It’s looking like my reading totals for August are going to be down from the past three months. I’ve finished 10 books so far and we’re halfway through, so that will leave me with 20, a fairly significant drop from 30 and 31 in June and July. I’ll be back up there in September though. My dissertation is due in completed form to my supervisor on September 3rd, and while I’ll probably have some edits to do after that, I won’t have time for the intense reworking I’m doing now. I’ve actually done most of the work already (go me!) so I have about 2 weeks just to form a conclusion from an essay I’ve already written and my own thoughts.
I’ve been feeling very nostalgic this month; it’s my last month in full-time school and I find myself missing my undergrad university and friends more than ever. I don’t like stages of transition, I prefer to be one place or another, not in between. I’m sure it’s because I haven’t been reading as much. Do you find that not having time to read as much as you’re used to reflects in your mood as well?
Well, that brings us to what I have been reading this week. I just finished Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen last night and found myself enjoying it far more than I’d expected by the end. What got me was that even though she plays with the facts, none of it is needless or derogatory and I found it a refreshing new spin – for fiction – on a story I’ve read in various forms many, many times. Not even the magic really bothered me, because I don’t believe that anyone is going to go around convinced that Jacquetta and Elizabeth were witches. Historical accuracy only gets to me if I think people are going to believe that something wrong is true, and that’s not the case here, so I liked it. I bet that’s a surprise to many who know me – it was a surprise for me too!
Right now I’m reading The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan so my mom can get a book off Amazon Vine on Thursday. It’s billed as a love story with some tragedy tossed in, set around Niagara Falls in the early 20th century and loosely based on the life of a real man. So far, it’s not earth shattering, but I like it. This brings me to another point; both this and The White Queen are written in present tense. It gives a certain feel, but I’m not sure I like it as much as past tense. It can dissolve into the story if I read long enough, but it always bugs me a little in the beginning. What do you think? Do you prefer past or present tense? What about 1st or 3rd person? Or do you not care?
That’s enough from me for now. I’ll leave you with two bits of news. One, the wonderful Michelle Moran, whose Cleopatra’s Daughter I will be reading and giving away shortly, has asked that I mention her contests. You can find details about them here. They sound exciting, and I know if I was still in the US I’d go hunting in a few of those independent bookstores. Two, you have until Wednesday to enter to win a copy of American Lion by Jon Meacham from me, and you can do that here.
Next weekend I will be in Cornwall, so expect pictures when I come back! Have a great week everyone!