Monthly Round-up: July 2017

With just one month to go in the 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, I need to pick up the pace with my reviews. I’m running a bit off schedule, but I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve been making huge strides in my own writing—10,000 words this past weekend! That’s a degree of productivity I haven’t had in years.

Books Read:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  4. The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris
  5. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
  6. Sleep Donation by Karen Russell
  7. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Books Reviewed:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman
  3. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  4. The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Books Remaining for the Summer 20 Challenge:

  1. The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
  2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  6. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier
  7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

The Terra-Cotta Dog is the 2nd Inspector Montalbano mystery. I read the 1st early in the challenge and decided to review both together in a combination review. So far, White Teeth is wonderful (and funny) as is The Sun Also Rises. The plan is to save My Brilliant Friend for the end since everyone says it’s hard to put down and I should expect to read books 2-4 straight after.

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 76 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 175 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 168
    (42% Feedback Ratio)

Monthly Round-up: June 2017

I’m pretty pleased with my start on the summer: I’ve read 7 books towards the 20 Books of Summer 2017 reading challenge. I still have a high daily page count to deal with, but it hasn’t gone up since the start of the summer. Not falling behind counts as progress, right?

My computer/reading glasses distort everything outside book distance which has been an adjustment, but they do make it easier to focus on the page and nothing else. We’ll see whether the extra pair of specs speeds up the reading or slows it down. I might slip in an audiobook, but who knows. Audiobooks are still ridiculously pricey and dependent on the reader’s voice and skill. Why can’t they synthesize Hugh Laurie’s voice so there’s always a read-by-Hugh-Laurie option?

Books Reviewed:

  1. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
  2. Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  4. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  5. She by H. Rider Haggard

Books Read:

  1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  2. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
  3. The Punch Escrow by Tal Klein
  4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  5. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  6. She by H. Rider Haggard
  7. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

Current State of the TBR: (with correct math this time, oops!)

  • Kindle Titles: 77 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 171 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 9
    (50% Feedback Ratio)

Monthly Round-up: May 2017

It’s good to have a light month before the 20 Books of Summer 2017 reading challenge, but more on that June 1… (so excited!)

Books Reviewed:

  1. The North Water by Ian McGuire (4.8)
  2. Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin (3.8)
  3. House of Names by Colm Toíbín (4.9)
  4. The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers (5.0)
  5. New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (3.4)
  6. The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (4.6)

Books Read:

  1. …I didn’t keep track this month. Oops! Work was hectic and my reading comprised short fiction before bed. I’ve joined NetGalley and shifted my queues around to review books near their publication dates. Most have been good with a few being excellent: House of Names and Manhattan Beach are first to mind. The latter, by Jennifer Egan, isn’t out for a while yet so the review will be up in October.

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 79 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 175 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 12

Monthly Round-up: February 2016

I read quite a bit this month and it wasn’t until I compiled the list that I noticed all my February books were written by women. I’m still rationing out the Christie, two others were read for April (am attempting a “theme” month, stay tuned), and I had to get on a plane so I read The Ballad of the Sad Café again. Sad Café was assigned for a class in college and it irritated me—why does Miss Amelia let Cousin Lymon walk all over her?? But the writing impressed me, so I read it again a few years later when I was “older and wiser.” Then I read it again a few years later, then again, and now it’s a thing: I read it every few years. It’s so absorbing that I bring it on flights to distract myself. (Am a nervous flyer.)

Books Read:
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
-The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Reviews Posted:
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Murder of the Century by Paul Collins
The Tale of the Unknown Island by José Saramago
Eli Marks 1-3 (The Ambitious Card, The Bullet Catch, and The Miser’s Dream) by John Gaspard
My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty