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text 2018-05-23 02:29
Summer Reading List 2018
Pete Rose: An American Dilemma - Kostya Kennedy
First Love, Last Rites - Ian McEwan
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - Edgar Allan Poe,Richard Kopley
Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld,Keith Thompson
Three Tall Women - Edward Albee
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë

I'm well behind pace in my reading this year. I always say I "average" a book a week, for 52 or so books a year, but I usually exceed that by a fair margin. This year, I'm quite slow. Only 16 so far - even though at least two were "doorstops."


So two weeks ago, when I realized I hadn't even considered my summer reading list, I was worried. But when I finally sat down to compose it, the list came flowing straight out. Easy-peasy, less than an hour's contemplation, for sure.


The fact I've been using the same nine categories for years, I'm sure, helps considerably. Three books for each month of summer. Things that make me happy and better-rounded. Plenty of room left for serendipity and other titles. Here goes:

The list.


1. A baseball book - "Pete Rose: An American Dilemma" by Kostya Kennedy. Reading a baseball book - fiction or non-fiction - is a summer tradition. Thanks, Casey Awards for the ready-made list. 


2. A Michael Chabon book - "Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces." This was both tough and incredibly easy. I've read all of Chabon's books, except some very hard to get screenplays and graphic novels. Luckily, he has a new book out this month. It's an anthology of his magazine essays, in the mode of "Maps and Legends," but it's better than none!


3. An Ian McEwan book - "First Love, Last Rites." I've read all of McEwan's recent stuff, so I have to reach way back into the Ian Macabre phase, which I like less, but it needs to be done. At least there's a new McEwan adaptation coming out in theaters soon.


4. A Neglected Classic - "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket," Edgar Allen Poe's only novel. Not one that was really on my radar, but read entry five for more "why." 


5. A recent "big" book - "Pym" by Mat Johnson. I have the opportunity to hear Johnson read in June, and I think it's time to read his novel, inspired by Poe's, as listed above. 


6. A YA book - "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld. A steampunk, World War I revisionist novel? Yes, please. 


7. A Play - "Three Tall Women" by Edward Albee. It's in revival on Broadway right now with Laurie Metcalf. You know I won't make it to Manhattan, so I'd better finally read it.


8. A Recommendation from a Friend - "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi. My friend, Laura, suggested it. She didn't have to suggest very hard, because I was already meaning to read it. And she loaned me her copy!


9. The book I didn't read from last year's list - "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte. There's one every year. This year's will probably be the Chabon, just because it's new and might be hard to acquire through library means.


Well, that's it. I'll post a list on the booklikes list app. Will you read along with me? What's on your list for Summer '18? 



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review 2018-01-18 21:49
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) - James S.A. Corey

It took a while to get into it, but I'm hooked on the series now! (Currently on the second book).


I found the prologue absolutely electrifying, and couldn't wait to unravel the mystery, but the book made me work for it! The first third of the novel has parts that just don't seem to take us anywhere (though they ultimately do; I learned a lot of patience!). Once the threads converged and everyone was moving towards the same goal, though, I couldn't put it down. I also love how open the end was. There was a world of possibilities for some of the main characters, and I'm curious to see when they'll pop up again.

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text 2017-12-24 00:19
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #8: Hanukkah
The Leviathan - Joseph Roth,Michael Hofmann

Book themes for Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR– where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.  


Joseph Roth's novella about Nissen Piczenik, a coral merchant in the small town of Progrody. Nissen has never been outside of his town, deep in the Russian interior, and fantasizes that a Leviathan watches over the coral reefs. 




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review 2017-11-04 20:49
Leviathan Wakes by S. A. Corey (audiobook)
Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey,Jefferson Mays

Narrated by Jefferson Mays


Series: The Expanse #1


I quite like this book although the conflation of speed and acceleration still irks me. This was a reread, obviously.


It was also my first audiobook listened to via the Kobo app, and I have to say that my experience was pretty good. Inside the listening screen, Kobo likes to just give you a rounded number of hours left and display the chapter time counts but the screen before that gives both the percentage read and exact time left in the book (which I didn't realize at first, so I was frustrated by the chapter display).

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review 2017-06-21 00:00
Leviathan - Tim Curran Post-reading:
This novella did not redeem itself for me. Curran has a great idea here with his time gateway, which is the only reason I am giving this 2 stars instead of 1. My copy is marked up with spelling, punctuation, grammatical, and consistency errors. I would love for the author to see all of the ridiculous, simple mistakes that he allowed his book to be published with! I stated in my previous review (below) that I was hoping his monster would make the story great for me. But it didn't. Godzilla destroyed Tokyo, this guy destroyed a small fishing village. It left me craving originality. I would love to see the time gateway premise utilized in a longer work by a writer with more talent and vision.

The very first thing that bothered me about this book was obvious before I even cracked the cover. I purchased it online and didn't realize the spacing/formatting error on the back cover until I physically had the book. I am usually put off by books that are just thrown together without consideration for obvious errors. Like the skipped line in the middle of the sentence on the back cover. It seems that was just the beginning of my disappointment with Leviathan. By page 8, I had already found several very blatant errors in tense and hyphen usage, as well as 'your' instead of 'you're'. As a copyeditor, it's very clear there was no professional editing of any sort done on this. The language is much rougher and more vulgar than necessary. (Vulgarity is not an issue for me in itself, however it is excessive and detracts from the story.) And finally, I found the ridiculous amount of name and brand drops in the first couple chapters very annoying. Despite the language, grammar, and syntax wearing on the English nerd in me, I still plan to finish this little book with the hope that the story itself can distract me from everything else. I LOVE leviathans, denizens of the deep, all the giant prehistoric monsters. Hopefully Curran's monster can redeem this novella for me!
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