Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (top to bottom):

  • Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis - from Avon Books for review
  • Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, purchased for Open Canon Book Club discussion in October (hit the name of the book club to go to the join-up page, if you're interested)
  • Fear by Bob Woodward, purchased

I don't have to buy the October selection for my local book group because it's one I already own: News of the World by Paulette Giles. It was a favorite read, a couple years ago, so I'm excited to have an excuse to reread it. The Open Canon selection is one I recall reading about pre-release and I've been interested in it but just hadn't gotten around to tracking down a copy, so I'm also looking forward to that. I'm going to have to read faster, though. I am nowhere near completing this month's list of reads with just a week to go before October. 

Books finished since last week's Malarkey:

  • The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

The Birds of Opulence was the first selection of the Open Canon Book Group, Wiley Cash's new online discussion group. Author Crystal Wilkinson did a Q/A on Wednesday evening and it was marvelous.

Currently reading:

  • The Sadness of Beautiful Things: Stories (e-book) by Simon Van Booy
  • Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson
  • Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
  • A Brown Man in Russia by Vijay Menon

It just occurred to me that I never mention e-books at all, till I read them. That's partly because I don't accept e-books for review, I guess, but mostly because I have trouble thinking of e-books as real books. At any rate, The Sadness of Beautiful Things is a book I was sent by the author in PDF form, a couple weeks ago. I can't bear to read off the computer and it took me 2 or 3 weeks to figure out what my google password is, so that I could enter that password on my iPad (I received it via email) and open the file to read. I finally figured it out by trial and error but I have to reenter my password every time I want to read a story because my iPad likes to close windows and makes me reenter passwords frequently. I think it has some sort of a short it in, somewhere. At any rate, I'm enjoying the stories in The Sadness of Beautiful Things and excited that a new collection of Simon Van Booy's short stories is finally being published. It's been a long time and I always adore Simon's short stories.

Sons and Soldiers was one I hoped to finish, this week, but I came nowhere near. It's just a book that's going to take a while, although actually . . . everything is taking a while. I'm just reading it slowly, partly because I'm going through one of those phases during which I need to balance several books to keep myself reading.

Hot Winter Nights is a book that arrived and then was immediately and unfairly shoved to the head of the line because I agreed to review it this week. And, A Brown Man in Russia is the travel memoir of a young man of Indian descent (his grandparents still live in India) who had some interesting experiences traveling in Russia, particularly because of his disinterest in learning to read Cyrillic or studying a tiny bit of the Russian language before leaving, although apparently it's a bad idea to slide around on the ice like a kid in Russia. So, there are surprising cultural glimpses.

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

I'm still watching the same old things on TV, although I watched the first episode of Season 1 of Jessica Jones with Kiddo, while he was home for the weekend. I liked it but didn't love it. Otherwise, my free time is mostly being spent at the gym and painting rocks, which I'll eventually scatter throughout town. I'm just waiting till I have plenty to hide. Here's my latest:

I sit at the kitchen counter and watch Torchwood while I paint.

This weekend, we went on a jaunt to our favorite vegetable stand. It was so hot that afterwards we drove to the funky Flowood area and had a cold drink at Brent's Drugs, a former drugstore where some scenes from The Help were filmed, and then we walked uphill to the fancy dessert place and got some little cakes. I took a gazillion photos of vegetables at the vegetable stand, with the thought that I'll probably paint some of them. They're all decked out for Halloween. I couldn't help but think half of this will probably be rotten by mid-October if the temperature doesn't cool down. We're still in the upper 80s to lower 90s.

How was your weekend?

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  1. I read Into the Beautiful North a few years ago and loved it!

    1. Oh, yay, I'm so glad to hear that! I remember reading reviews and thinking it sounded good. I'm excited about it.

  2. Ugh! It’s still been in the 80s here but at least we don’t have the humidity. We need that autumn cool weather.

    1. Yeah, it really wouldn't be bad at all without our intense humidity. But, we're stuck with that so I'm just looking forward to . . . I don't know, November? Usually, we're cool by then. Sometimes we'll get a genuine cool front in October but it varies. Hope it cools off for you, soon.

  3. It's been entirely too long since I've read any of Simon's work.

    1. Well, then, you need to get your mitts on the new one!


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