Friday, August 30, 2013

August Reading Roundup

From a reading perspective, August had to be one of the strangest.  It's like I had lots of reading time, but couldn't seem to find a way to get through too many books. Between The Kills and Jeff VanderMeer's The Weird, these weighty tomes are sucking up my time.  Normally it's so many books, so little time, but this time it's so much time and so few books!  This month it was a matter of random reads, and it definitely seems to have come out that way.  The lowdown follows:

Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews
Letters from Skye, by Jessica Brockmole 
Night of the Rambler, by Montague Kobbé
A Very Recent History, by Choire Sicha (for TLC book tours)
Night Film, by Marisha Pessl 
(I just finished this one, so I'll discuss it shortly, but this was one hell of a ride, and I read it marathon style, which is to say that I didn't stop reading until finished)
odd/weird fiction 
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Tales, Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer (eds) 
(I might add that I should really get credit for at least 2 books with this one -- 1152 pp, double-columned) 
This House is Haunted, by John Boyne (an ARC -- so my discussion of this book won't be until October, as agreed upon with the publisher, but let me just say ...  I couldn't put this one down either) 
purely for escape purposes
well, nothing this month really unless you count The Weird (above)

crime fiction/mystery
Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter by Theodore Tinsley 
Holy Orders, by Benjamin Black

White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin, A Memoir, by Michael W. Clune (for TLC book tours)

still reading
The Kills, by Richard House
just stuck my nose into
Lost Luggage, by Jordi Punti
Petite Mort, by Beatrice Hitchman 

And now, the  other book-related stuff:

1) Books I'm giving away this month -- for US readers only.    -- Unlike many other things in life, for you, this deal is absolutely 100% totally free;  I'll even pay postage to get it to its new home.  All you need to do is to be the first to leave a comment here, and then email me at with contact info INCLUDING A HOME ADDRESS, PLEASE!! 1st come, first served. No address email, no book:

books are posted on the side, but if you can't see them, here they are:
1. The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes
2. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett -- signed
3. Holy Orders, by Benjamin Black -- ARC
4. Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel -- ARC
5. Running the Rift, by Naomi Benaron -- signed
6. Inferno, by Dan Brown
7. The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman
8. Schroeder, by Amity Gaige

--crime fiction --
1. Countdown City, by Ben Winters
2. The Last Policeman, by Ben Winters
3. Holy Orders, by Benjamin Black (ARC)

--nonfiction--1. The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, by Jennifer Worth

 2) Added to the  wishlist this month (subtitled: huh? never heard of those!):
     crime fiction:
Andean Express, by Juan de Racaoechea (from Bolivia)
American Visa, by Juan de Racaoechea

      general fiction:
Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne du Maurier, the NYRB collection
Black Narcissus, by Rumer Godden
Burnt Island, by Alice Thompson
Helium, by Jaspreet Singh (whose novel Chef was an absolute masterpiece if you ask me)

  the weird, the strange, supernatural etc:
nothing this month

 nothing this month

 3) Books bought this month (subtitled: I read strange books)
  • The Deliverance of Evil, by Roberto Costantini  -- crime fiction
  • No One Loves a Policeman, by Guillermo Orsi -- crime fiction
  • MadAdam, by Margaret Atwood  -- scifi/fantasy
  • Shriek: An Afterword, by Jeff VanderMeer -- Fantasy
  • Annihilation (The Southern Reach Trilogy), by Jeff VanderMeer -- scifi/fantasy (preorder)
  • Black Water:  The Book of Fantastic Literature, by Alberto Manguel -- fantasy
  • The Goddess Chronicle, by Natsuo Kirino
  • The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares -- Latin American fiction
  • Petite Mort, by Beatrice Hitchman -- Fiction
  • Night Film, by Marisha Pessl -- Fiction 
  • Lawrence in Arabia, by Scott Anderson -- nonfiction
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan -- nonfiction
and, I received an ARC of Perfect, by Rachel Joyce, from Random House, which I'm looking forward to reading.

4) Currently reading: 
The Kills, by Richard House
Lost Luggage, by Jordi Punti
Petite Morte, by Beatrice Hitchman

5) The book group is still on hiatus for the summer, although the plan for September is American Rust by Philipp Meyer.

So, happy reading, a lovely Labor Day holiday, and I'm off to read again!

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