some writing craft books. They're a bit slower!

  2. It's been fun, keeping track of our summer reading and writing about it here. And, yes, we do read a variety around here :-)