Friday, July 31, 2015

Books Added July 2015

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes
Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

The Dornenburg and Ruhlman were birthday gifts. I have already made pancakes out of the Ruhlman!

I knew I would be seeing the VanderMeers when they were in South Carolina for Shared Worlds, and was very fortunate to interview Ann VanderMeer for the next episode of the podcast. I really enjoyed talking to her and hope you will enjoy that episode, posting next Tuesday.

Reiss is for my in-person book club, and the Hughes was near the Reiss on the shelf in the "African American" section of the used book store.  Mental note: check out all these divisional groupings of history and literature because they are taking books away from the "literature" and "history" sections where I might expect to find them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reading Envy 035: Speed Dating Books

Surprise! This is an extra special bonus episode. Sometimes my books start to overwhelm me and I do what I can to get some of them out the door. I had been tweeting about the most recent round of book speed dating and decided I felt like talking more about it than a series of 140 character tweets. I recorded this episode at a table for one at the Reading Envy Pub.  Join me!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 035: Book Speed Dating

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Books mentioned:

The Fall of the Towers by Samuel R. Delany
Slant by Greg Bear
Running in the Family by Michael Onjaatje
Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt
Are You Somebody? by Nuala O'Faolain
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
The Revolutions by Felix Gilman
The Royal Physician's Visit by Per Olov Enquist
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri by David Bajo
Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
The Famished Road by Ben Okri

Other mentions:
The Original Reading Envy Speed Dating Project (with rules)
Speed Dating Round Two
Speed Dating Round Three
Speed Dating Round Four
Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
Greenville Literacy Association
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Toast by Nigel Slater (it does exist!)
The Book of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow
Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
City of God by E.L. Doctorow

Stalk me online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Like the podcast and interested in participating? Read the FAQ.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Library Books July 2015

I went to the leisure reading section of the academic library where I work, to check out a book I needed to read for my book club. Somehow more books followed me home. The story continues....

Guided Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 2 by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Folded Clock: A Diary by Heidi Julavits
Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer
The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernández

The book I was looking for was The Cairo Affair, which will be the August read for my local book club. Somehow I ended up also picking up the Theroux, the Julavits (beautiful cover!), and the Hernández. These three I have read or discarded, but I have yet to read the Steinhauer. Isn't that always the way.

I had started reading an eBook version of the Manguel through one of the academic platforms we have access to. Except Yale University Press didn't include the images in the eBook version. Blank squares kept instructing me to consult the print edition, which seems to counter why you would ever just buy an eBook! I had to request the print from interlibrary loan (this explains the strange call number, which is neither LC nor Dewey) because the images seemed to be important to the text.

After attending a Contemplative Pedagogy workshop in June, I have been looking for more ways to meditate, etc. I spent my lunch hour Monday on the floor of one professor's office doing a body scan from one of the Kabat-Zinn CDs, so I checked the rest out from the library.

What have you brought home from the library lately?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

So you want to appear on the podcast...

I have sent this information so frequently in e-mails lately that I decided I should have it more easily available. I am perpetually hungry for podcast guests! Here are some frequently asked questions.

Who are you looking for to be on the podcast?
Most guests are people who read - all ages, all genres. 

I also look for people who are in interesting or unique book clubs. For this kind of episode, it is best to have more than one person.

I'm an author/publisher/editor and want to pimp my latest project. Are you interested?
I have had authors from time to time, but usually I am asking them because I think they have an interesting perspective or I already know I enjoy their work and want them to talk more about it. I also try to stick to the concept of authors-who-read.  I might be convinced of it but that is just not the primary purpose of the podcast.

Since we're on the topic, will you review my book?
You can ask, but I only take review copies for books that interest me. I already have several avenues to acquire review copies and still want time to read non-review books. I also do not talk about every book I read on the podcast, because I read over 200 books a year.

How can I get on the schedule?
Contact me, readingenvy [at] gmail. We will discuss the particulars. Since I post an episode every two weeks, I try to record every two weeks. I have Thursday nights blocked out for recording but am completely flexible - otherwise I would not be able to have podcast guests from overseas!

Can I bring a friend?
Yes! I think the magical number is three people at once, including me. If you have another reading friend who wants to be on the podcast at the same time, that would be great. I have at times paired strangers together.

How are the episodes recorded?
Right now I record through Skype into a program called Audio Hijack.  If I record in person, I record directly in Audacity.

What are the technical requirements?
It works best if each person has at least a headset mic and is plugged into an internet connection (not just wireless). That said we have successfully recorded podcasts using internal mics, cellphones, etc.  If we are new to each other, we might decide to test Skype ahead of time.

If you live within an hour radius I will probably try to record in person, because the sound quality is better without the internet involved.

How can I prepare for the episode?
This depends on how many people are on the episode. If it is just two of us, each of us will bring three books to talk about. These should be books you liked and read recently enough that you can discuss them. Please don't feel like you have to pick the THREE GREATEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME because that really isn't the point. If there are three of us, each person only needs to bring two books. Be able to summarize the book and find an excerpt to read if possible (some books are not as conducive to excerpting, and if you have an advanced reader copy of a book, we can't include excerpts.)

I also ask guests who are new to the podcast about what they like to read in general, and let guests plug any online presence or project they want to, as long as that isn't their sole reason to appear.

I've never done anything like this before and I'm hesitant/nervous
Don't worry! I remember my nerves the first time I was on the SFF Audio podcast. Sometimes things go wrong - Siri will start talking, a dog will bark, a phone will ring. I can edit that kind of thing out. I also edit out awkward pauses and people that go on too long. Ha. I'm not just posting raw audio to the internet. I don't record on separate tracks so if one person's noise covers up another person's comments, that can be more difficult. We will try hard to overcome all obstacles, but I'm a big fan of the "good enough" philosophy. You love to read? We'll make it work.

Some people have used the strategy of a nickname, and that is always fine. Nobody has to know it is you.

Another suggestion I make is to listen to a few episodes.  If you are a book club, try episodes 013015, or 023. If you are the rare author/editor/publisher I have asked to be a guest, try episodes 021 or 029. Any of the other episodes will give a sense of the more standard episodes, but some personal favorites include episodes 004, 025, and 033.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reading Envy 034: The Liminal Space Between

Jenny sits down with Paul Weimer who is no stranger to podcasts. In fact one of his podcasts was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2014!  We get together to talk about his personal reading challenge for the year, with some discussion on language and translation that happened on its own.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 034: The Liminal Space Between

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Books featured:

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold
The Wilds by Julia Elliott
The Just City by Jo Walton
Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman
Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter
Minnow by James E. McTeer II

Also mentioned
Skiffy and Fanty blog and podcast
SF Signal
SF Signal Mind Melds
SFF Audio - Brave New World readalong discussion
SFF Audio - Philip K. Dick readalong discussions
K. Tempest Bradford
Charles Dickens
Mark Twain
Kate Elliott
Jaye Wells
Kristi Charish
Fran Wilde
Artemis Invaded by Jane Lindskold
SC Book Festival
Kij Johnson
Julia Elliott's Pushcart Prize win
Plato's Republic
Among Others by Jo Walton
Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another. by Robert Silverburg
The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Brooklyn College
The Children of Sanchez by Oscar Lewis
El Norte (film)
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Nalo Hopkinson
Tobias Buckell
Karen Lord
Binary by Stephanie Saulter
Nancy Kress
Hannu Rajaniemi
Ramez Naam
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Paul on Twitter
Paul on Skiffy and Fanty
Paul on SF Signal
Paul on his blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Books Added June 2015

I was in Beaufort, SC last week on vacation and many of the new books in my house come from that trip. I also have some birthday presents on this pile, as well as some books my father-in-law brought home from Charleston and gave us.  I brought fiction set in South Carolina with me on my trip (which I will discuss on an upcoming podcast episode) but we came home with a bunch of non-fiction.

1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton
Food Blogging 101 by Malika Harricharan Bowling
Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment by Willie Lee Rose
Fort Sumter National Monument: "Where the Civil War Began"
Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne
South Carolina's Revolutionary War Battlefields by R. Barbour
Gullah Statesman by Miller
Food Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young
Boone Hall Plantation by Michelle Adams
The Charleston Chef's Table by Holly Herrick
Cake My Day!  by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
Beautiful Beaufort: Pearl of the South by Martin McFie


I also picked up an adult coloring book (they are all the rage) and a bookmark about the upcoming Pat Conroy festival for his 70th birthday. He is the local darling of Beaufort since he lives there, and the two bookstores we visited had a Pat Conroy section. s