Pro tip: a good way to make a month go by quickly is to go on vacation. HI HELLO WE’RE BACK WEEEE HI HI HI DID YOU MISS ME?
For the first couple weeks of Book Punks vacation, it was weird to not be Book Punking it up every day. Then I forgot that Book Punks, and twitter, existed. Then the month was over. The end.
I often found myself alternatingly too stressed or too distracted to read at all. Two days sick in bed and a dubious attempt at a read-a-thon added a few titles to the month’s reading list, but otherwise, August was just as relaxed a reading month as I expected.
With Shriek: An Afterword and Finch, I completed my journey through Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris, and while City of Saints and Madmen remains my favorite of the three books set there, the final two were satisfyingly weird, grotesque, and well-written. Ie classic VanderMeer. Babel-17 by Samuel Delaney was fucking awesome, as per usual Delaney, and The Song of Synth Seb Doubinsky was surprisingly weird and Dick-ian and mind bendy (surprising because I’d requested it on a let-me-expand-my-horizons-and-pick-something-I-wouldn’t-normally whim). But since I’m concentrating on reviewing women this month, the only one you’ll be hearing more about is The Song of Synth.
But hey, read-a-thons. Who knew that was a thing I would enjoy? At least I enjoy them when I am sick in bed because I would be reading anyway, except with a read-a-thon on, it’s social. Maybe next year I will be sick for an entire week during Bout of Books and do the thing up right.
What happy accident! What silver lining to this rainy sick day! My first #boutofbooks !! I’m starting with The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovick, a strange tale of vampire hobos. Or maybe a metaphor. Totally fascinating. Filled with #punks and #squatters. Possibly the only #oogle novel. Book mark from my favorite used book store in the world @normals_books_records Happy reading!!
I chose short, easy (sort of) books for the read-a-thon, revisiting two Calvin and Hobbes collections, which I discovered I (sadly) don’t find as funny as I did pre-Calvin-esque toddler. Still love Calvin’s mutant snow creatures though.
The Oranges Eats Creeps by Grace Kilanovich was weird and wonderful and reminded me that I need to seek out more strange and experimental novels, that novels are capable of so much more than most aspire to.
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block was a sweet, sad, and enjoyable retelling of the Odyssey, except gender-swapped and queered, and maybe sometimes yes really more fun than reading the Odyssey itself.
Then we went on vacation. It involved castles and wine and a tent and a horse farm and only a little rain. I don’t bring books camping. For one because they get ruined, for two because I like to use vacation time as a chance to interact with other humans. Packing, I mentioned to my Beard that I wasn’t bringing a book, and he became so distressed (“Is something wrong? Are you ok?” etc etc), that I stuffed a book into the bike trailer at the last minute, and GUESS WHAT MY BOOK GOT RUINED. Lesson learned. Again.
MEANWHILE IN WINE COUNTRY, the meaning of life slides past us on a Seilbahn car, and I alternate between happily forgetting we are high above the ground, bobbing on fucking steel string, and gripping the sides of the car with tight, white hands. This valley is incredibly gorgeous. We came around a corner this morning and there was just a gorgeous fucking castle hanging off a cliff over the river, no biggie. Tomorrow: MORE CASTLES. xx Ein von Urban Gorilla (@bookpunksread) gepostetes Foto am
And oh yeah, the Hugos happened. *cough cough* *shuffle shuffle*
I watched the awards ceremony online over breakfast. I read all the things for a few days. I then abandoned the internet. At first I was all, “wow closing Book Punks during Hugo month is dumb.” Then I thought “wow closing Book Punks during Hugo month is smart.” If you want to read more words about The Thing, I recommend From Couch to Moon’s pre-Hugos post (and look at her time travel/retro Hugos too). Because she’s read all the books nominated for the Hugos ever (well, she’s working on it), and she can say with authority that the Hugos have always been ridiculous and have never been any of the things that a certain loud and angry group of people keep claiming they have been or have become. *shrugs*
Reading Acheivement Unlocked!
Haha, yeah right, not this month.
September Is Coming, and So Is October, November, and December and Where the Fuck Did the Year Go Alfuckingready?
August ended with Welcome, Chaos by Kate Wilhelm in my hands, something I am not getting through as quickly as I did Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, The Clewiston Test, or even The Infinity Box. As Couch to Moon has been telling me for ages, this is a novel where Wilhelm’s prowess isn’t on full display, a book where one might politely suggest that she was attempting to pull a mainstream. It is still early days, but it has been a bit cartoonish so far (Nazi versus scientists with immortals and evil agents! ding!).
Afterwards I intend to drop everything and read everything that the very kind folks at Hodder sent to me, thanks, initially, to an enthusiastic request from Scott K. Andrews, who enjoyed my review of his post-apocalyptic shoot-em-up trilogy School’s Out Forever. A lot of book bloggers and online reviewers don’t like it when authors show up on their blogs, but I figure, fuck it, we’re all word lovers here, so why the hell not. Andrews’ reaction was particularly exemplary as far as author-reviewer interaction goes: because he shared and praised a review of his work that wasn’t 100 percent positive, he made it feel safe to be negative in a space that may include both creators and critics. (And I won’t lie, I got a huge fucking kick that time that S.M. Stirling showed up to comment on my review of his Dies the Fire books and to argue with Erika about Dune.) That Andrews’ request resulted in a fat package of books was just sweet sweet icing.
Why drop everything for these particular books? Because I really, really fucking want to read them all. Particularly Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix. ShaBAM.
After THAT, if the month has yet to expire, I plan on beginning a to-the-death marathon race to the bottom of my to-be-read-for-review pile because starting 2016 (fuck, 2016!!) with a clean slate sounds like a particularly good idea.
What have you been reading? What have you been doing? Tell me everything.
The month’s reading, the year’s numbers, same routine as every month.
107. Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff VanderMeer
108. Babel-17 by Samuel Delany
109. The Song of Synth by Seb Doubinsky
110. Finch by Jeff VanderMeer
111. The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Kilanovich
112. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
113. There’s Treasure Everywhere: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson (re-read)
114. Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
115. Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Snow Goons: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson (re-read)