Oops, I Did It Again

Remember a few months ago when I wrote about not half-assing two things, instead choosing to focus on truly whole-assing one thing at a time? (It's a quote from Parks & Rec, and I've got it framed and hung on my office wall.)

Week in Reading: September 7

Bald Head Island, NC

Whew. I'm back from vacation with the family last week and am home for a few days before launching back off on adventures with my husband later this week. Despite high hopes for lots of reading while traveling, I didn't finish nearly as many books as I'd hoped to, so some of this week's stack looks suspiciously like last week's:

I'm still eying the Murakami book on running (after enjoying My Year of Running Dangerously last week and not-so-enjoying a very, very hilly long run this weekend), and of course the Atwood will remain on deck until I manage to start (and finish!) it. After finishing up The Book of Unknown Americans on audio last week, I'm starting The Jaguar's Children on audio (both are upcoming picks for the Curious Iguana Latin American Voices book club series). And after seeing Rebecca of Book Riot rave about Sorcerer to the Crown on Twitter and in this Book Riot round-up of best books, it moved straight up on my list. I've been craving a big epic fantasy novel of late and hope this fits the bill.

One of these days I really will start to explore all those backlist books on my shelves, too...

What's everyone else up to this week? Reading anything good?

Book Review: Barbara the Slut and Other People: Stories, by Lauren Holmes

This review originally ran in Shelf Awareness for Readers.

Lauren Holmes's debut collection, Barbara the Slut and Other People, explores a range of human connections. In the title story, a high school student with a rule about not sleeping with the same guy more than once finds the word "slut" spray-painted on her locker and revels in its hot pink color. In "Desert Hearts," a recent law school graduate pretends to be a lesbian to get a job in a sex toy store and contemplates having a baby to feel less alone. In "Pearl and the Swiss Guy Fall in Love," a young woman brings home a tourist, looking for a little action, and finds herself with a house guest who's overstayed his welcome--and fallen in love with her man-hating dog in the meantime.

Looking Back: An August of Reading

Summer has slipped away to somewhere else, and here we are facing down fall: season of crock pots and boots and cardigans and apple cider and really big buzzy books, oh my. But before we wave goodbye to August, a quick recap of some of the best books I read this month:

Week in Reading: August 31st

Does the last day of August make it the last day of summer? Based on the current forecast for my beach vacation, the weather gods must think so:

Luckily there's a section of covered porch here overlooking the water, so rain or no rain, I'm curling up with a stack of books this week. Despite my hopes of focusing on backlist on vacation, deadlines loom, so I'm picking up a few upcoming releases (My Year of Running Dangerously and 2015 Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy). I'm also eying the new Margaret Atwood book, because NEW MARGARET ATWOOD BOOK (I'll count this for my book written by an author over the age of 65 in the Read Harder challenge) and finally getting to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which has been on my list for what feels like years.


What are you all reading this first week of September?

Book Review: Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal, by Wendy S. Walters

This review originally ran in Shelf Awareness for Readers.

"The border between nonfiction and fiction," writes poet Wendy S. Walters in her introduction, "is often porous enough to render the distinction irrelevant." The short pieces collected in Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal reflect this belief, moving fluidly between nonfiction (personal essays and reporting pieces) and fiction (short stories and fables), with a few lyrical essays that blend the two. 

Celebrating *AHEM* Seven (Not Eight) Years (and Pushing The Dead Ladies Project into As Many Hands as Possible)

Turns out the first lesson I'll be learning as I enter my eighth year of blogging is how to count... this little corner of the internet is SEVEN this year, not eight. Snow White has seven dwarves; a week has seven days; Voldemort had seven horcruxes; I've been blogging for seven years. All of the rest of my sentiments remain the same. Thank you for being here! Now excuse me while I go wipe this egg off my face.

Apparently I've been at this little blog thing for eight seven years. EIGHT SEVEN YEARS. As my five-year-old niece (who is three years younger than my blog, might I add) would say, "Whoa, nelly."

I've learned so much in this space: how to put books that don't work down; how much I value a chance to write about my favorite books (and in my favorite books); how incredible and supportive and lovely and intelligent the bookish community can be. Blogging has led to a few freelance writing gigs and connected me to people all over the world as well as people right here in my new-to-me hometown.

I wasn't planning on doing anything to celebrate here, but I've just finished the kind of book that makes me grateful all over again to be a blogger and have the opportunity to shout, loudly, about the lesser-known books I love. So I'm offering to pre-order a copy of The Dead Ladies Project for one lucky winner. Open to anyone in the world provided The Book Depository can ship to you. I'll pick a winner on Friday, September 4th.

A full, cohesive, "grown-up" review of The Dead Ladies Project will be forthcoming, but in short:

This book left me with a drying-up pen. It's already dog-eared on every other page; it's the kind of memoir that is introspective while also providing a way for us to process the lives of others and how our own connect to them. And connect to places, and moments in history, and moments in the future. As author Jessa Crispin travels the world, following in the footsteps of semi-famous figures (Maud Gonne, Igor Stravinsky, among others) who left behind convention and stability in favor of freedom and exploration, she explores that age-old question of how to live in a way that truly resonates.

Happy reading, and thanks, as always, for being here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway