September 2011 in Review

September 2011 Stats

Books in progress: 6
Books read: 6
Pages read: 935
Books reviewed: 6
Posts on book reviewing: 12
(includes features like In My Mailbox, Top Ten Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Subscription Saturday, and Sunday Salon; reading challenges; and news)

My stats are not nearly as impressive as they were in August, but I’ve been having a great time nonetheless. This month, I began my first graduate writing class, which has been marvelous. (Last week our guest speaker was Paul Dickson!)

Partly because of my class, partly because of my own interests, I have been writing more travel articles and profile pieces, which I’d like to see published elsewhere. I’ve also devoted more time to updating my site with posts about book reviewing, including the addition of Subscription Saturday.

As that post will show, September was a month of catching up with periodicals and online reading. The best way to learn how to write stories and articles is to read them, right?

However, I was able to post reviews of some great books here this month.

Susan Redington Bobby, one of my favorite professors ever, graciously agreed to guest-review Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting the spirited discussion that occurred in the comments, but in the words of Oscar Wilde: “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

Speaking of Mr. Wilde, I raved about the audio version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which really succeeded in pulling me into the book’s rather verbose prose.

Ned Zeman’s quick and witty memoir, The Rules of the Tunnel, provided a nice change–both from other books I’ve been reading lately and from other memoirs I’ve enjoyed.

Professor Redington Bobby wasn’t the only guest reviewer this month; Jack also shared his thoughts on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I, for one, really need to read that book before the HBO show begins. Does anyone want to lend me their audiobook?

As you may have noticed, fall is the time for me to try new things. Last year at this time, I gave my site new direction by beginning to review non-DC books. This year, I’m experimenting with different kinds of posts.

I did my first video review and had a lot of fun with it. Audrey Niffenegger’s The Night Bookmobile is a very visual book, and doing a written review would not have done it justice.

And then I posted a review of a book that officially heralded my online dorkdom. (Those of you who know me in real life were already fully aware of this status.) But I’m serious when I say that The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller changed my life. By making me work more efficiently, it gave me the confidence I needed to begin freelance editing and writing.

Bookshelf ROWDOWN

This month, I finally read Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. I liked it even more than I thought I would, and I’m looking forward to reviewing it.

I also finished Catherine McClure Gardiner’s memoir, Too Close to the Falls. Cathy was a very precocious little girl, and her uproariously funny childhood was a nice counterpoint to the intensity of Krakauer’s book.

I’ve gotta keep the momentum moving if I’m going to read 22 more books from my shelves by next July. It sounds easy enough, but too often I am lured away by the siren call of new releases. But I’ve got several volumes I’m planning on finishing up in October, so I’m not too worried.


I just finished a giveaway of Ned’s Zeman’s fantastic memoir of madness and memory loss, The Rules of the Tunnel.

Congratulations to Elizabeth, who has won a copy of this book!

Keep your eyes peeled for another giveaway coming up soon.

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