Fall Check-In

The thing about book blogging is that you can’t do it if you aren’t reading, and I’ve been struggling this fall. I read a grand total of three books in September (four if you count the romance novel manuscript I read for someone–and I do, because I enjoyed it a lot, but I can’t blog about it).

I know I’m not the only one who is often distracted by the news (or “news,” because how much of it is really worth attention?) these days. I was better at focus over the summer, but I’ve been drawn back to the firehose of Twitter recently, maybe because the looming US election has increased the intensity of its blast. It’s a distraction I’m always working to reduce.

But I’ve also had my perennial fall troubles with reading: until I adjust to back-to-school busyness, I’m often too tired to read much at the end of the day, and I have student work to read again, which can sap my attention for reading other things. Now that I’m adjusting to the work routine, those problems are easing. I have read two books so far in October, which isn’t great but may put me on track to do a little better than September. What have I been reading? Continue reading

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New Year Resolutions and Summer Reading

A Fresh Start

I’ve been going back to school almost every September of my life, so this is a much more natural resolution-making time for me than January 1. There are all kinds of things I plan to start up/get back on track (far too many, as always), and one of them is blogging.

I thought of this summer as a fallow period. I checked in regularly on work email and managed some ongoing tasks there, but I didn’t really think about work or plan for the tweaking of my course that I scrambled to do in the last two weeks of August. Continue reading

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Quarterly Report

I won’t bore you (or myself) with the banal personal struggles that have been making it hard to blog. I’m just coming out of the busy middle of the semester, but it’s really the will I lack rather than the time. I’m going to keep trying, because I find writing about my reading helps me enjoy it more.

Partly as a quick way of doing that, I went back to Goodreads. All my 2018 reading is listed there, though I don’t rate and review it all. Here I’ll just touch on some highlights.

“Bookending” Resolution: My goal to start and end my days with reading has gone quite well, though I’ve slipped a bit lately. I find that in the morning something short and meditative works best; I’ve had more success with reading a couple of poems than with picking up whatever novel or non-fiction work I’m in the middle of. As a result, I’ve got nine poetry collections on my Goodreads shelf. I can’t say I’m the most thoughtful or attentive poetry reader at 5:30am, but that’s OK. Recent highlights included: Continue reading

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TBR Challenge: What the Bride Didn’t Know, by Kelly Hunter

I didn’t think I’d have time to squeeze in a TBR Challenge book this month, but that’s what fast, fun Harlequin romance is for. The February theme is Backlist Glom, an author who has more than one book in your TBR pile. I had an embarrassment (quite literally) of riches to choose from and I went for Kelly Hunter’s What the Bride Didn’t Know (see fast and fun above–I’ve read a number of her books and always enjoyed them).

This is the third book in Hunter’s West family series, and I’d enjoyed the previous two. It was published in Harlequin’s late lamented Kiss line, though the others are all Presents. The mysteries of publishing.

This book, indeed this series, is overstuffed with plot. The West siblings are all hackers or spies and there’s a vague spy plot running through them all relating to oldest brother Jared’s disappearance, which may be related to trying to find out who was behind the incident in which his sister Lena was shot. They spy stuff is almost all offstage so far, which is probably good because what we do see is pretty implausible. Hunter knows her strengths. And yet, it’s kind of annoying: oh, the bad guy was taken down between books?

Our heroine here is the aforesaid Lena; 19 months after being wounded, she knows she won’t ever be back to her old physical self, and she’s feeling lost. All her life she’s worked to keep up with her brother Jared and his best friend Adrian, aka Trig. She became part of their team. If she can’t keep chasing them, what is she worth? Continue reading

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My Library Pile

It’s out of control. I’m writing a post about it to ease my anxiety about this. Why can’t I just read some of my own books?! Because browsing the library website is fun. And the new is always more tempting than what’s languishing in my TBR, forgotten. And since I’ve been reading more lately, I imagine I can read even more: my library eyes are bigger than my reading stomach. Finally, I’m not very disciplined about library holds, but also when I request a book that’s “on order,” its arrival is very unpredictable. It could appear immediately after the publication date, or several months after. All that is part of why my library pile is out of control.

Here’s the pile: 11 12 (one’s missing) physical books, and one digital. What are they? Continue reading

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