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.
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.
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:
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 Ondaatje
- Malarky by Anakana Schofield
- No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
- Karma by Cathy Osteler
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
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.