Having finished my re-read of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, the rest of this lovely August afternoon is reserved for other reading.

Next weekend, another One Weekend, One Book: I’ll be re-reading The Year of the Flood.

(Oh, these are so good. Actually, good the first time, and great the second.)

McClelland & Stewart – Random House of Canada, 2013

Getting ready for Maddaddam, which releases on August 29th/September 3rd (UK/Canada).

(I’m ridiculously excited, and I simultaneously want to race through and savour the last of the trilogy.)

Normally I read a short story each day, but I set my current collection aside yesterday, to focus on Oryx and Crake.

Still, I’m looking forward to the next in A. Igoni Barrett’s debut. The epigraph to the collection is from E. Annie Proulx (The Shipping News):

“And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery.”

If you hear the emphasis on the ‘may’, you’re onto something.

But I often finish with a small smile; there is something hopeful here, even in the saddest stories. I only have four left.

The first few pages of Kelley Armstrong’s new novel (in bookstores on Tuesday) are fantastic. I read them when it first arrived, and I didn’t want to put it down again.

I haven’t peeked at the opening pages of Colin McAdam’s latest yet, although A Beautiful Truth has been out in Canada for months now.

It’s available in the US on August 22, and I’m keen to read it with that release in mind, having heard only positive comments from other readers.

I’m curious, also, given the author’s previous novel’s appearance on the Giller shortlist: will his third land there as well?

The book which has been in my stack the longest is Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland. There is a density to her characterization which requires a certain patience.

It is also the quality about her writing which I most admire, so I don’t want to rush it, but it’s not for every reading mood.

But alongside some heavy plotting, in Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin and Scott Westerfeld’s Extras, Sisterland will be a perfect mix.

Not that Maberry’s novel is all about plot either. Sure, there are zombies. But I’m a wimp about zombie stories and I can actually read this one after dark. The relationships are solidly drawn, I am tremendously invested in the characters, and I love the bits of social commentary.

A good afternoon of reading ahead. I’m feeling perfectly spoiled?

And, you? Do you feel spoiled by your reading these days?