Monday, July 30, 2012

Good-bye July and Anticipating August

It's hard to believe tomorrow is the last day of July - this month has passed in a flash. From July 4th festivities, graduation parties, a weekend get-away in Lake Placid, and the Grapehound Wine Tour to multiple birthday celebrations, farmers markets, and craft shows, this has been everything a summer month should  be. As far as reading goes, however, it has been the worst month ever. I finished only one book - that's right a single book... and it was one with pictures.

Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift  was a lovely book. These are my thoughts as posted on Goodreads:
A perfect beginning to my "Paris in July" reading! Le Road Trip is full of thoughts on travel, love, and France. The artwork/illustrations perfectly complement the tone of Swift's writing. It left me energized and excited to continue my armchair travel through France.
Le Road Trip  was, indeed, a beautiful book, but the rest of Paris in July turned out to be a bust as my "armchair travel through France" came to a screeching halt.



My primary audio time (listening alone in car) has been, as expected, practically nonexistent this summer, but  North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell  has still been my 'main' book in July. I have it loaded on my ipod and nook, so have been both reading and listening. It is wonderful. Can I say once more that Juliet Stevenson is an amazing narrator? I even hear her voice in my mind as I read on the nook.

I've picked up several other books, but nothing has really captured my attention this month. Tomorrow evening I'm hosting my book club's annual pot luck dinner, so I'll have a new book to begin once we make our next selection. We will discuss Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. My review along with the group's reaction should follow soon.

Looking ahead to August, there are two events I'm eagerly anticipating. First is the return of Trish's Pin It and Do It Challenge. My family is pretty excited about this, too. They're hoping I focus on new recipes again. We'll see...


Heather and Andi are also hosting a North and South Read-Along. I'm on Chapter 37 now, but plan to join the discussion along the way. In addition to blog posts, they will be using the twitter hashtag #NSread and there's even talk of a  mini-series group watch party! Check out their home-base page for more details.



Finally, the past week has been especially difficult for reading blogs and commenting, but I'll be around to visit and catch up this week. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

On to August...

30 comments:

  1. But your one book was a winner! It looks like you had a busy and fun month. Enjoy it. The books and blogs will still be there.

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    1. Beth F - It sure was! July was such fun, but I really missed my reading time.

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  2. Juliet Stevenson is one of my favorite actresses; I can only imagine how marvelous she would be as an audiobook reader. Makes me wish I had time for audiobooks in my life!

    Sounds like you've had a wonderfully full July -- I hope your August is as pleasant!

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    1. Audra - I'm going to make a point of watching some of her films now. If you ever decide to give audiobooks a try, you'll know where to start!

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  3. I find summer to be challenging from a blogging perspective...so many distractions! Glad you are enjoying N&S--I love that book so much, and Juliet Stevenson is wonderful. I have checked out the audio version she did of Lady Susan a few times from my library and find I much prefer to listen to her as Lady S. than to read it myself.

    My Paris in July effort was even more of bust than yours. I just didn't like the book I picked and didn't try another one...I did drink more French wine than usual though, so there is that! I think I would've liked Le Road Trip as I do like memoirs of other people's adventures.

    Enjoy the rest of summer. All too soon the fairs and festivals will be packed up 'til next year!

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    1. Jane GS - Juliet Stevenson narrates Lady Susan? I read it for the first time last summer and loved it - my reread will be a listen for sure! Maybe I can salvage Paris in July with a last minute wine post ;-)

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  4. I just started N&S this morning and hope to do a bit of reading as well but honestly actual reading time is few and far between. I'll have to look up Juliet Stevenson to see what she has acted in (per Audra's comments)--sometimes her voice almost reminds me of Judi Dench.

    Yay for Pin it and Do it! I have NO idea what I'll be doing for the challenge... I need to do some organizing around the house so maybe I'll start there.

    Can't believe August is nearly here! Hope this week is better.

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    1. Trish - North and South is a great listen! I'm going to look up Juliet Stevenson's movies, too. Can't wait for Pin It and Do It round two.

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  5. You are so right about the N&S audio. I've never listened to Juliet Stevenson before and oh. my. gosh. Her voice is like butter. Or fine wine. Or just... wow. I loooove it. And I'm so glad you're joining in the discussion! Thank you!

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    1. Heather - What a perfect description of Juliet Stevenson's voice! Butter it is, or a heavily oaked, rich chardonnay! Can't wait to discuss :-)

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  6. July was a slower month for me, too, on the reading aspect. And listening. and blogging. and commenting.... Here's to a more lowkey August!?

    I recently pinned a yummy honeydew arugula salad you might like... I've made it 4 times already this summer.

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    1. Care - That salad looks amazing! Repinned it last night - it may be my first Pin It and Do It for August.

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  7. I've heard good things about North and South and am excited to hear you are enjoying the audio version of it. I went to the library yesterday to get some audiobooks and it was closed but I will be going back to find some for the long commute!

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    1. Kathleen - This is definitely a great audio! ANother one I loved this year was The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield.

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  8. oh! another pin it and do it challenge? cool! I'm in.

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    1. Marie - That's great! Can't wait to see what pins you'll try.

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  9. JoAnn,

    Sounds like a very busy month coming up for you. Too bad I'm not in your reading group to discuss Rules of Civilities. Look forward to your review. And hope you can have some time listening to some audiobooks. I've just finished listening to Austen's P & P, an alternative to rereading it. I turn back to have my Austen fix after reading Maupassant's Bel Ami. Have explained why in my current post. ;) Have a great August reading and listening!

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    1. Arti - I wish you could come and discuss with us! I've hear from a few people that they really liked it... we'll see what the others think tonight. Will be by to read your latest post later tonight or tomorrow morning. I'm almost caught up :-)

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  10. I really do struggle reading in the summer too, let alone blogging. It sounds like you are making the most of your July, which is what summer is all about. Enjoy North and South; it's a great book!

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    1. Michelle - This seems to be a normal pattern for me. When I think summer, I have all sorts of images of extra reading/listening time. In reality, it never works out that way.

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  11. Sounds like you have had a great time in July even if you've not read blogged/much. Le Road Trip looks very interesting, I'll have to see if I can get a copy from the library.

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    1. Sam - I've had such a good time this month! The reading groove will be back soon, no doubt.

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  12. I loved North and South, one of my favorite reads last year. And The Rules of Civility is the September book for my library's book group! I haven't started it yet, so I probably won't read your post until after I'm done, though I don't think I can wait until September to read it.

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    1. Karen K. - I loved the writing in Rules of Civility! Hard to believe it's a first novel, and that writing isn't his day job. Hope you and your group enjoy it as much as I did.

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  13. I recently bought Le Road Trip and am really enjoying it. I hadn't heard about Maeve Binchy so was very sad to learn of her death. She was a lovely author. Enjoy the rest of your summer.We're in winter down under here and can't wait for summer!
    Pam

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    1. Pam - Le Road Trip was so enjoyable, I want to find a copy of Swift's other book. Sad news about Binchy... haven't read her in years, but enjoyed so many of her novels.

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  14. I also loved very much Le Road Trip, but haven't had time yet to review it. Here is my wrap up, with 14 books: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/08/01/july-wrap-up/

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    1. Emma - It seems like everyone has read Le Road Trip this month! It was the perfect book for Paris in July.

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  15. I read two books for the Paris in July challenge, but only completed the first in July. Just finished the second this weekend. Pathetic.

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    1. Les - I'd hoped to reread Tender is the Night by FSF, but just wasn't in the mood for Fitzgerald last month.

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