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The Other Side of Summer

I posted my plans for my "Summer of Books" back on June 1, when I still had a week or so left of working at school and had not yet started teaching swimming lessons for hours at a time. Today is Aug. 15, when it's about a week until school starts again and I finished up my swimming lesson schedule a few days back. In the meantime, all I've posted has been Sunday Shuffles and a lone Heavy Rotation. That's doesn't mean I haven't been reading, though. I've actually read 14 books since that post 2 1/2 months ago. Even if I don't get around to writing about them, I would like to note them for posterity...

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt
The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson
The Great Frustration by Seth Fried
The Astral by Kate Christensen
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
XO by Matthew LeMay
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott

That brings me to 32 books on the year and puts me on pace for 51. I started keeping track of how many books I read each year back in 2001 and the closest I've gotten to 50 books was 2008 when I read 48. College starts next week too, so we'll see what happens (although my British Novel class should yield another 5 towards my totals).

The best part of it is that I've enjoyed the books I've read this summer and have found some new writers to follow. I do still entertain thoughts of trying to turn into a reliable book blogger. If I manage to do so, you'll soon hear more about some of these books and those authors.


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Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
4. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (5) - last played on 3/13/16
6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
8. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 8/3/16
10. Centre For Holy Wars/The New Pornographers (2) - last played on 1/27/15
12. Girls and Boys (Pet Shop Boys 12" Remix)/Blur (3) - last played on 2/28/16
14. Hard To Find/The National (25) - last played on 2/12/17
16. Metal School/Spoon (17) - last played on 1/20/17
18. I'm in Love (With Arthur Dove)/Portastatic (8) - last played on 7/29/16
20. Simple X/Andrew Bird (4) - last played on 5/1/16

5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…