With my reading time somewhat fragmented this summer, I ended up reading quite a few short stories and essays, which has inspired me to methodically read through “The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40” collection. Chatter about that is already underway, and it will keep me busy on Mondays and Thursdays into October.

(Up-side: reminded me that I love short stories. Why do I keep forgetting that? Down-side: my current study of it illuminates my perpetually out-of-date magazine habits.)

Speaking of October, the International Festival of Authors comes to Toronto, and I’ll be sharing my IFOA Reading Plans tomorrow. Every year I’ve left the reading too late, so this year I’ve started digging through backlists early. Yes, it might be setting myself up for reader’s failure to think that I can manage backlists of writers as prolific as Michael Cunningham, David Mitchell, and Jonathan Franzen…but a reader can dream, can’t she?

(Up-side: way-fun bookishness. Down-side: unrealistic expectations of the number of reading hours that a single day can hold.)

And speaking of dreaming, simply finishing a book seems too much of a challenge these days. I read past the 2/3 mark in several books throughout the month, but hardly finished anything, although I might yet turn the final pages of some of them this coming, long weekend, so there might be some reviews to come of all that dabbling after all.

(What’s the highest number of books that you think you’ve had in your current stack — the stack with bookmarked books in it, not the TBR stack or stacksssssss?)

For the people who only read one book a year, my stack for August would still seem excessive but, for me, this was a light reading month.

(Up-side: more than half of these have been on my TBR list for at least two years, a couple more than a decade-in-the-waiting, and from my own shelves. Down-side: the library due-dates are about to crash hard.)

Favourite spam comment: Hasn’t everybody gotten bored of this crap by now?

How was your August reading? What are you looking forward to in September?

August 2010 Reading:
Banana Yoshimoto’s Hardboiled and Hard Luck (1999)
Trans. from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich (2005)
Keith Oatley’s The Case of Emily V. (1993)
Keith Oatley’s A Natural History (1998)
Keith Oatley’s Therefore Choose (2010)
Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know (2007)
Nicola Beauman’s A Very Great Profession (1983) Persephone No. 78
Noelle Broughton’s Margaret Laurence: A Gift of Grace (2006)
Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian (2007)
Illus. Ellen Forney
Shyam Selvadurai’s Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (2005)
William Kotzwinkle’s The Bear Went Over the Mountain (1996)