You know you’re in a blogging slump when: a monthly update becomes quarterly. At least I came up with a sassy new name?
Reading has trumped writing lately, and I blame all the wonderful books. In the first three months of 2014, I’ve read three five-star books, one that was ever so close, and many that rate a solid four-stars.
I’ve read 17 books to date this year. Here are a few that I would recommend to almost anyone.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick. See my guest post over at ebookclassics and get ready to have your mind blown.
- Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Check out me Bronte fangirling here.
- The Orenda by Joseph Boyden. I knew this one was special after the first 15 pages and was a wreck after the last page. Review to come.
- Mad Hope by Heather Birrell. Seriously cannot wait to reread this when I review.
- The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart. My favourite of this year so far. As much for the translation as for the author’s work. It’s unbelievable that this was not written in English, because the language just soars.
It was enlightening to count up the diversity (or lack thereof, sadly) in my reading last year, so I thought I’d track it more often in 2014. Of the 17 books I’ve read so far:
- 10 written by women
- 5 written by people of colour
- 3 written by Dead White Dudes (and just 1 by an Alive White Dude. Hi Todd!)
- 7 Canadian, 4 American, 4 British,1 Russian, and 1 Caribbean
So, still heavy on Canada/US/UK and heavy on white authors. A work in progress.
I read some great local Edmonton books recently. Reviews for these are all to come.
- The Shore Girl by Fran Kimmel: Complex and satisfying.
- Follies Past by Melanie Kerr: Unexpected and authentic.
- Come Barbarians by Todd Babiak: A cross between Le Carre and Irving.
There are also some great recent and upcoming events in Edmonton:
- Sadly, Richard Wagamese (author of Indian Horse) couldn’t make it to the Macewan Book of the Year event, so it’s being rescheduled.
- I attended my very first CanLit Book Club at Jasper Place Library, and Indian Horse was the March pick. I think a full blog post is in order, but I’m so happy to have found this group! Our next book is Emma Donoghue’s Astray.
- This week, I’ll be staying up past my bedtime to attend Green Drinks: Local Literature. I’m not sure exactly what will go on, but I’ve been told it involved “literati,” possibly “glitterati,” and also high-fives. I will attempt to take selfies with the likes of Jason Lee Norman (Americas, 40 Below Project), Matt Bowes (NeWest Press), Diana Davidson (Pilgrimage), and Alexis Keilen (13, She Dreams in Red.) There are 24 tickets left as of 10:30 Monday night. Get on it!
- Guest hosting on Write Reads: I haven’t been much into podcasts until I realized that my gym has free wifi and I can listen to them while I work out. I listened to Write Reads this week, and soon enough, I’ll be guest hosting with Tania and “Kirtles” (that’s what Tania calls him. I don’t know if I get to call him Kirtles right off the bat or not!) with my choice for Canadian New Release month: Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music.
- Reading for The Afterword Reading Society: The National Post books section came up with a quasi-book club of it’s own. Each week there’s a new book, and members can request a chance to read. 25 are picked and you get a review copy of the book and a set of questions to fill out. The results are summarized in the paper. I’ve been trying for months and finally got picked to read Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names. One of the questions asks, “what would you ask the author?” I had a real hard time coming up with something more intelligent than “why are you so awesome?” I’ll post all my answers on the blog soon.
- #1Tale2Cities Readalong: Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is the first readalong I’ve hosted since Moby-Dick. Watch for a sign up post soon! We’ll start reading on April 20th.
- Madame Bovary Readalong: I feel like living on the edge, so I’m signing up for this readalong the day before it starts. ebookclassics, Cedar Station, and a scandalous heroine? Yeah, I’m in. Sign up here, soon.
How about you, book bloggers and readers? Are you reading diverse or local or anything else we should know about?