Monday, March 5, 2012

March 1 (ok, 5th): Next On the List

Ok, so I'm a few days late with the beginning of the month update, and that is just representative of my February and March so far. February was a pretty pathetic reading month for me. I finished a whopping two books, which is pathetic considering I have more time than usual to read as I haul 75 minutes to and from class twice a week.

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I've officially given up on Jonathan Raban's essay collection, Driving Home. I got up to page 180 or so and was intending to read and post on it in stages. I reached a stopping point so I could read Sea of Poppies for book club, and as you can see, I still have not written about that first chunk of Driving Home (or Sea of Poppies, for that matter). Once I tried to get back into it and write about the first part, I couldn't even remember anything significant, and it was just looming as something I thought I should read but wasn't really enjoying. And I think this ended up holding me back for a lot of last month. Overall, this book was just not what I expected. A couple of the essays were really good, particularly one about Mark Twain, but the rest were not a journey of America, per say. They felt more like literary analysis of various authors, some of them not even American! In a nutshell, I was looking for a road trip, and this was not one. Oh well.

The other pitiful part of February is that I've been reading the same two books for 2-3 weeks. I don't usually read more than one book at once, because my brain can't focus in depth on more than one story. I've been reading the new graphic novel Marzi by Marzen Sowa since before Valentine's Day. I really like it, but this is something I'd usually breeze through in a weekend. When I didn't finish it one weekend, I needed a novel to read, because I didn't want to carry the large graphic novel in my purse, so I started West of Here by Jonathan Evison, which is a chunkster. It's almost 500 pages, so it's just taking a while for that reason. Plus, I don't really like any of the characters too much. The ones in the present day sections are just so miserable, and I hate reading about miserable people. It puts me in a miserable mood. So perhaps this is also why I'm not flying through it. Add to this the numerous children's books I have to read each week for class, and my leisurely reading is just subpar right now.

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This week...THIS WEEK...I will finish BOTH of these books! On the coming agenda, I have a couple things:
  • The Go-Between by I. P. Hartley, finally another NYRB classic for my next book club meeting. The meeting isn't until the 22nd, so I've got a bit of time.
  • The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood, the third in the Incorrigible Children series. I was so excited to receive an advanced copy for an author tour which will happen later this month!
  • Lions of the West by Robert Morgan is still on my agenda...I just have to get through these two books first!
Did you know that this month is the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia? I am attending for work, but I'm especially excited since the public library is the realm I intend on entering once I finish my MLS program. (And I am also very excited for the cheesesteaks.) You know what conferences mean...NEW BOOKS. I only hope to duplicate my awesome book score from ALA in January!

Happy March!


Aarti said...

I know how frustrating it can be to think you'll get through a book pretty quickly and then, weeks later, find yourself still reading it!  Sometimes I just need to take a break and read other things to feel more accomplished.  This is happening a lot for me with Middlemarch, which is a very good read, but just so long... said...

Any interest in having an author attend your book club meeting?  I have attended a number of meetings by Skype and in-person.  Have a look at my website above and see if my book interests you.