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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

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Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
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Sunday Shuffle #448

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2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
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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…