Against all expectation and odds given by local bookies I am back for my second week of LTB, because I got the dang bug now, and it will not be satisfied until each of the countless eggs it’s laid somewhere on/in my person has hatched into a thoughtful, or at least fun to write, post.
Do you read seasonally?
I reckon the only thing I read on any kind of seasonal rotation is the annual Hogfather read-through my wife and I try to do every December; it’s my favorite Discworld, and it really sums up our feelings regarding the holidays, the new year, the nature of belief, the endless cycle of death and rebirth in which we are trapped but which will one day function just fine without us, and pork byproducts of all kinds:
Do you like a beach read in summer, a spooky book in the autumn and holiday themed ones in winter?
I’m not opposed to those, certainly, and looking back I do see a few things line up: Cannery Row is my favorite book, I often reread it in the summer, and a significant chunk of it does take place at or near the beach. Similarly, the above-mentioned Hogfather is set at Hogswatch-time, which is explicitly a Christmas/Yule/Etc. analogue. I don’t intentionally season-select, largely because when it comes to non-comics reading I’m a grazer, distributing my time among a handful of books depending on my mood (as I mentioned here in my article on how to get more reading done) and by the time I finish a given book it’s rarely the same season as when I started it; this problem is especially exacerbated by the fact that oh boy do I love a 1,000-page brick, which tend to arrange themselves into series of same.
What’s your favorite season?
- Of Mists
- Of The Witch
- Kaijumax, 1-6 Of
- Superman For All
- Time Of The
- Hannibal, Second Of
- A different Of The Witch
Do you have any favorite seasonal reads?
I do have books that I associate powerfully with specific times and places and the seasons are part of those memories, filling my mind-veins with the pleasant poison of nostalgia:
- Sitting on the back porch of a spring evening reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Thud!, the Dungeon Master’s Guide Fourth Edition to prep for running my very first D&D campaign, and B.P.R.D. after performing in an improv show (I know, I’m disgusted with me too).
- Being the only one on the closing shift at Vitamin World and without much to do, reading John Dies At The End and This Book Is Full Of Spiders (Seriously Dude, Don’t Touch It), the Iron Druid Chronicles (set, unbeknownst to me, in the city I would one day call my home), and the Steampunk anthologies that Ann VanderMeer edited for Tor as the summer sun sank over the mysterious pottery studio at the end of the strip-mall.
- Helping my wife paint the living room for our first Thanksgiving in our new home and our new jobs, watching The Burning (featuring the film debuts of Holly Hunter, Fisher Stevens, and babiest Jason Alexander!) and reading about people eating dragons in California Bones, people eating people in The Walking Dead, dragons getting high as a rainbow’s balls in The Name Of The Wind, and to this day I’m honestly not entirely sure what in The Man In The High Castle.
- Devouring Wolves of the Calla after opening it on Christmas day, reading every available volume of Night Watch and Percy Jackson And The Olympians (about which I would go on to become something of an amateur authority) at my Blockbuster shortly before it closed, and The Dresden Files at the Blockbuster the town over, which I had been tagged to help close down for good. (The early 2010’s were a bad time for those of us who had staked our career prospects on the longevity of physical media.)
Dang it post, you got me all misty-eyed for the friggin’ past, where things were not better, and weren’t actually much simpler either, but they certainly do seem that way in retrospect. The careful reader may have noticed occasional mentions throughout my articles of me reading to my wife at bedtime, a custom we’ve maintained since the early days of our courtship (or as I like to call it, “the first Obama Administration”) and nights of which I can confidently say we have missed fewer than a dozen over 13 years. Why, then, are there no mentions of what I read to her? The answer is simple: because to me our bed and our hours reading together (and it is together; if listening to an audiobook is reading–and it is–then so is listening to someone read you a book live) are their own time and place, their own Season of Stories, and even if I wanted to I could not place them in the larger context of the vulgar thing the world tries to slice up into the ticking of clocks and pages of the calendar and use to mark its revolutions and orbits, like a child marking height on a doorjamb, unaware and ungrateful for the whole of what it is to have a home. She is my home, and those stories are ours; the rest I am happy to share with you all, and that will have to do.
What about you all? What did you read as a nation forgot what it meant to make it a Blockbuster night? How deep into the I Ching did The Man In The High Castle get you to dive? What secret pocket dimension, removed from time and the hurryings of the outside world, can you and your special someone/s access through THE POWER OF LOVE, FOR WHATEVER DEFINITION APPLIES? Shout out in the comments and I’ll see you all next time; until then, be good to yourselves, be good to each other, wear your goddamned masks, and if you see four lights, say four lights.
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