How can this year possibly be halfway over? Or could it be the best is yet to come? Either way, I’ve been taking stock of my reading and blogging lately, and here’s where things stand …
I’ve read 28 books so far, with one 5-star read (read my review of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life). This is a snail’s pace compared to every other year since I began blogging. I’ve paid more attention to work, family, and other hobbies. As I consider my 2013 Reading Resolutions, it seems like my reading interests might be heading into some different directions. I’m still reading a ton of classics (11 from my Classics Club list already!), and I’m keeping up with my short story project, reading one collection each month. But I’ve read far fewer literary prize winners & nominees (just 2 Bookers, and 1 Women’s Prize), and I’ve been enticed by some recent podcasts to explore some recently published literary fiction, which I’ve kind of ignored in recent years.
I’ve also been reading much more for myself, with less involvement in the book blogging community. Even my Sunday Salon posts have become less frequent. And I’m in a serious “book review funk.” I’ve posted short comments on two recent reads over on LibraryThing but just didn’t feel like writing full reviews to publish here. I’m not sure exactly what that means for this blog, but for the time being I’m not going to force myself to do something that feels like a chore. I might write the occasional post summarizing several books, or pop in on Sundays for The Sunday Salon. And hopefully someday I’ll get my “blogging mojo” back!
So now we are deep into “summer reading season,” and I have an interesting stack lined up for July:
- The Sweet Dove Died, by Barbara Pym: Over in the LibraryThing Virago Group, we’re reading one Pym each month in honor of her centenary.
- The Stories of Edith Wharton, Vol. 1: This is my short story project choice for July. I just love Edith Wharton, so I’m excited about reading her stories every night before bed.
- Taking Chances, by M.J. Farrell (Molly Keane): Keane is one of my favorite Virago authors, and this book is on my Classics Club list.
- One by One in the Darkness, by Deirdre Madden: This is an early Women’s Prize nominee (back when it was the Orange Prize), that came highly recommended from … someone, I can’t remember whom! Oops. Well, anyway, July was once a big month for reading Oranges, so I’m hoping to get through a few.
- May we be Forgiven, by A. M. Homes: This is the 2013 Women’s Prize winner.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple: No, this one’s not in the picture, because my daughter took it with her on a trip. We are both planning to read this 2013 Women’s Prize nominee in July, and I’m looking forward to comparing notes with her.
I have a habit of choosing more books each month than I finish — a holdover, I suppose, from speedier reading years. But who knows, maybe this month I’ll manage it!