Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July, Already?


The month of June was a whirlwind, both on the blog (Pym Reading Week, Audiobook Week, Going Public...In Shorts, and The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop) and on the home front. In the above photo, you see a combination of books waiting to be reviewed and a couple in progress. I finished Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy yesterday afternoon, just in time for the July 1 Classics Spin  deadline. It has left me speechless, but what an amazing book!  It truly redefines my idea and expectations of a tragedy.

In addition to Tess, reviews are in progress for Cooked by Michael Pollan, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, and The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell.

My current audiobook is The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. I picked up a print copy from the library in case I decide to read, too.

In print, I'm loving The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. Unfortunately, we were away for several days and I forgot to bring it along. Can't wait to get back to it tonight. I've also just started The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison.

July marks the beginning of a new era - life without Google Reader. I've switched to Blogluvin' and have added  a button to my sidebar if you'd like to follow me. Keeping up via Blogluvin' does not seem to be quite as easy as with Google Reader, but I have found the iPad app less cumbersome than accessing the main website from my laptop. Commenting is a problem on a handful of blogs though.

Events for the month:

... is hosted once again by Karen and Tamara. The rules are the same as in years past, but I have not officially signed up yet. I hope to read Gigi  by Colette (for The Classics Club) and The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison. Watching Midnight in Paris,  yet again, is also a given.

...is hosted by Heavenali.  I picked up a copy of Hotel du Lac  at the library book sale last summer and plan to read it later this month.

These plans may be derailed by my current literary fiction binge. I can't remember the last time I've read so many recent releases, and now it seems all my library holds are coming in all at once. Life After Life  by Kate Atkinson and The Astronaut Wives Club  by Lily Kopell are ready for pickup, and I've also just received notification than an e-book of The Dinner  by Herman Koch is available for download.

However... all my reading and blogging will have to wait as the 4th of July approaches. The holiday is a very big deal in our little village -  a road race, parade, concerts, sidewalk sales, and, of course, fireworks over the lake (without a doubt the best display around). Our oldest daughter is coming home from NYC tomorrow, Twin A's boyfriend has already arrived, and preparations are well underway for our annual Independence Day bash. I'll be closing up shop here for the rest of the week so I can fully enjoy the festivities.

Happy July!


45 comments:

  1. Gaah, I'm struggling with my new reader. WHY WHY WHY Google?!!!

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    1. Jill - I'm sure I'm going to miss posts/blogs until I get used to a new system :-(

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  2. Forever resentful that Google decided to do this :\

    I've been eyeing the new Tracy Chevalier at work. And one of these days I'll get around to reading Hardy!

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    1. Ana - The Last Runaway is good so far - simple and sweet - but nothing really special yet.

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  3. I'm glad you liked Tess as I'm supposed to read that later in the year. I loved Far From the Madding Crowd by Hardy so hopefully the love will keep on keeping on!

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    1. Brooke - I'm considering Far From the Madding Crowd for my next Hardy... glad to know you loved it!

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  4. But you must sign up, officialement! (said with bad French accent and one made-up word). I've just adopted your audiobook-and-real-book system with Eighty Days, because even though it's a perfect book to listen to I think I'm missing a lot. I'm enjoying it so much that I may reverse my usual pattern and read it through after I listen to it.

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    1. Audrey - Yes, I'll sign up officially soon. Glad the 'total immersion' print/audio method is working for Eighty Days. I'm still just listening to The Last Runaway and the audio may be enhancing my enjoyment of an otherwise simple (so far) story. I'm loving The Woman Upstairs and am considering adding the audio since it's narrated by one of my favorites, Cassandra Campbell.

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  5. I'm using The Old Reader (theoldreader.com) which is a lot like, well, the old Reader.

    I have The Woman Upstairs and can't wait to read it. If you liked Still Alice, you might also like Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante, which is a murder mystery told from the POV of a woman with Alzheimer's. Gripping stuff.

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    1. Amy - I looked into Old Reader, but now I can't remember why it wasn't as appealing as blogluvin. Can't wait to hear what you think of The Woman Upstairs - it's so well-written and compelling. I didn't love Still Alice as much as most seemed to, but Turn of Mind sounds like a murder mystery with an unusual twist!

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    2. I have to admit to not really liking Still Alice. I appreciated what she was trying to do--educate her readers about Alzheimer's--but it was really clunky and predictable in spots.

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    3. Amy - Exactly how I felt. An admirable effort and purpose, but I didn't mark a single passage in the entire book. Am still willing to cut her some slack, but doubt I'll read her other books.

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  6. I'm using Feedly, which I got used to in a couple of days.

    Good reading in that stack! Happy Fourth.

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    1. BTW: I've been meaning to say how much I like the spinnaker photo.

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    2. Beth F - Thanks! Don't think I looked into Feedly, but will check it out now.

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  7. Ooh ooh, you have so many good books coming up!

    Have a great 4th. It's my favorite holiday and my little town does it up right. Baseball and picnics and parades and fireworks, hooray!

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    1. Jennifer - Nothing like the 4th of July in a little town... enjoy the long weekend!

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  8. What a beautiful post JoAnn. You are rich with books and also happy occasions ahead. I hope you enjoy your week and don't get too sunburned.

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    1. Margot - With all the rain we've had lately, I doubt there is much possibility of sunburn... but I'm still hoping ;-)

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  9. Wow...congrats on completing so many challenges in June. Hope you enjoy even more reading in July. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - Thank you. June was definitely a good month... hoping for more of the same in July!

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  10. I loved Tess and most of Hardy's books. Very tragic! On a completely different note, have a great 4th of July!

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    1. Shelley - I think I read The mayor of Casterbridge in college, but don't remember a thing about it. Can't wait to read more Hardy. Hope you have a great holiday, too!

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  11. So far I'm not loving Bloglovin. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I miss Google Reader.

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    1. Melissa - Not a lot of love for Blogluvin just yet, but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually. Change is hard...

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  12. great month!
    I LOVED Tess, when I read it... decades ago!
    I'm also using Bloglovin, still waiting for the perfect solution though.
    Here is my June recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2013/07/02/2013-june-wrap-up/

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    1. Wordsandpeace - Blogluvin is far from perfect, but I hope I can get used to it before too long. Can't wait to read more Hardy!

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  13. I remember how much I'd enjoyed Paris In July last year. I'll be stopping by to see what you have installed for Paris. I just might think of something to post for that... Right now I'm istening to the audio CD's of B. Kingsolver's Flight Behavior.

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    1. Arti - I've done Paris in July every year since Karen and Tamara came up with the idea. Even though I have no big plans this year, I hope to get in at least a couple of posts.

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  14. I can't believe it's July already. Have a great Fourth celebration.

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    1. Nise' - Thanks! Seems like this year is passing way too quickly.

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  15. The Woman Upstairs is "in transit" for me from another library...can't wait as I heard it was very good. Hope you liked The other Typist.

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    1. Diane - I have a feeling you're going to like The Woman Upstairs! The Other Typist was very good... hope to get caught up on reviews this week.

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  16. Hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend!

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    1. Lisa - It's been a great weekend. Glad I still have one more day to go!

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  17. There are several books in your stack that I want to read as well - The Other Typist, The Whole Fromage, and Still Alice all call to me!

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    1. Kathy - The Other Typist seems pretty popular among bloggers right now.

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  18. I have yet to sign up officially either but am hopeful they will still take us. Feedly seems to be working fine when it comes up. I keep getting the overcrowded screen. Try again later. But aesthetically, it makes for a much nicer reading format than GR did. Will look for you post on Cooked. I'm a huge Pollan fan and plan on enjoying the book soon too.

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    1. Frances - I'm slowly adjusting to Blogluvin', but I do miss my Google Reader. See you in Paris ;-)

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  19. I like the idea of reading a classic and also listening to it on audio. That's what I did with Emma and it really worked for me. I hope your 4th holiday was amazing!!! I wasn't really impacted by Google as all the blogs I want to read are listed on my blog sidebar!! The new ones I decided to receive posts via email and of course, i am also doing bloglovin'

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    1. Staci - I'm starting to think the read/listen combo is the best way for me to get through long classics. Who knows, I may even attempt Middlemarch one day!

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  20. JoAnn,
    I'm going to pick up a copy of Hotel du Lac tomorrow at my local library. I've always meant to read it, and I'll add it to my Summer List, so I can join in on the Anita Brookner in July Readalong.

    I've added you to my "Blogs of Substance" list. I'm at the very, very tale end of Messud. It is a meaningful read, for sure.

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

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    1. Judith - Glad to hear you will be reading Anita Brookner this month. After several days of not reading (too much happening over the long holiday weekend), I'm anxious to finish my current books... especially Claire Messud's new novel. Also have a feeling I'll want to add The Emperor's Children to my list.

      I've just started following your blog via Blogluvin' and look forward to chatting about books with you!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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