Happy Sunday! I'm sitting by the window watching the rain. Like much of the U.S., we're experiencing unseasonably hot temperatures. We're in the middle of getting three inches of rain this weekend, and I find myself wishing it were snow instead. Despite the weather, I am loving all of the Best of the Year book lists that keep popping up. One of my favorite events of the year is the Tournament of Books, and this week they released the longlist. I was devastated to see two of my favorite reads of 2015 (The Shore by Sara Taylor and Girl at War by Sara Novic) left off.
I'm participating in a new event: the Alt-ToB in the Tournament of Books group on GoodReads. I'm judging the first match-up of the first round: The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli and Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta. It's been so much fun to read and write a Tournament of Books verdict, but it is a challenge for me to not talk about these two books with anyone. I haven't tweeted, I haven't listed my ratings, and I've told the organizers who wins. I'm greatly looking forward to early January, when the alt ToB gets underway, so I can join the conversation about these two books. I'll post my full verdict here too (after it's posted on GoodReads.)
This experience has made me realize what a social reader I am. Over the years of blogging, I've shifted to writing reviews days, weeks and months in advance. It's an odd way to talk about books. Part of me is missing writing reviews right after I finish a book and immediately hitting Publish. There are a lot of good reasons for scheduling reviews, but as I think about my goals for 2016, I'm trying to figure out how to make this blog a better example of what I'm actually reading. Part of the problem: 27 unreviewed books (three are written and scheduled for January 2016.) I'll likely most mini-reviews of many of those to help me start 2016 with a fresh slate and new ideas for this space I treasure. I think part of what I love so much about reading prize lists are the conversations with other readers. I want to find a way to make reading and blogging more conversational again.
I'm off to enjoy the rest of Hawthorne's naptime reading one of my Bailey's Backlist Bucket List titles, Amy and Isabelle.
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