Here we are in the second half of June and I haven’t updated my reading progress for May. I’m still hanging on to an OK pace to meet my goal of reading 25 books. I finished 2 more books in May bringing me to 9 for the year. April threw me off pace since I only finished one book, so I was happy to finish 2 in May. That still leaves me a bit off pace but not by much, so I hope I can catch up.
I finished Catherine Ryan Howard’s Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing, which I found very valuable when I was working on my own self-published book. Howard’s work is full of useful information about the self-publishing process. She delves into specific details for publishing for Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. Having self-published several books, Howard authoritatively offers advice and often does so humorously. It’s a practical guide and an interesting read. It’s an excellent resource for both those curious about self-publishing and those ready to take the plunge.
The other book I finished was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn. I’ve been a Miller fan for ages and, in the past year or so, I decided I wanted to work through his books again. I’ve read Tropic of Capricorn a few times already. I recall liking it after the first time I read it and then being disappointed by subsequent reads. I don’t remember the last time I read it but it easily was a decade ago.
This time around, Capricorn really impressed me, maybe because I returned to it with low expectations. Having recently read both Tropics, I may in fact be leaning toward Capricorn as my favorite. Tropic of Cancer covers Miller’s years in Paris whereas Capricorn reflects back on his life in New York prior to his expatriation. Perhaps because readers familiar with Cancer know that Miller ends up in Europe after the events of Capricorn, it has more sense of a trajectory than does Cancer. These two works are more essential to one another than most people acknowledge. They both enrich each other and are enriched by each other and are weaker as standalone novels.
Although I envisioned my 2013 reading to focus on newer works, I can’t resist forging ahead with re-reading Miller. I’ve recently revisited Tropic of Cancer, Aller Retour New York, Black Spring and now Capricorn. I plan on continuing in chronological order, so up next will be The Cosmological Eye.
I had begun but then put aside House of Leaves in April. I picked it up again this month, but it is a big dense book, so it doesn’t seem like June will be the month where I do some catching up!
So, I’m up to a modest nine books for this year:
- Anathem, Neal Stephenson
- Netherland, Joseph O’Neill (library book)
- The Buddha in the Attic
- McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #13 (borrowed book)
- Empire State
- The Blogger Abides (ebook)
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (ebook)
- Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing (ebook)
- Tropic of Capricorn