Spring Sprung Titles

What to say about April? I ran my fastest 10k while ill (go figure). I met two new runners and may have convinced someone to at least try. I don’t know where this acceptance to run with others is coming from. To share a conversation I had with someone: I asked where she runs. She replied she doesn’t have my pace, “nowhere near it” were her exact words. I answered I don’t have that pace all the time either. Me & my pace visit from time to time but we don’t make it a thing. She laughed and I saw myself ten years ago talking to someone who face-times with friends while running. I worried about her relationship with pace. But, this blog is turning into a thing different from reading.

So, without further ado, here are the finished books:

Fiction:

  • Diplomatic Lover by Elsie Lee – read in one day
  • Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez – read in two days
  • Celibate Season by Carol Shields and Blanche Howard – read in four days (this book annoyed me and I kept having to put it down)

Nonfiction:

  • Lost Upland: stories of the Dordogne Region by W.S. Merwin – confessional: DNF (bored, bored, bored)
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee
  • Henry James: the Untried Years by Leon Edel
  • Another Part of the Wood by Kenneth Clark – this was cheeky!

Series continuations:

  • “F” is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton (I’m calling this a continuation even though I read “A” a long time ago.)
  • Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons (AB + print so I could finish on time – today!)
  • Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves – another quick read (finished in four days)

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul

My Life with Bob

Paul, Pamela. My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps a Book of Books, Plot Ensues.New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2017.

Plot in a nutshell: voracious reader tracks what she has read over the years (starting in high school) and relates the books back to various yet significant times in her life. How many other people have done this? I know I have. I track title, author (full name because, for example, there is more than one Girls: Stories out there), reason read, dates read, whether or not I wrote a review and lastly, even which library I borrowed the copy from. I differ from Paul in that I try not to buy my books and when I do I never keep them. I borrow from every library within my state and thensome. Paul differs from me in that she decided to write a book about her reading exploits and reflect on what was going on in her personal life at that time. I blog with the briefest of hints to my personal life. What we have in common is how we read, sneaking pages in anytime we can. Our similarities and dissimilarities crisscross like highway lines on a map.
But, beyond being an entertaining tale about voracious reading and where it got her in life, I found Paul’s memoir informative. For example, I will read Tolstoy’s War and Peace with a family tree. I will allow myself to feel real emotion for inanimate objects (like Paul did while reading Ungerer’s Otto).

As an aside, for the fun of it I made a list of every book Paul mentions in her book. Then I cross referenced her list to what was on mine…Out of the 189 Paul mentions I have 97 on my list. Admittedly, I could have missed a few.
My one complaint – not everyone can afford an extra day in the hospital just because she was at the end of a really good book & wanted to finish it in the peace and quiet of a maternity ward. I think her insurance would have something to say about that!

Reason read: chosen as an Early Review from LibraryThing.

Author fact: Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review.

Book trivia: My Life with Bob contains one photo of the first page of “Bob.”
If I could quote passages from My Life with Bob there would definitely be one from page 144. And maybe 173. Definitely page 191. My Life with Bob is due to be published in May so you can read the quotes for yourself.


April Snow Job

As we move into April I am not confident we won’t get another 26″ snow storm. If we ever joked in the past about not being able to predict the weather, now it is impossible. It’s no laughing matter. My rose bushes, right now struggling under the weight of frozen water, could tell you that. But never mind the weather. Let’s talk about the month of April. April is another 10k for cancer. I’m hoping to break the hour time since I was five seconds away in March. April is also Easter. April is my sister’s birth month. April is also books, books and more books…of course:

Fiction:

  • ‘F’ is For Fugitive by Sue Grafton ~ in honor of Grafton’s birth month. Technically, I should have read all the “alphabet” books by Grafton one right after the other, but I didn’t have that system when I read “A” is for Alibi. I think it goes without saying I do now.
  • The Diplomatic Lover by Elsie Lee ~ in honor of Lee’s birth month. I am not looking forward to this one even though it looks like a quick read.
  • A Celibate Season by Carol Shields ~ in honor of April being Letter Writing Month. This is so short I should be able to read it in one sitting.

Nonfiction:

  • Henry James: the Untried Years (1843 – 1870) by Leon Edel ~ in honor of James’s birth month. This first volume chronicles James’s childhood and youth.
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee ~ in honor of the Alaska trip I’m taking in August.

Series continuations:

  • The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons ~ this is to finish the series started in January, in honor of Science Fiction month. I liked Endymion the best so I have high hopes for The Rise of Endymion. I am listening to this on audio and reading the print because I know I will never finish the 575+ pages by April 30th.
  • Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves ~ this is to finish the series started in January, in honor of Shetland’s fire festival, Up Helly Aa. This is another one I should be able to finish in a day or two.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul

Extra (for fun):

  • Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara- ~ my sister sent this in my belated birthday package. Whatever she recommends I usually end up liking whether it be music or books. For those of you who really know me – I know what you’re thinking. Yes, my birthday was in February. I got the birthday package over a month later. It’s what we do.

If there is time (since three books are really, really short):

  • Another Part of the Wood by Kenneth Clark ~ in honor of National Library Week
  • The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez ~ in honor of April’s Mathematics, Science and Technology Week
  • Lost Upland by WS Merwin ~ in honor of well, you know the song…April in Paris. Cheesy, I know.