I have had neither the time nor the brainpower to work up a Sunday Salon discussion this week, so I’m resorting to the “lists and updates” thing – an extended Status Report.
Update #1: The Handmaid’s Tale Group Read
A few months ago, I mentioned wanting to read The Handmaid’s Tale this year (a re-read for me, but it’s been over 20 years since the first time) and, hoping to do it as a group read, posted a sign-up form; I didn’t have a date yet, but thought it would be in August. Several folks did jump on board then – thanks Jill, Kath, Vasilly, and Carrie! – and now that we’re getting closer to a start, I’m posting the link to the form again. We’ll start reading the week of August 21 and wrap up with posts around September 12. More details to come, but hopefully that’s enough to help you decide whether to join in!
Update #2: Indie Lit Awards
Nominations for the 2011 Indie Lit Awards
– the bloggers’ book awards – will open on September 1st and run through December 31. I hope that as you’ve been reading new books this year, you’ve made note of books you’d like to see considered for these honors! Members of the ILA judging panels are not permitted to make nominations ourselves, so we’re counting on you to participate with lots of great recommendations! As a reminder, here are the genres we’ll be considering:
The * categories are new this year.
I’m on the Biography/Memoir judging panel, and even though I can’t make nominations, I’ve made an extra effort to read within that category so I’d be up on it. I haven’t read as many 2011 memoirs and bios as I’d hoped to, but I haven’t done all that badly:
As I said, I can’t nominate…but I can lobby, and I’d love to see nominations for the first, fourth, and sixth titles on this list.
Reviews posted since the last report
New to the TBR
Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True StoryIsabel Gillies (Twitter)Scribner (2009), Hardcover (ISBN 1439110077 / 9781439110072)Memoir, 272 pagesSource: received secondhand from another bloggerReason for reading: personal Opening lines: “One late August afternoon in our new house in Oberlin, Ohio, my husband, Josiah, took it upon himself to wallpaper the bathroom with pictures of our family.” Book description, from the publisher’s website: Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life—a handsome, intelligent, loving husband who was a professor; two glorious […]
Before too long, I will be living in a town that doesn’t have a bookstore. I’ve known it was a possibility since early this year, but I didn’t want to accept that it might actually happen. But the liquidation sales started on July 22, and when I drove by the store a few days later, I saw the sadly familiar yellow-and-black banner. This one didn’t say “Store Closing,” though – the new wording is “Going […]
American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot Craig Ferguson (Twitter) Read by the author It Books (HarperCollins) (2010), Paperback, 288 pages (ISBN 0061998494 / 9780061998492) (Audio edition 0061961450 / 9780061961458) Source: Purchased audiobook Reason for reading: Personal Book description, from the publisher’s website: “In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to […]
Truthfully, I would have been bowled over if I had not gotten this result: Are You a Book or a Movie? You Are a Book You are a deliberate thinker. You don’t like to gloss over anything, and details matter to you. When times get tough, you get philosophical. You never forget the meaning of life. If you’re facing a problem, getting away for a couple days always helps you clear your mind. You always […]
Kindred Spirits Sarah Strohmeyer Dutton Adult (2011), Hardcover (ISBN 0525952225 / 9780525952220) Fiction, 304 pages The following review was originally published in Shelf Awareness for Readers (7/12/2011 edition) and is reprinted with permission. One of the things that keeps long-term relationships interesting is that there are always new things to discover about the other person. The Ladies’ Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which grew out of a PTA meeting postmortem, learns this after the […]
It’s been quite a while since I posted Tuesday Tangents – actually, they’ve been more likely to show up on Wendy’s blog lately than here – but I’ve got a few things I’ve been wanting to talk about that just won’t stand as blog posts on their own, so here we go. Are you trying out Google+ yet? (If you’d like to and need an invite, leave me your e-mail and I can send you […]
It’s ended now. But it will never really end. One of my earliest reviews here – back in July 2007, when about six people knew this blog existed – was the seventh and final book in Harry Potter’s story. After seeing the eighth and final movie installment this weekend, and saying goodbye to Hogwarts all over again, I thought I’d revisit and re-post it (with some minor edits and changes, but still in the format […]
Every time I read a post about someone’s plans to “diversify” their reading I feel a little awkward. I haven’t always felt this way, but I’ve noticed it over the last decade or so, and I was reminded of it while reading Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow last week. My reading choices tend to have a cultural sameness…and I’m mostly OK with it, except when I branch out and then start questioning it. In my post-college […]
Bossypants Tina Fey read by the author Reagan Arthur Books (2011), Hardcover (ISBN 9780316056861 / 0316056863) (Audio edition 1609419693 / 9781609419691) Memoir/essays, 288 pages Source: Purchased audiobook Reason for reading: Personal Book description, from the publisher’s website: “Before Liz Lemon, before ‘Weekend Update,’ before ‘Sarah Palin,’ Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She […]
I encountered this Thought Catalog piece piece via one of the Tumblrs I follow. I liked some of it, and thought some of it was snobby, elitist BS. I’ll share a few quotes and my reactions to them; you may want to go read the whole thing before you weigh in with your own. (Emphasis added in certain places.) photo by Caitlinator on Flickr The Difference Between A Writer And Someone Who Writes « Thought […]
Silver Sparrow Tayari Jones Algonquin Books (2011), Hardcover (ISBN 1565129903 / 9781565129900) Fiction (contemporary), 352 pages Source: Publisher Reason for reading: Everyday I Write the Book’s summer Book Club Opening Lines: “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother. In 1968, she was working the gift-wrap counter at Davison’s downtown when my father asked her to wrap the carving knife he had […]
I listened to my first audiobook ever this week. I don’t think it will be my last. It was this one: It actually wasn’t my first choice for my first audiobook, a format I’ve resisted for years and have only recently begun to give cautious consideration. I started giving the idea serious thought just a couple of weeks ago, when I accepted the fact that it was unlikely I’d get to re-read Harry Potter and […]
Love Child: A Novel Sheila Kohler Penguin (2011), trade paper (ISBN 9780143119197) Fiction, 256 pages The following review was originally published in Shelf Awareness for Readers (7/1/2011 issue) and is reprinted with permission. Sheila Kohler’s Love Child centers on the theme of domestic complications. This novel packs a lot of story into its pages: Bill is a South African woman in the pre-apartheid years, a relatively recent and relatively young widow with two teenage sons in […]
I stopped using Amazon affiliate links on my blog at the beginning of March after reading that the company was threatening to end their Associates program in California if the state passed a proposed law that would require the company to collect sales tax on sales to California residents. The law would define those contract affiliates as Amazon “workers,” and therefore part of the company’s business operations within the state; state businesses pay state taxes. […]