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Summer Reading Lists: We're Supposed to Be Reading

July 26, 2019 10:51 AM | JC Lynne (Administrator)



   By JC Lynne

It's that time of year. Temperatures are up, so perhaps are tempers. Motivation is low, so is our energy. Some of us are traveling or just getting out of doors but it's a truism of being a writer, we must read books. 

A lot of them.

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury

Piles of books. You know you have them as well. The Japanese have a word to describe this phenomenon: Tsundoku. The owning of books in number beyond your ability to read them. The Beard and I shared this condition.

When the time came to merge our libraries, we faced a tough decision. We owned over five thousand books between us. Sure, it was easy to get rid of duplicate titles (we had many). Then we moved on to books we had already completed (some read more than once, cough cough, maybe fewer than fifty times). 

And finally, because we don't have unlimited wall space, we had to figure out how to deal with our tsundoku.

In A Ring of Endless Light, Madeleine L'Engle described a house transformed from a multi-stall barn into a home with walls and walls of books. To this day, I'd love to live in a remodeled barn. 

One for fun. Three for research. 

I'm veering. We all have those piles. And my annual Dog Day survey begins:

I'll go first:

In addition to the stack in the photo, I'm STILL working through Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. And work is exactly what reading it is. 

I've just started The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt 

I'm listening to Daemon by Daniel Suarez but let's just say I'm not in love with the narrator.

I just gave up on The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. To be fair, a lot of people have been raving about this book, including The Beard but I just couldn't do it. 

In my queue, The Fifth Season (Book One Broken Earth), Red Waters (Book Three The Devil's West), and A Gathering of Shadows (Book Two Shades of Magic)

Brian Kaufman

I've been finshing edits on two novels, so reading has taken a back seat. I can only mention three:

Karin Kaufman's More Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins (my sister's read-along story book for children).

Ellen Datlow's horror collection The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen.

and for comfort (of a sort), I revisited an all-time favorite, Kent Haruf's Our Souls at Night.

What are you reading? (click on the blue rectangle next to the blog title and leave your list in the comments!)


  • July 26, 2019 12:32 PM | Amy Rivers
    Two I loved that I recently finished: Across A Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande, and Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier. Though The Chain by Adrian McKinley is looking like it might top the list. Terrifying stuff.

    One I didn't love. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Everyone loved this book but something about it didn't sit right with me.
    Link  •  Reply
  • July 27, 2019 7:32 AM | JC Lynne (Administrator)
    Ronda is in Japan, but of course, has an opinion. ;)
    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

    Didn’t Rock:
    My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor because Autobiographies like this are borrrrrring
    Link  •  Reply
    • July 27, 2019 5:28 PM | Sonja Cassella
      I loved My Beloved World as well. Such a positive, happy book.
      Link  •  Reply
  • July 30, 2019 9:45 AM | JC Lynne (Administrator)
    Eleanor Says:
    I really enjoyed:
    There, There by Tommy Orange
    Normal People by Sally Rooney (although the first half was better than the second half)

    But I'm falling in love with Martin Walker's French murder series Bruno, Chief of Police.

    I'm disappointed in:
    Florida by Lauren Groff (I liked a few short stories, but it got so much hype I felt as if I was a failure by not likign it)
    Educated by Tara Westover (This memoir has been number 1 on the NY Times bestseller list for 72 weeks straight. I'm halfway through it and it's fine, but so far , meh...
    Link  •  Reply

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