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In my bed: June 2014

Is there such thing as reverse-seasonal affective disorder? I get the urge to hibernate in summer. I crave sleep and comfort food. This summer, I’m not just choosing reading over blogging, but sleeping over reading. And lately, TV over both. I may have to stop smugly saying “actually, I don’t watch TV” if this keeps up. Damn you, OITNB.

There are tons of literary references and shout outs though. Hey Ian MacEwan!

There are tons of literary references and shout outs though. Hey Ian McEwan! via booksofoitnb.com

In addition to reading and blogging ennui, I’m buying books and not reading them, which I understand is normal book blogger behaviour, but it’s not normal for me. And I’m just not loving the books I’m reading lately. I don’t think it’s them. I think it’s me.

Sometimes, when I’m in a rut, I give something up for a while. I’m running low on things to give up, though. I’ve done social media-free months. That’s boring. I gave up caffeine and TV last year and am still off both, OITNB notwithstanding. I quit smoking. I don’t do drugs and I haven’t been drunk in five years.

No, I’m NOT going to quit blogging. But I do need to do something a little drastic…

No New Novels in July
As the heading suggests, this month I’m not going to start any new novels whatsoever. I’ve been feeling a little compulsive when it comes to reading lately. Not in a fun “yay I love reading” way, but in a sad “I’m going to hide in the bathroom and read because I don’t want to deal with real life” kind of way. Or “I’m going to stay up way too late and read till my eyes are burning and I’m exhausted the next day” kind of way. These are things we all joke about but maybe I do need to step back a bit.

Exceptions
Because I’m not going to read the back of the cereal box for a month.

  • Poetry, which works out because I finally picked up my Poetry Concierge recommendation, Strike Sparks by Sharon Olds!
  • Graphic novels, because the CanLit bookclub at the library is reading Louis Riel by Chester Brown. 
  • Rereads. None planned at the moment, but if something’s calling to me, why not? I haven’t reread anything apart from Wuthering Heights since I started blogging. That’s not okay.

Do you think I’m crazy? I kind of do. Here’s what I’ve been reading the past few months and a look ahead:

Recommended reading
It was a struggle to make a top 5 this quarter. See: rut, reading. These are in particular order, btw.

The English Patient by Michael Odaantjemalarkynogreatmischieftentantofwildfellhallkarma

  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • Malarky by Anakana Schofield
  • No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • Karma by Cathy Osteler

Reading diverse
This is year to date, of 32 books read:

  • 18 (56%) written by women
  • 7 (22%) written by people of colour
  • 5 (16%) written by Dead White Dudes
  • 19 (59%) Canadian, 5 American,  5 British, 1 French, 1 Russian, and 1 Caribbean

Reading local
waitingforcoloumbus13condemneddemon gate
I read Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk for #yegbookclub. I enjoyed it, with a few reservations, but I hear it’s being adapted and think it could be great on screen. I also read local poet Alexis Kienlen’s 13, which includes a series of poems about bees that could have inspired Lorde’s line about being queen bee, except Lorde was probably like eight when this book came out.

A few things happening in Edmonton this summer:

  • There are so many book launches coming up at Audreys Books, you should just go to their Facebook page. Highlights include a new mystery from Janice MacDonald on July 10 and the Alberta launch of Padma Viswanathan‘s latest on July 2.
  • The summer schedule for #yegbookclub has been announced, featuring the wonderful The Dilettantes and a YA novel, Demon Gate by Marty Chan. Chan is a longtime Twitter favourite of mine so it should be a good chat, check it out.
  • The Great Edmonton Book Swap IV is on July 19th. I am told there might be scones.

What’s next on Reading in Bed

  • Review catch up: I read 101 Books’ take on book reviews the other day, and I get what he’s saying, but disagree. I think reviews are really important. If I go to a book blog and don’t see a review or two in the most recent posts, I’m outta there. It’s about credibility. It’s time to get my shit together because I’m still reviewing books read back in January.
  • Hello Booktube: I’ve been watching a lot of booktube lately. There are things I love about it and things I find intimidating and things I hate, but it’s a force… I feel the way I did when I realized book blogging was a thing. Watch for some of my favourites on the blog soon.
  • Edmonton books Fall preview: Last year the number and quality of books released by Edmonton authors was amazing. This year is shaping up pretty well. My most anticipated titles are coming soon.

Anyone want to join me in my no new books thing? No? That’s okay. I will just jealously stalk you all on Goodreads.

 

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. I sometimes go through dry phases where I just don’t want to read period. Every single time, it scares me to death. I’m thinking, what if this is the time my desire to my doesn’t come back at all? Sometimes taking a break can be a great thing though, almost like a palate cleanser during dinner. Enjoy the hiatus as best you can!

    July 2, 2014
    • I’m not too scared about losing it. But a palate cleanser is exactly what I’m thinking of. Thanks!

      July 2, 2014
  2. Maybe instead of taking things away all the time you should do something new? I think you might be stuck in a rut. Maybe taking new books away will make you appreciate them more. If it doesn’t, maybe its time to shake things up.

    Maybe both?

    How about you help me plan out my non-wedding? (Half serious)

    July 2, 2014
    • But not doing something is easier than doing something :)

      Um obviously I will help you. I’ll go order a custom-made MOH IN CONTRO t-shirt now…

      July 2, 2014
      • I wish I had made a tee shirt!

        July 2, 2014
  3. Really hoping you like Sharon Olds! Also, apparently the universe is telling me to watch OITNB.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    July 2, 2014
    • So far I do! I’ve just read the first few poems but they are just the right amount of weird for me. And kind of icky. But good icky? :)

      July 2, 2014
    • You need to watch OITNB :) – Tania

      July 2, 2014
  4. I think taking a break is a good idea. I will be slowing down quite a bit this summer, because summer here is about going camping with the kids as much as we can. And, I still read, of course, but it’s harder to fit it in. So, hopefully that will be my break, and I won’t need to take a real one. Hopefully.

    I read that post on 101Books, too, and left a comment saying that I disagreed. I love reading other people’s take on books, new and old, good and bad. Good to hear I’m not the only one!

    Can’t wait to hear what you thought of Malarky. I’ve had that one on my list since it came out. I have no idea if I will ever get to it, but it will be fun to read about someone else reading it.

    I just have to ask- what is OITNB?

    July 2, 2014
    • Orange is the New Black! Sorry, I see the acronym so much on the internet I assumed it was the standard way to refer to it :)

      I saw your comment on 101 Books. Yay for dissenting opinions!

      Oh Malarky is so good. So so good. Drop what you’re reading and go read it good. 5 stars, A+, etc. I am trying to power through reviews, but that one wasn’t a review book, so it may not be next. Or maybe it will, now I’m worked up about it!

      July 2, 2014
      • If you’re worked up about it, maybe it’s a good time to write about it! Good to know you liked it so much- I will bump it up for sure!! I hope my library has it…

        I am usually way behind on internet speak. It’s kind of embarrassing. :)

        July 2, 2014
  5. Haha, I feel the urge to hibernate in the summer too! I think it might be the heat or something that makes me more lethargic than usual. Erm, I think I can do the no-new-books thing for a week, but that might be it. :P

    July 2, 2014
    • Whoa, I just realized that I read your post about a reading dry spell last week (nice Scrubs gif btw,) and it probably indirectly influenced me to come up with this thing… thank you!

      July 2, 2014
      • Thanks! ;) That gif just reminded me of all the other non-bookish things I’ve been enjoying, sigh…

        July 3, 2014
  6. Gosh you are so good at reading local! I wish I had your drive. :) And yeah, I totally feel you on the reverse seasonal affect disorder … I’ve been wanting to hibernate, too! I think it’s the heat. And the fact that we have AC. I also think I have about 6 books on the go — some from waaaaaay back — and I really should work on finishing them. And I buy way more books than I need to. I think I’ll try to finish these books this year, for sure!

    July 2, 2014
  7. Have fun hibernating a little! And watching OITNB – so good. -Tania

    July 2, 2014
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  9. Isi #

    Good luck with your goals and with passing through this odd period of time.
    I also feel quite depressed when summer comes; I don’t know why I hate it, but it’s just that I don’t want to do anything when it’s hot.

    July 10, 2014
  10. OITNB is one my favourite shows right now, so I understand how it’s hard to stop watching it!

    Ugh, yes. Summertime sadness. I love summer, but somehow it makes me feel really old now. Like it’s only for the young and my boat has sailed far away. And I totally get the reading/blogging rut because I often fall into one. I think a palate cleanser is a great suggestion. Maybe whenever you’re ready to come back to reading and blogging, you could write Tweet-like reviews (à la The Afterword Society) so you can clear the backlog and move on. Heck, maybe even just let go of the backlog and start completely anew.

    No matter what you decide, I’ve always enjoyed your blog and hearing about what you’re reading or not reading or thinking about. :)

    July 11, 2014
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