So I’ve been in a little reading slump the past week or so. I haven’t finished a book since June 21. I’m currently reading five books (Middlemarch, Jane Casey’s The Burning, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brené Brown, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and The Book of Night Women by Marlon James.) The Marlon James is exquisite – he’s just a marvelous writer – but it’s really hard reading, emotionally. So I’ve put it aside for the moment. But I will definitely come back to it. The Brené Brown is valuable and smart (self-help) but a little on the dry side, so I’ve just been picking at it a few pages at a time. And I’m still loving Middlemarch, but I’ve only got one section to go, and I need to write about the penultimate section before I begin the final one. I’m determined to finish at least TWO of these books before I start another one! I don’t like the feeling of having all these books “open,” so to speak. But I only have myself to blame for this predicament. The one that is totally grabbing me out of that stack is the British mystery novel The Burning. In fact, it’s quite a page-turner, and I’m into the second half and don’t want to put it down. I hope this means that I am coming out of the slump. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime I continue to explore the world of podcasts. You may remember that I only started listening to them last fall. I began listening to Books on the Nightstand this past March. This week brings the final regular episode of Books on the Nightstand. (Sad face emoji here.) Ann and Michael announced the end a few weeks ago, so we all knew it was coming. I’m sad that I won’t get to have their conversation and recommendations in my ears every week, but I understand the hosts’ desires to be able to do more of their own free-range reading that’s not connected to recommending things for the podcast. And we have all the episodes available – all 389 of them! It’s quite an achievement, I think, to have been around that long.
Their final regular episode (a special blooper episode is coming out next week) features Ann’s and Michael’s Fiction Preview for books coming out in the next nine months. I haven’t listened to it yet (saving it, I guess?) but just scanning the list in the show notes, it’s going to make your TBR explode. Quite a few of these are already on my list!
Since I’ll have some more room in my life for another podcast shortly, I’ve started listening to Reading the End, hosted by the “demographically similar Jennys” – Gin Jenny and Whiskey Jenny. I was already regularly reading their blog, so I don’t know what took me so long to try their podcast. It is just plain fun and delightful. The one I just listened to was episode 55, from February of this year, in which the Jennys discuss their favorite literary couples and talk about the book that Gin Jenny made Whiskey Jenny read because she thought she would hate it. (It was Planetfall by Emma Newman.) They each picked books for one another and called it “The Hatening.” I just love their willingness to try fun experiments like this! If you haven’t given Reading the End a listen, I definitely recommend it.
On a totally unrelated note, tomorrow’s my son’s birthday! He’s turning five! I can not believe it. I’ve never felt five years pass so quickly before. We had his party last weekend with family and friends, but tomorrow we’ll be celebrating with just the three of us. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend and let’s hope I can finish some of these darned books soon!