My Reading Month: August 2015

My friend Shannon, of a periodic table, and I were emailing the other day. Our conversation naturally went to blogging, as that’s something we’ve both done for years, and it’s how we met. She articulated the feelings of the “fallen behind” blogger:  when you’ve been away for awhile, it feels like you need to explain, or at least excuse yourself. But, then, how? And why? What does one say?

And then, (and my Granny will have to pardon me for including her in my public shame), I got a letter from my Granny this weekend, and she told me that she checks my blog whenever she gets on the computer, but I haven’t blogged in so long. Which will just cut right to the heart of you. My Granny lit a fire under me – that’s what happened – and so here I am, after all my procrastinating, with the fire stoked.

Here’s the thing:  my July reading month just tanked utterly. I read a good book, which I do want to talk about, but I’ll be saving it for a new series I’m starting called Shelf Life, a chance for me to write a bit more in-depth about the books I’m reading that I really love. I often end up writing about books I love on My Reading Month, and then I’m like, okay, Dana, this post is going to take three months for someone to read, wrap it up. Which is a shame because when I love a book, I really want to tell you all about it. So, Shelf Life. Look for it to hit your inbox soon.

But August. Oh, August was good. I have books to share, a couple of which will also show up in Shelf Life, so I won’t get too much into it, but I do want to share my list.

My Reading Month:  August 2015

  • The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen. I loved Kate’s memoir, Blue Plate Special, and this is the first work of fiction I’ve read by her, and it was fantastic. So smart, so wonderfully food-centric without giving in to popular “food fiction” tropes. The main character, Hugo, is kind of the worst, but he is also oddly endearing. He is dying, and has lived as a hermit for years in his old family mansion, but when his relatives crash his party of one, he is forced to reckon with them and attempt to send them packing, devising and hatching positively diabolical schemes. Plus, a lot of M.F.K. Fisher goodness. Like, really goodness.
  • Re Jane by Patricia Park. Y’all! This book! I’ve recommended it to anyone who will suffer through my gushing over it. Re Jane is a re-telling of Jane Eyre, set in Queens, and our modern-day Jane is Jane Re, a half-Korean orphan living with her uncle’s family. And I’m saving the rest for Shelf Life because otherwise this post will take you three months to read.
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Okay, yes, I know. Before everyone freaks out, it’s true:  I had somehow made it to the age of thirty without ever reading Anne of Green Gables. Somehow, I missed her in my youth, and instead found Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and she became the heroine of my youth, and that was all there was to it. But oh my goodness, I love Anne! I’ll have more to say on this in a Shelf Life post soon, but yes. Anne = yes.

So where does this put me on my challenge to read 52 books this year? Behind. Behind is where it puts me. I have to buckle down for the fall and get some reading done because this will never do. And to add insult to injury, I haven’t been able to cross off any new items on my Whisks & Words 2015 Reading Challenge. You can’t see me, but I’m shaking my head. And! I have to read a horror book. Any recommendations of horror books for people who hate horror? Much appreciated.

Look for Shelf Life soon! (Hi, Granny!)


2 thoughts on “My Reading Month: August 2015

  1. Horror for people who don’t like horror: If you’ve never read “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” by Shirley Jackson, that would be an excellent & classic choice. For something more recent, I highly recommend “The Girl With All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey. It was one of my personal “best books” of last year, and it’s not only horror, but also futuristic, dystopian, scientific … and purely brilliant storytelling.

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