In June, I started a new feature on my blog: Reading Journal. I have always wanted to do a weekly update, like Sunday Salon, but I don’t have time on the weekends. So I started a midweek one for myself.
I have enjoyed reflecting on my bookish thoughts, especially since I didn’t have many reviews to post. At the same time, it made my month very full of non-review posts. (In total, I had 10 non-review posts versus 10 review posts, although two of the reviews were for the same book and one was a summary of a few children’s books.) I have a goal of having more review posts than non-reviews, so I don’t want that overabundance of book talk to become a habit!
Do you mind non-review book talk? Do you have any content goals for your own site? Although I try to remind myself that my books blog is for my personal development, I do often consider the readers and the book blogging community. And I fear I am boring the readers I do have.
It may be a moot point. I’m hoping July is full of “lighter” reads, and so I’ll have more reviews than I did in June. I’m going to take things easy (other than finishing The Arabian Nights). I’m looking forward to this new adventure in reading.
As always, thanks for reading along with me.
Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews
In June, I reviewed a few things I read in May:
- Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (drama).
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury by Betty MacDonald (children’s fiction)
I also finished the following:
- Nineteen-Eighty Four (1984) by George Orwell (about 9 hours, equal to 370 pages; fiction) began in May
- Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg (80 pages; poetry)
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (167 pages; fiction)
- Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts (audiobook, on 6 discs, about 6 hours; nonfiction).
- The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (906 pages; fiction) read in May and June
- Chicago: Then and Now by Elizabeth McNulty (150 pages; nonfiction/coffee table book) I skimmed this book; it has lots of pictures.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer and Anne Burrows (275 pages; fiction)
- The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington (320 pages; nonfiction). read in May and June
As a part of my history of children’s literature project, I reviewed some Robinson Crusoe Adaptations for Children (including a detail page for anyone interested). I also read a number of picture books, which I didn’t review.
- May in Review (in which I reviewed May’s reading)
- Bookworms Carnivals (in which I told you about the Books about Books Carnival)
- Reading Journal (June 4): Reading More than One Book at a Time
- Reading Journal (June 10): Book Clubs
- Reading Journal (June 17): Reinforcements
- Bloggiesta! (opening post)
- Bloggiesta! Progress (closing post)
- Reading Journal (June 24): Learning to Read Better
- The Spice of Life Challenge introduction
- My Spice of Life “Feast”: A Pool of Possible Books to Choose From
Past and Finished Challenges
Once Upon a Time III Challenge: The Journey (until 20 June 2009). 12/1 FINISHED! I really enjoyed this. Although I only was going to read one item, I read many more! I read Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino; The Green Knowe Chronicles by L.M. Boston (six children’s books); Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury by Betty MacDonald (three children’s books) ; The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi; and Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. It was surprisingly easy to read twelve fantasy books in three months, especially when most were children’s books.
Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 June 2009). 1/2 NOT FINISHED. I studied Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare in depth, but I haven’t yet finished The Good Earth, which is my current audiobook. This challenge repeats every quarter, though, so I can finish it and count it for 3rd quarter. If you haven’t checked out Martel’s list lately, you may be surprised by the variety; he adds to it every two weeks, so the reading list just keeps getting longer. It’s now 59 books long.
Reading with Kids Challenge (until 30 June 2009). FINISHED! I had a lot of fun reading with my son. Although I stopped counting my minutes after April, I’m sure we read more than we did before these three months. Reading is a habit, and he looks for and loves books. I’m amazed at how interested he is when I pick up a book to read to him. Even though he doesn’t always appear to be paying attention and he’s playing, when I stop reading aloud, he stops playing, looks at me, and says “More?!” (Especially with Winnie-the-Pooh, this month’s full-length book.)
Summer Lovin’ Challenge (until 22 September 2009). 0/3. I plan on rereading three favorite books. I could just keep adding to this list! I love rereading books. Here are some options, all from my own shelves:
- Beloved by Toni Morrison. It’s been five years since my last reread, and this used to be my favorite book. Ever.
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I haven’t reread it since college. I loved in high school; I liked it in college; I wonder what I’d think now.
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This book is just fun, and I love the movie as well.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoyed this when I was in high school, and wonder what my adult thoughts are.
- The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. When I first read it, I told myself I’d reread it in a few years and probably enjoy it more. It’s been more than a few years.
- Wit by Margaret Edson. This play was great the first time I read it.
Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 September 2009). 0/2. I plan on finishing The Good Earth and then reading The Doors, a collection of poetry by Margaret Atwood. But, I may read a completely different option instead, depending on my mood.
Take a Chance Challenge (until 30 November 2009): 0/10. I’m not very daring in my reading choices. With summer, though, I’m looking to read some lighter novels, and I thought I’d take a chance as I do so. I hope to do at least two of these random book selections by November. (Click on the link for more details.)
The Spice of Life Challenge (until 31 December 2009): 0/8. I am joining my own challenge for “a feast.” I want to read and review at least eight books, with at least one in each category. See my post of choices here.
Everything Austen Challenge (until 31 December 2009): 0/6. Read or watch six Jane Austen-themed items, be it the original Austen works, movies, or biographies of the author herself. I’m going to play it by ear and hopefully have fun. I like how watching movies counts for this challenge!
Some projects appear on more than one list because part of the challenge is timed, but the overall project is not. I’ve made a note if I’m currently reading a book that applies to a particular challenge. I realize this looks insane. I’m probably not going to get everything finished, though, and I’m okay with that!
- Really Old Classics Challenge (until 31 July 2009). 4/5 (The Arabian Nights)
- Beowulf on the Beach Challenge (until 7 Sep 2009). 0/1
- Summer Lovin’ Challenge (until 22 Sep 2009). 0/3
- Martel-Harper Challenge (until 30 Sep 2009). 0/2 (The Good Earth)
- Take a Chance Challenge (until 30 Nov 2009). 0/10
- 9 for 09 challenge (until 27 Dec 2009). 3/9
- BiblioShakespeare Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 3/6
- Dewey’s Books Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 3/5
- Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 5/10 (The Words We Live By)
- Everything Austen Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009) 0/6
- Science Book Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 0/3
- The Spice of Life Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 0/8
- World Citizen Challenge (until 31 Dec 2009). 5/7
- HTR&W project: poetry. 0/21 poems
- Nobel Challenge. 13/101 authors (Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth)
- Pulitzer Challenge. 10/82 (The Good Earth)
- Newbery Medal. 28/88
- Caldecott Medal. 36/72
- My Children’s Literature Project. 6/15 chapters
- U.S. Presidential Reading. 2/44 presidents
- Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1/15 presidents
- My Short Story Author Project.
- My Poets Project.
- Favorite Authors to Read.
Classics/Must Read Lists
- Beowulf on the Beach Challenge . 15/50
- 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers. 42/101
- Martel-Harper Challenge. 17/59 (The Good Earth)