June 2021: Midyear

Halfway through the year,  my literary ambitions are doing moderately well. I’m on track to reach the usual 150, my science survey is keeping pace with the year, and reaching 20 classics before the year is out is still a plausible goal.   I’m mostly behaving myself as far as book purchases go, though Mount Doom is still disappointingly substantial.   July will bring American lit, my usual celebration of telling the king and Parliament to bugger off, and hopefully a return to science. I had the Best of Intentions in June, of course..

Favorites, So Far:

The Old Man and the Boy, Robert Ruark

Beyond Tenebrae: Christian Humanism in the Twilight of the West, Brad Birzer

The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers
, Emily Levesque

We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State, Kai Strittmatter

Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir

Challenge Progress 

Science Survey: 

Holding steady at 6/12 categories filled.
Classics Club Strikes Back: 

We now stand at 8/50 .
Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger 
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck 

Expect more American classics in July. 
Climbing Mount Doom 

Two (very different) entries: Return of the Primitive, Ayn Rand; Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile, Joseph Pearce.  

Southern Lit/History: 
My Little Town, David Tipmore.   This was written by a personal friend, so I can’t pretend to any objectivity; it’s a reflection of a Yankee transplant to “Lovelady”, a small town in the Blackbelt, as he observes and attempts to participate in the distinct culture of a small town in the Deep South. Anyone who knows the area will recognize Lovelady as Marion, though some bits of Selma leaked in. (The hotel from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was the Hotel Albert*, and it was certainly not in Marion, harrumph harrumph.)

The Unreviewed: 

My Little Town, David Tipmore. Previously mentioned.

The Man In the High Castle, Phillip K. Dick.    I could’ve sworn I said something about this one…I read it, inspired by the Prime series, and found it less compelling and far more strange. It’s certainly artful,  integrating a lot of research into Japanese grammar and German bureaucracy alike.  

Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Children, and the American Dream, Helen Smith. Review to come; a work on why men are increasingly not to marry or pursue higher education.

Everything I Want to Do is Illegal, Joel Salatin. Full comments most likely to come this weekend..

New Acquisitions: 

Alienated America:  Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse,  Timothy Carney (Bookbubs deal) 
The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table, Tracie McMillian. This one has been on my to-read list since it was released, and reading Salatin earlier reminded me of it.

[*] I have an unfinished history of the Albert I’ll post one day, whenever I can cajole a local family into letting me peek at their family papers that might shed light on its destruction. I’m obsessed with this building to the point of dreaming about it!

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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2 Responses to June 2021: Midyear

  1. Your reading is impressive. I have Dick’s Androids/Sheep book coming from the library but I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to read it. I did purchase The Old Man and the Boy on your recommendation but I haven’t read it yet. Lol, I love Joel Salatin. I would probably be right there with him. Can’t wait to read your review!

    • LOVE Salatin, yes. I saw him in Food, Inc and was instantly won over — and read his “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”. It’s due for a re-read, since I never reviewed it.

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