In my bed: March 2014
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?
Reading has been trumping writing for me lately, too.
I’m okay with it though! What’s the best thing you’ve read lately?
GOLDEN BOY by Abigail Tarttelin. You should definitely read it.
Added. I feel like I read a (really good) review a while back.
You have been reading some great books! I can’t wait to hear more about them- several are on my TBR list. I commented on your Philip K. Dick review over on ebclassic’s blog. I’ve never read anything by him, but now I want to. I just read George Elliott Clarke’s George and Rue, which I loved and is very local, for me. Now reading The Cellist of Sarajevo.
Is that the one everyone in Toronto is reading? What’s the deal with that (or am I making it up)
C.J. from ebclassics just told me yesterday that the Toronto Public Library picked it as their April read. It looks like there are 22 days of cellist performances around Toronto to kick off the Keep Toronto Reading Festival 2014.
Yes, that’s it! So cool!
I can’t wait to hear you on WriteReads. I love their podcast. For me a good podcast is all about the personalities and they have it. And I love your new title – In My Bed. Just the right amount of sass.
Awesome! When do you listen to podcasts? My whole issue was never having time – till I realized the gym thing.
So glad you loved DADoES! Posted that I also really liked Ubik on your guest review.
Congrats on the diversity reads, I’m still working on it.
And to answer your question, everyone should call him Kirtles, imho 🙂
And aww! Right back at you, Tanya! Love the blog. Thank you, we’re doing our best but I’m also still kinda nervous every time we podcast, I’m giggling too much. Sigh. -Tania
Your giggle is the cutest.
It’s okay to call me Kirtles. Anybody can do it. My family calls me Kirty, so there’s that option too.
Any other Kirts I’ve known have been so serious and ONLY Kirt (or Kurt or whatever.) I’m glad you are more laid back 🙂
You’ve just made me realize that I still haven’t written my March recap. Oh well. Maybe next week.
I’ve kind of started Todd’s book, but really have to sit down and read more than a few pages at a time. Little one has been asleep for three hours now and I’ve been doing absolutely nothing on the internet. Proooobably could’ve been a little more productive.
I really need to start a classic soon! I was eyeing my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo yesterday, but at over 1,200 pages, I’m still feeling quite intimidated by it.
Oh god, I’m intimidated by it too! Not to mention W&P! A Tale of Two Cities and Madame Bovary are both under 400 pages which I am digging.
And yes, get into Come Barbarians! I found it a pretty quick read once I was into it.
1. Your post on DADOES was kick-ass and got so many comments and discussions going.
2. You have inspired me to be more local about my reading, so I’m going to try reading some authors from my town this summer.
3. Look forward to the Write Reads you guest host.
4. After months and months of trying, I’ve given up on the Afterwards Society. Every time I see his chipper email, I think, “Oh, just keep your darn books, Mark Medley!”
5. #1Tale2Cities – I’m in!
6. #MadameBovary2014 – Thanks for joining!
Cool! You should do a post about what local authors you’re going to read.
LOL at Afterword – I feel the same way, like he’s mocking me? I’m 99% sure they just take the first 25 people to respond, because this time I happened to see the email come in and clicked on it right away. So you gotta be ON it.
Just downloaded Mme. B – let’s get started!
Can you tell me how to request for The Afterword Reading Society? I’ve subscribed, but see no place where I can request to read something…it’s probably somewhere super obvious that I just am not seeing. Help! 🙂 -Tania
You have to sign up for email updates: http://theafterword.ca/
Then you should get emails when the new book is available – but as I replied to CJ above, I’m pretty sure they just take the first 25 people, so you have to respond as soon as you get the email!
Thank you 🙂 They just don’t explain anything on the site, so I got confused. -Tania
I’ve asked for more details but no response so far. They are very mysterious… I guess that’s why they decided to call themselves a “Society”…
I did get invited to request to read the next book, so I guess I’m got into the secret society 🙂
You won’t believe this but I made it through to the Afterword Reading Society and they are sending me Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose (when I am I going to read this??). Mark Medley must have karmically heard me bitching about him.
Well… Actually I directed him to my post so he may have seen your comment LOL
Oops … ha ha! Hopefully it’s a good book.