Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jenny's Books Added May 2014

It's time for another edition of the books that followed me home!  I have to say this month is a vibrant pile of books I hope I read someday. 

These books fit pretty nicely into distinct categories.  And all of them have ties to reading communities in the state of South Carolina! 

Category #1 - The SC Book Festival
I went to the SC Book Festival this month, and prior to that had finally read Serena by Ron Rash.  I bought another book of his so I could stand in line for him to sign it (The Cove) and tracked another book down through Paperbackswap (Saints at the River).

Category #2 - International Book Club of the Upstate
I have this wonderful book club; I'm sure I've mentioned it.  In May we had our annual potluck dinner at one of the member's houses, where we swap books we no longer want and discuss potential books for the next year.  Our list had over 60, so it was a long night!  I picked up Lie Down in Darkness and We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families through the swap, and ended up finding copies of Death Comes to Pemberley, La Cucina, City of Thieves, and The Geography of Bliss because they sounded so good during our discussion.  It doesn't matter if they don't end up on the official list for next year, but I will wait to read them in case they do.  I'll find that out at our last meeting of the year, on Monday.  (We break for summer but have a book we're supposed to read during those three months.)

Oh yeah and I've owned The Geography of Bliss three times now.  I enjoyed it the first time but kept giving my copy away.  It is his chapter on Iceland that started my obsession with going there!

Category #3 -  The Open Book Series at the University of South Carolina
I so enjoyed meeting David Mitchell and hearing him speak this past spring that I am clearing my schedule for the five authors coming in the fall for this series.  I have to drive two hours to get there, but I was impressed by the attendance and avid readers showing up for this series!  I've seen a list of the authors coming in the fall although I notice it isn't updated on their website.  David Bajo and Kate Christensen will be two of them, so I decided I should find copies of their books. 

Perhaps Jeff VanderMeer's book Authority doesn't have an immediate connection to South Carolina.  But he spends several weeks every summer at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, to run the Shared Worlds writing program for teens.  That's why I've met him, and that's where I first heard him read from the first book in this Southern Reach Trilogy, pre-publication.  However I bought this book in North Carolina.  I was at Malaprop's and couldn't leave empty-handed!  He'll be doing a reading there July 9, but I think I will miss him this year since I may be in Oregon at that time. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reading Envy 006: Bailey's Women's Prize 2014

For a slightly different podcast episode, Jenny and Scott got together to focus on this year's Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist. Jenny read the lot and Scott adds a bunch to his to-read list.

Links from our discussion (all lists. gosh we love lists.):

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 006: Bailey's Prize 2014

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

SC Book Festival 2014

I really would like to tell you about my trip to the SC Book Festival last weekend.  My original plan was to go all day both days, but because of the two hour commute each way, that quickly shortened to just part of the first day.  I still wish I had left home early enough to see the great Nikki Giovanni, but I just couldn't get out of the house on time!

I went to several sessions:

"Science and Supernatural in YA Fiction" - Jessica Khoury, Megan Miranda, Megan Shepherd
"A Sense of the Midlands" - Cindi Boiter, Ed Madden, Tom Poland, Randy Spencer
"South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to Authors" - Tom Mack, Ron Rash, George Singleton, Marjory Wentworth
"Southern Fiction Revival" - Wiley Cash, Jon Sealy, George Singleton
"A Conroy Family Roundtable" - Jim Conroy, Mike Conroy, Pat Conroy, Kathy Harvey, Tim Conroy

More after the jump, but this will be long!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reading Envy 005: The Second Definition of Geek

For our 5th episode, we bring in our friend Tamahome, who has been on many podcasts with both Scott and Jenny over on SFF Audio.  Tamahome is very active over in GoodReads, but also manages to get mentioned on various science fiction podcasts.

This time, we will attempt to link to other topics and books mentioned, based on feedback from previous episodes.  We've heard you, and we're trying!  Keep the feedback coming. 

Tamahome brought a variety of books to talk about :

Other mentions during Tam's picks:
Zot: The Complete Black and White Collection 1987-1991 by Scott McCloud
The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg
WE3 by Grant Morrison

Jenny had a hard time deciding what to talk about, so she picked the last three books she'd read, including the book she finished the night of the podcast.

Other mentions during Jenny's picks:
Wired Magazine's 25th Anniversary Feature on Geek Love
Carnivále (show on HBO)
Freakshow (AMC reality show)

Scott traveled a lot in April but still managed to fit reading into his life.  His three picks for Episode 005 are as follows:

Other mentions during Scott's picks:

Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz
Dog On It by Spencer Quinn
Mary Robinette Kowal's blog post about her love for the Hugo Awards

Continued mentions, not so much linked to one specific thing:

The Hotel New Hampshire, 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving
The book Karen really meant? A Son of the Circus by John Irving
Nebula Awards
Hugo Awards

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 005
Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Library Books Mid-May Edition

I'm moving up my monthly library book post to a bit before the 15th, since the podcast's posting date will now take over that spot.

April was Poetry Month, so a big chunk of this stack has poetry to blame - four by Giovanni and two by Marjory Heath Wentworth.  These two poets are also from the south, Wentworth being the current SC Poet Laureate. 

The middle of May is the SC Book Festival, which I am planning to attend.  Both poets will be there, as well as Therese Anne Fowler (author of Z, which I really need to start this weekend!)

A bunch of these were read for obligations or challenges, as usual! A friend knows the author of In the Course of Human Events, so I read it despite it not being my usual thing.  Children in Reindeer Woods was a pick for my "The World's Literature" group in GoodReads, The Long Way Back is for the Middle East/North African Lit group in GoodReads, and The Last Policeman is for an upcoming podcast for SFF Audio.  I have loved Ben H. Winters in the past, so I'm really looking forward to that one!

Upcoming in the fall, Teju Cole will be at The Open Book in Columbia, SC.  I wasn't planning to read Every Day is for the Thief so soon, but it was on the new books cart pre-first-shelving at work and I couldn't resist.  It was so thin!  I could read it in a night! So I did.

The most interesting story is Crazy Love: Stories by Leslie What.  I had never head of the author but the title jumped out at me when pulling some poetry off a shelf nearby.  When I pulled it down, the cover proclaimed her as a Nebula Award winner.  A Nebula Award winner I'd never heard of?  I discuss this in our upcoming episode of the Reading Envy podcast.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

April was National Poetry Month

Poetry Read in 2014

My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass
Despite Gravity
Noticing Eden
Women and the Men
Love Poems
Those Who Ride the Night Winds
There's a Box in the Garage You Can Beat With a Stick
Left-Handed: Poems
Slow Lightning
Dog Songs
The World's Wife
The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of
Her book: Poems
The Pajamaist

I read so much poetry for National Poetry Month in 2014 that I'm not even sure how to talk about it.  A recent addition to our eBooks at work gave me access to a bunch of eBooks of poetry published in the last three years, which was fantastic for tracking down copies of recently reviewed works.  I also rediscovered that I work where the SC Poetry Archives is housed, and was able to take advantage of that collection by sneaking 15 minutes here and there and reading some of those poems in the reading room.

Some of my highlights:

Fifteen Iraqi Poets edited by Dunya Mikhail
The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of "Poetry" Magazine edited by Don Share
Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral

My favorite poem that isn't a new one but was new to me comes from The Open Door:
Rendezvous by Edna St. Vincent Millay

It is from 1939 but the last line in particular really made me smile:
And I wish I did not feel like your mother.
Now that it is May, I am back flagging books of poetry to read for next year's poetry month, so if you come across anything you'd recommend, send it my way any time!