On Reading: August

Autumn and I have had a beautiful, Fall love affair for at least 30 years. My adoration for her usually has me viewing the other Seasons of the year as annoyances that do little else save keep me from the beauty of my favorite time of year.
This year however, I can admit to being a bit sad to bid Summer adieu. Maybe because it was just so full of warmth and wonderful. ::sigh::
So much happened this month that I’ve spread some of it out over more than one post, so be sure to check the others out also.
All in all: I wrote, got a story contract (YAY! I’ll be posting more about that as publication nears), finally received my certificate for one of my WotF winning stories (double yay!), I got all moved into a new place (although it may-y-y be possible I’m still not completely unpacked – oop! :P), I went on vacation, made more progress along my spiritual path, and best of all – I enjoyed every bit of it.

With all that mentioned, it would be easy for you to think that I didn’t get much reading done this month simply because I was so, totally understandably, busy. But really that’s never stopped me before. What happened this month is I started a whole bunch of books that didn’t hold my interest and I just :::blows raspberry::: didn’t finish them. I know, I know, awful! But here we go anyway…

Book One: (The one I actually did finish)
White Night by Jim Butcher

whitenightWell Mr. Butcher has definitely gotten wordy, (a-la Stephen King) I thought it was maybe just the one book a couple of books ago, but nope, this is a full-fledged pattern we’ve got going. I mean, he’s got lots of action in this book then smack dab in the middle of this heart-racing, omg-how the heck are they going to get out of this-action, Butcher stops the story to go on these page (minutes) long navel-gazing stuff. It jars me out of the story big time. WTF, how does this happen to authors?
The saving grace for these authors I think is that I (and others obviously) keep reading through this kind of writing because by this point I’ve gotten to know the characters in a way that makes them feel like I’m visiting old friends. You know how you’ll put up with stuff from your friends that you would otherwise be a bit harsher to judge in others? Well, that’s what this is. Harry and pals have become established as friends, and if nothing else, I’m a loyal lady to my friends.
As far as story goes though, Butcher’s still got it. I can imagine it becoming increasingly difficult to continue to come up with fresh story lines and ideas for a series. -Hmm, that just led to a bit of a light bulb moment.-
Maybe because it is harder to continue to come up with fresh ideas, the authors put in a bit more ‘filler’ stuff to keep things moving. Hmmm, fascinating idea. I guess I could go back and erase my mini-rant on his newer, wordy style of writing, but – meh.
Anyway, what I was about to say before I got sidetracked was, this book had a fun story, lots of action, and a serial killer. Making it my favorite since the dinosaur one 🙂

Book Two: (The one where I read almost every single essay in the book)
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

First thing, this is a wonderful book, written by a wonderful writer, who does essays amazingly well.geekfemrevo I learned a lot from her and about the ‘geek fandom’ world and was shocked at a lot of it. I absolutely became of a fan of hers after reading this, and if I ever have the opportunity to meet her I should like to tell her all of this. But! with all that said, I borrowed this book from the library and was trying to read it all the way through. The topics are heavy, and she’s talking about the same things, so it became a bit much for me, hence why I only read “almost every essay”.
Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it made me want to buy the book instead, that way I could pick it up at my leisure and do an essay or two at a time. Thanks Ms. Hurley! 🙂

Book Three: (The one I read to the middle)
The Killing Lessons by Saul Black

killinglessonsOkay, the premise of this book sounded pretty  awesome. However, what I did not know before I picked it up, is that this is a literary horror story. It was when I began to read it that I began to figure this out, and things just went South from there.
On the upside, this book helped me to realize something that I have always suspected about myself, and now know with absolute conviction!
I, Alicia Cay, do not enjoy the “literary” style at all.
For those that do, hallelu!, go and read and enjoy and be smarter and better at life than me. As for myself, nope. Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. Other than that, what I could get through of this book had an engaging story line and I was enjoying the characters. I just couldn’t – bleh – could not do it. Sorry Mr. Black.

Book Four: (The one I really wanted to read but couldn’t get through)
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky

Maybe one day I’ll try again with this book when I have literally nothing else in the entiredavidfosterwallace world left to do, Lol.
I have a fascination with David Foster Wallace, and found the introduction to the book really engaging. It was just all the parts after that where I lost interest.
It’s not a book with a story so much as it’s the transcripts of Mr. Lipsky’s recordings as he road-tripped and interviewed DFW. Some of it’s cool to read, but some of it gets lost in translation, making it hard to understand because I can’t hear the inflection or tone of what’s being said. Which can make a lot of difference really. I don’t know when something is sarcastic or sincere. When was he making a joke, or saying something really serious but rolling his eyes as he did it? It was that kind of thing for me. So I returned it to the library mostly unread.
And while I’m a book over the movie kind of girl any day of the week, the movie they made out of this one was really awesome. I recommend checking it out, especially if you are authorly inclined. It’s called The End of the Tour, and is as of this writing available to watch on Amazon Prime (free!)

Book Five (The one I read a lot of then got bored and stopped reading)
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

See how hard I tried this month?! I mean I did almost five books, well six if you count that I started my Vonnegut book this month (it’ll be on September’s list).

17465707I’m as big a fan of writing advice books and books by strong female archetypes as one can be. I mean seriously. I adore Elizabeth Gilbert, and Cheryl Strayed, and Brene Brown, etc. But (I’m not even sure how I came across this author or this book) this book was just not my cup of tea. Dunno, maybe I’m just worn out on advice and people telling me how “hard” it is to write and all the rest of their “good advice” crap. Let me decide who I am as a writer and how it’s going to be for me. Stop telling how it is! And that’s all I have to say about that.
So pick it up and decide for yourself, because really I think this book was just caught in the crossfire of me being over it.

Well, that’s what I’ve got for you this month about that. Until next time friends, read on!

-xo

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