Oh rainy June, where did you go? I liked you much better than tropical July. Yesterday was a record-breaking one in terms of weather. The temperature reached 100F (38C) and the humidity was tropical making it feel more like 115 (46C). Our Independence Day celebrations did not involve much. We didn’t go outside until around 8:30 in the evening to water the vegetable garden and even then it was still 90 (32C). We spent our day indoors and celebrated by partaking of Bookman’s homemade vegan hot dogs. I told him I wanted ice cream too and he delivered. He made vegan Neapolitan ice cream (strawberry, chocolate, vanilla) using strawberries from our own garden for the strawberry layer. If the weather stays tropical we’ll be able to grow our own coconuts (we use coconut milk for the ice cream) and chocolate too.
A large part of the day was spent reading. I read a whole book! Granted it was a short book but I haven’t read a book in a day in ages. The book in question was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I will be writing about that soon. I have a couple other recent finishes I have to post about too, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte and Orestes by Euripides in a fantastic Anne Carson translation.
The year is halfway over and I am heading towards reading a record breaking number of books. I usually average 54 books a year and this year I am on track to read over 60. I believe the most books I have ever read in a year is 62. Not having library school cutting into my time and reading short books really pumps up the numbers. But at the end of the day, reading is not about numbers it is about the pleasure that reading has given me. So far, it’s been great with only one abandoned book. Not bad.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach as the saying goes, and I had hoped to read far more than I managed in June. But no matter. I’ve got lots of books in progress so July doesn’t have a big line-up of hope-to-reads, more like a big pile of hope-to-finish. When I do finish books I hope to get to some of the books I planned to read in previous months and didn’t manage. And who, knows, maybe this will be the month I finally start that science books by women project I made a whole long list for. Natalie Angier’s The Canon is still sitting on the shelf above my desk scolding me for my neglect. I’ll get to it, I’ll get to, but you see I have these other books I need to read too.
Ah that previous paragraph has lots of hope in it. Is it just me or do readers tend to be an optimistic bunch?
One book I have not yet begun that I will read in July is A.S. Byatt’s Ragnarok. I will be receiving it in the mail shortly from Barnes & Noble since the store I went to didn’t have it in stock and I didn’t want to drive to another one across town in the heat. Better to have my good and wonderful postal carrier deliver it to my doorstep. Ragnarok is the next Slaves group discussion book. The conversation begins on July 31st and all are welcome to join.
I will be going to visit my family in San Diego for several days on the 19th. Bookman will be staying home and holding down the fort. I will be in need of airplane reading. I just began reading George R.R. Martin’s Clash of Kings last week (off to an awesome start btw) and it is such a chunky book if I am still reading it come the 19th it will go with me. There will also be my Kindle filled with other books because one can never be sure what one will want to read while traveling and visiting family.
My turn just came up for Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine. I read the introduction last night. It has possibility but it didn’t grab me right off which worried me a bit. I’m concerned it might turn out to be a cross between popular nonfiction and a self-help business management book. If I am not connecting with it by page 50 it goes back to the library. Which might be why I got the book so fast to begin with because when I put a hold on it at the beginning of June there were 80 people in line for it before me and I figured I wouldn’t be seeing it until September. Has anyone read this?
Still slowly and happily making my way through Marilynne Robinson’s When I Was a Child I Read Books. I could probably write a post for each of her essays that’s how yummy and substantial they are.
I have read the first essay in To Write Like a Woman by Joanna Russ. It is about critiquing science fiction. I found her argument somewhat bothersome and will very likely get around to posting about that essay after I read it again to make sure she is saying what I think she is.
And of course I am reading entries from Emerson’s diaries now and then. They make good bedtime reading when I am tired and only want to read for 10 minutes or so. Still, they are not breezy so I can’t be too tired when I read them.
Oh, and I borrowed Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey from the library. Trethewey was recently announced as the next Poet Laureate of the U.S. and I had never heard of her. I’ve read the first few poems and so far like her very much. Not only is she a woman but she is biracial and in her forties – young with some really interesting things to say. Very exciting to have her as Poet Laureate.
That’s all my active reading at the moment. That’s enough, isn’t it? Lots of variety, exactly what I like. Plus, it will help me get through this terrible hot summer. I am so very much looking forward to winter. Snow? Yes please.