Journal

POLY-READER NOTES: AUGUST 2020

July was a better month for reading, let me tell you! I actually finished a couple books and haven’t let myself pick up any others in the meantime, so the list is starting to inch down from that dangerous dozen (which typically indicates I’ve got too many going, or too many of the same kind going, etc.). I may have to do a separate post of books finished, with a quick 3-5 sentence review at some point, just to keep track.

The biggest reason reading has been better this month is that in the past couple weeks, Goldbug has been shifting his bedtime to a more reasonable hour. So instead of being wide awake until 10 or 11PM and therefore going to bed when we do, he’s getting super cranky at 8:30 or 9PM, and I can actually get him to sleep then. This allows me to have up to an hour or two of quiet, uninterrupted reading time in the evening while Andy finishes his work and studying until about 11PM. In addition, last month I noted a couple books I thought I could finish with a little focused effort, and I have pretty much stuck to those few books in order to clear some space from my list.

But the itch to pick up a new book (particularly some adventure nonfiction!) is getting tough to ignore, and I’ve got a bunch of to-read books piled up, so I doubt the list will stay pared down for long.

Currently Reading:

Notes:

White Fragility— Haven’t made a lot of progress on this one. I’ll admit, I read an article in The Atlantic that kind of took the wind out of my sails on it, but I should probably still finish it. I do think, if you’ve read White Like Me (by Tim Wise)*, or even better, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverley Daniel Tatum, you may already have encountered a lot of what you’ll pick up in this book, but still. I’ll plow through it. It’s not very long, after all.

Story Trumps Structure– Haven’t picked this up in a while, so it’s still where it was. But I’ve been eliminating other “writing related” books from my list, so hopefully that’ll move this one towards the front of the pick-up list.

Meander, Spiral, Explode– Haven’t picked this one up, either, as it’s another “writing related” book on my list. I really have to stop picking up multiple writing books at the same time. One always overrides or distracts from the others, which means their various suggestions and messages get snarled and confused. This one might be the next one I pick up again, because I do really like it, but I might wait until I’ve finished longer-on-the-list books first.

+Dad is Fat– Have made a little progress on this, but not too much. Just haven’t been listening to audiobooks lately, despite having a bit of a backlog on my “to listen to” pile. Just need to figure out the best time to go through this one. It is funny, and hits some very resonant notes as a mother, too!

+Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman– Have gone a few stories further in this one, which is always a delight. I’m really just dragging my heels because I don’t want it to end. Murakami is such a specific-mood writer, that when you want that mood, it’s hard to find it in anywhere else. But I did pick up Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, so that’ll give me my fix, too, once this one’s done.

+Wild Swans– Making significant progress through this one. It’s one of two biographies on my current reading pile, so I’m trying to finish this one before I pick up The Power Broker again. Note to self: one type of book at a time, please! If genre overlaps too much, that’s when I get pile-up. Also, it’s been kind of painful to read about The Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution in China when there are uncanny and disturbing similarities between leadership at that time period and current leadership. It’s not a 1-to-1 comparison, but only because one of them has a lot less authority than the other had, but the personalities and insecurities are undeniably similar… Not exactly relaxing reading, though it is fascinating.

+How to Write a Page Turner– Haven’t been looking at this one due to focusing on finishing Creativity for Life. Will probably pick this one up next as the book to finish, but I might try finishing Story Trumps Structure, but we’ll see.

The Power Broker– Haven’t touched this one again, but it hasn’t been top priority. I’m hoping to finish Wild Swans and then move onto this one next. Classic issue of too many similar-genre stories (in this case, auto/biographies). After I finish this one, I’m hoping to tackle one on George Washington, but we’ll see what happens.

Journey to the Center of the Earth– Started this one with B-Bug for our evening reading, and so far have really enjoyed it. It’s got brief chapters, it’s got that classic tone of adventure that makes it really move along, and it’s always fun digging into a Jules Verne.

*I feel like there was some kind of controversy over White Like Me, back in the day, but I don’t quite remember now, so just be forewarned.

+Books flagged for finishing this month, if possible.

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