“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
– Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
Goodbye to July and hello to August. I need to get focused on back to school preparations — clothes shopping, easing back into the routine of being out of the house by 6:30, fitting in last minute appointments. I’m hoping beyond hope that this is an easier transition than last year. It was difficult, to say the least, ushering in one of the worst school years ever.
Most of my reading during the past week was online. (See Links I Liked below.) It’s quite possible that I didn’t read one page of an actual book this week. Wait — no, that’s not true. There was a poetry collection that wound up being a DNF.
For the majority of today, I tried to disengage a bit from all things online. I needed a break from the political discourse, which I’ve been rather immersed in (to say the least). I’m still reading Reliance, Illinois, a historical fiction novel set in 1874 with themes of women’s suffrage. It’s purely coincidental that I’m reading this now in the midst of all this election craziness, but it is rather fitting.
Five books finished this month, which sounds impressive but most were pretty short.
The Man Booker Prize longlist has been announced! I always want to read all the titles, but instead I live vicariously through Nomadreader and Simon of Savidge Reads, both of whom are my go-to sources for book prize news and reviews.
July has been an inspiring writing month for me. We met Judy Blume at an author event on July 12, a childhood dream come true. Then, this past Tuesday, The Girl and I attended Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Made Local event with three of Pittsburgh’s young adult authors — Jonathan Auxier, Nick Courage, and Siobhan Vivian. The Girl is an enthusiastic fangirl of Siobhan’s, and I felt bad that we couldn’t get Jonathan’s and Nick’s books to be signed too. (We have them out from the library, so I’m guessing the guys will be OK with that.) I still need to blog about both events.
My podcast listening was almost all politics related this week. I recently discovered The Bob & Chez Show with Bob Cesca and Chez Pazienza. They present a fantastic balance of humor, commentary, and solid information that I love. This week’s episodes (“Homegrown Demagogues, 7/28/2016” and “Trump Putin 2016 7/26/2016” were great recaps of the DNC goings-on and everything else regarding this crazy campaign.
Links I Liked …
Op-ed in today’s Washington Post by Ghazala Khan responding to Trump’s comments on why she didn’t speak at the Convention. “Ghazala Khan: Trump Criticized My Silence. He Knows Nothing About True Sacrifice.”
For This Republican, Never Trump Means “I’m With Her” (Medium) Caroline McCain, granddaughter of John, writes an honest, reflective piece about family loyalty, the Republican party, third-party candidates, and her decision to back Hillary.
Hillary Makes History and Wears It, Too (New York Times) – There was historical symbolism behind Hillary Clinton wearing all white to accept the nomination for President of the United States. Not your typical fashion article.
Gail Collins: From Bloomers to Pantsuits (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) – I was thinking about Gail Collins’ book American Dolls while watching Hillary Clinton give her acceptance speech. This article was a good reminder.
This is the 63rd post of my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project, and like the end of summer, I can see the end in sight. Only 36 more posts to go.