04 September 2023

What Are You Reading?

It's been the hottest driest summer in TX that I can remember in 75+ years.

How hot is it? I saw a robin blowing on his worm before eating. 

How hot is it? Hotter than a ten-dollar pistol at a Saturday night jewelry store. 

How hot is it? Hotter than a witch's... uh wait, that's a colder than reference.

Oh, I remember this year, and oh that year, and oh yeah, that other year. Yet I'm talking now about 47 straight days of 100 plus and they often were 103 to 108 or 110. Then we had one day of ONLY 99, but the next day and week, and the next week after that was 100 plus for every day again.

I had the lovely idea of doing my best to read for escape. To get so lost in a book I wouldn't even think about the relentless heat outside. 

For my big escape journey I began rereading books by Dana Stabenow. I say rereading because I'd read most all before. All are set somewhere in Alaska. Almost all set in ice and snow with below freezing temperatures. So far, in the last couple of months, I've read 18 or 19 of the Kate Shugat series and I think maybe five of the Liam Campbell books. Which I'm not sure read one of those before. Nice benefit of getting older is forgetting a book you have read before. In Alaska, even when it's summer there, they're talking about 80 degrees in the daytime and it cools down to sweater or light jacket weather for evening.

If I'm lucky it will cool down here around about Thanksgiving. 

Thanks Ms Stabenow. You've really saved my life. 

A couple of other books I read lately is Countdown, a thriller by Brendan DuBois, with James Patterson. It's the kind of book that keeps you quickly turning pages and forgetting hot and dry.

And recently reread, To Hell and Gone in Texas by Russ Hall, a local Austin writer, I've known for years. This book came out in 2014 and is just re-released for all y'all who love reading about bullets and blood and brothers with several twists you never expect. 

All in all books have helped me make it through these hot days that only cool to around 75 at 3:00am.

So what are y'all reading and why?


  1. Hey, Jan! I love your reading choices! Me? I mainly read short stories but I read (and reviewed) an LGBT YA novel called "Stuck With You" by the excellent Canadian author 'Nathan Burgoine. I'm also reading a collection of stories called "Midnight in the Renaissance Elevator," inspired by an uncooperative and cranky (and dangerous?) elevator at a Romance writer's retreat. (It's sold for charity and I know some of the writers!) Also bumming through "Plain Tales From the Hills" by some guy named Kipling (as well as the collection "Rudyard Kipling's Tales of Horror and Fantasy.") I've been a huge Kipling fan since I was in Grade school and always love dipping back into his tales!
    I'm also bumming through some John Steinbeck (for a project I can't talk about yet!) including "Travels With Charley," a book my Dad gave me decades ago when he finished it. And I'll here plug any of the old Viking Portable Library paperbacks you can find, yes I have the Steinbeck one! Probably the Kipling one too! (I wore out TWO copies of "The Portable Mark Twain.") I find at my busy age I'm having to make time to read. It's worth it!

  2. When the weather gets killingly hot, I move to England - writing wise. Agatha Christie, Dickens, etc. Oh, and when it was over 100, we watched "The Fast Runner" set in the Arctic Circle. Fantastic.


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