Summer Reading: book droppings, inappropriate book covers, and literary gauntlets-Ep. 4

Show Notes

A 30-minute (ish) mini-episode in which we discuss hybrid reading lists, creating a reading and writing schedule, giving yourself permission to write, book voodoo, fluffing your bookshelves and Booker prize excitement.

Welcome to Read.Write.Repeat.

This month we will be giving away a copy of The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst and a bunch of adorable succulent bookmarks – we will explain how to enter toward the end of the post.

Kelsey’s Residency Tangent:

Summer Reading

What will Kaisha do?

  • Knock out a big book? Last year it was War and Peace.
  • Attempt to read the Booker Longlist?–The Booker is awesome—Kaisha wants to be a Booker Prize judge (reading 100 books in 7 months–she’s geeking out).
    • This prize rewards books that have the depth and complexity to sustain soKaishaphoto many readings. The judges are looking for a book that reveals more on subsequent readings.
    • To read the entire longlist, Kaisha will have to read 13 books between July 27th and September 13th.
    • Leaves Kaisha a chunk of time before the longlist is announced. How would she tackle this first part of the summer?
      • Fluffing TBR shelves and book droppings.
      • No stagnant books.
      • Kaisha doesn’t keep all her books, gasp!
      • The only two books Kelsey got rid of caused intense rage. It was best for everybody if they left the house to find their forever homes.
      • Bookmarking? Yes? No? Do you write in your books? Book voodoo–if you give away a book that you have marked in, can it be used to cast spells against you?
      • The mark of the Kaisha.
    • Or work through some collections?–

Another Booker Tangent:

  • Has Kaisha ever made it through an entire longlist?
  • She picks the books that she thinks will be shortlisted and reads those first. That is why she chose not to read this book, she didn’t believe it would win (and she was right):
    • Booker book that was written in a pseudo-Old English–
      • The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth
      • It sounds pretty cool and Kaisha did eventually read it.
      • Here’s more info on the book and Kingsnorth, who is an excellent case study in never giving up as a writer.
    • Kaisha only wants to read the books that win–she’s competitive–she wants to get it right
  • She’s read some great books through the longlist. The competition has a wide breadth of book types, even some speculative fiction. Nothing Epic though, and no literary fantasy so far.
    • My theory is that a lot of literary speculative fiction is too short for the competition, or too long. I have encountered some literary fantasy, but it has been in short story form.
  • One speculative piece that was a novella did make the Booker longlist. Kaisha says that it was one of the best reading experiences she has had in awhile. She also warns us not to google it. Spoilers will ruin the experience.
    • Side note: it took me a bit of digging to figure this one out. I would have asked Kaisha, but at two in the morning, it would probably have been rude to text her. Kaisha got the title right, but the author name wrong. Unless I misheard her, which is a possibility (Too many days on the firearms range as a cop has left me a tad hard of hearing). I thought she said Weir. What did you all think?
    • Here’s a link so that you can buy the book: The Many by Wyl Menmuir
    • Here’s a little bit more on Menmuir. I am excited to get to know this author better!

The Literary Gauntlet:

  • Just when you thought we were finished with this podcast, we went off on another Tangent: sleep and Proust.
  • Love doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel about In Search of Lost Time. (Just so you know, I linked to my copy of Swann’s Way–the first volume in the series–so that we can be book twins if you decide to buy a copy).
  • We know that Proust may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we think he’s fantastic. Just don’t read him like you would Dean Koontz. Read him like you would eat an ice cream sundae or enjoy a rainstorm while cozied next to the fire.
  • We reference the first part of Swann’s Way, and here’s an excerpt from that:

For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say “I’m going to sleep.” And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would try to put away the book which, I imagined, was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had been thinking all the time, while I was asleep, of what I had just been reading, but my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between François I and Charles V. This impression would persist for some moments after I was awake; it did not disturb my mind, but it lay like scales upon my eyes and prevented them from registering the fact that the candle was no longer burning. Then it would begin to seem unintelligible, as the thoughts of a former existence must be to a reincarnate spirit; the subject of my book would separate itself from me, leaving me free to choose whether I would form part of it or no; and at the same time my sight would return and I would be astonished to find myself in a state of darkness, pleasant and restful enough for the eyes, and even more, perhaps, for my mind, to which it appeared incomprehensible, without a cause, a matter dark indeed.

I would ask myself what o’clock it could be; I could hear the whistling of trains, which, now nearer and now farther off, punctuating the distance like the note of a bird in a forest, shewed me in perspective the deserted countryside through which a traveller would be hurrying towards the nearest station: the path that he followed being fixed for ever in his memory by the general excitement due to being in a strange place, to doing unusual things, to the last words of conversation, to farewells exchanged beneath an unfamiliar lamp which echoed still in his ears amid the silence of the night; and to the delightful prospect of being once again at home.

  • Additionally, check out the graphic novel version, if you are as much a Proust nerd as us! I bought this for Kaisha and myself last Christmas. What? Don’t you buy yourself Christmas presents? No? Oh, well, ahem, my husband bought if for me under my direction, then…

Connect and Win!!

  • Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for July. This month we will be giving away The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst and some adorable succulent bookmarks! To enter, rate us and leave a review on Itunes, and then go to the giveaway tab on our website and let us know how to get in touch with you if you win. A winner will be drawn at random on July first.
  • If anything sparked an idea for you, or you have thoughts or ideas about what we should discuss next. Let us know.  Fill out our survey for a chance to win cool prizes!

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Thanks for listening to Read Write Repeat! Talk with you next time!

Featured photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash; design by me!