I don’t think I’m meant to join a read-a-thon: I’m constantly reminded of everything else I need to do instead!
On Saturday morning, I thought, “I’ll go write some comments on read-a-thon-ers’ blogs.” I started, and even got advice on how to be a good commenter, and then my son got up and I got busy. I think I commented for about 30 minutes.
On Saturday at about noon, I thought “I have some time. I’ll sit and read along with the read-a-thon-ers.” Just after I sat down, I decided to get up and open the blinds so I’d have more natural light. That helped me notice the horribly dusty blinds, so I decided to dust them before I sat down to read.
Needless to say, I didn’t get any reading done. Dusting the blinds led to starting a load of laundry, which lead to cleaning the kitchen, going grocery shopping, and otherwise going on with my Saturday chores.
I’m incredibly impressed with all the reading you were all able to do, and while I still hope to someday join in one of these “read-all-day” events, I’m okay with the fact that I got a lot done this weekend. At some point, I’d just love to let it all go and sit and read, but I do plenty of reading already, so there you go.
I did get Moonstone finished on Friday night. It was a mystery, and I can’t say I loved it: Woman in White is still better in my mind. I’m enjoying North and South but my main problem this week is eye strain (yes, even without the read-a-thon!).
You see, my version of The Moonstone was a cute small-sized volume with incredibly small print (8 point font, probably). Since I read all 550 pages in less than a week, my eyes have been sore. I’ve had headaches for more than a week now.
I went to the eye doctor, who told me that I don’t really need reading glasses: just let my eyes rest and/or read with reading glasses for a week until the headaches go away. He also told me that reading a lot does not ruin eyes. Also, reading in low light does not ruin eyes. Eyes may become strained, but bad eye sight is genetic, not created. So, despite what my husband says, my bedside reading with a small lamp is not making me go blind. (The doctor actually laughed and said, “That’s an old wives’ tale!”)
That’s a relief to me. My fear is the eye doctor will say someday “Sorry, you’ve got to stop reading so much if you want to save your eyesight.” What would I do without my reading? Watch TV? No, thank you. What would I do without being able to see? Audiobooks are nice, but it sure takes a long time to get through one book!
In other books news, I went on a Spice of Life kick in the library and brought home a number of food memoirs and cookbooks. On top of all the other books I have to read (the Victorian novels, my upcoming book club read, the long nonfiction book, and my children’s books project), I’m not sure when I’m going to get to all my food books. I’ve enjoyed going through some of the cookbooks in the past few days looking for interesting recipe ideas. (My husband is getting tired of me cooking the same dinners every week, so my cooking repertoire needs some originality.)
I’ve been reading a lot this month. I think letting myself off the hook in terms of reviewing for the blog has helped me to enjoy my reading more. I still want to get reviews up, but I don’t have to write so much or as frequently. This is supposed to be fun, right?! Lessening my posting schedule certainly does feel more fun. I’m reading.
While I didn’t participate in the read-a-thon, I certainly have been getting a lot read.
- La Casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (115 pages; Spanish translation, fiction). FINISHED! For Hispanic Heritage Month.
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (115 pages; fiction). FINISHED! The original English.
- Macbeth by Shakespeare (180 pages; drama). For the RIP IV Challenge. FINISHED! I was going to listen to the audiobook, but it was a fully dramatized version by Americans with horribly fake Scottish accents. Hey, I could read it like that!
- The Stories of John Cheever (about 25 of 61 stories, 820 pages total; fiction/short stories). Abandoned. Although this is part of my Pulitzer Challenge, I’m finding Cheever rather depressing in bulk. Besides, each of the last three or four stories I’ve begun have bored me from the beginning. I’ll hang on to the book and revisit some of his stories next year. Then again, I may just cross Cheever off the list: I feel I’ve had enough!
- Jane Austen: A Biography by Carol Shields (5 CDs about 5 hours total; nonfiction/biography). FINISHED! For Martel-Harper Challenge and Everything Austen Challenge.
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (550 pages; fiction). FINISHED! For the RIP IV Challenge (mystery).
- Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonas Lehrer (200 pages; nonfiction). FINISHED! For the Science Book Challenge. LOVED this!
- Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda (324 pages skimmed; nonfiction). I can’t really say I “read” this book: I mostly skimmed through it at random, reading Dirda’s basic impressions of the books he discusses. I have to return it to the library, but I picked this up to get ideas for The Classics Circuit and it helped me get some! This is a book I intend to revisit. (P.S. Make sure you submit your own ideas for future tours!)
Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week.
My books are slow and steady ones.
- Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (80 read of 350/455 pages; nonfiction). Bookmark: BYU Bookstore Education Week schedule from many years ago.
- Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer (254 read of 330 pages; nonfiction). I read one chapter this week. Bookmark: Nathaniel Hawthorne (with a metallic book on the end of it).
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (20 read of 196 pages; children’s fiction). For My History of Children’s Literature Project.
Old Library Loot
- The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins by William Clarke (250 pages; nonfiction/biography). For the Collins Classic Circuit. I have not yet begun this.
- Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (425 pages; nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge. I have not yet begun this (and I may have to return it to the library before I get to it at all!!)
- The Neil Gaiman audio collection (about 1 hour on 1 disc; children’s fiction). I started this audiobook for when I drive in the car with my son.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (on 254 of 425 pages; fiction). Bookmark: Happily Ever After.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (57 of 386 pages; fiction). Bookmark: Once Upon a Time. I didn’t read this at all this week.
- Jane Austen’s Little Advice Book by Jane Austen (125 pages; quotes from Austen’s fiction). I have not yet begun this.
- Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes by Emily Franklin (on 95 of 360 pages; nonfiction/memoir/cookbook). Bookmark: READ! Unfortunately, this memoir is boring me! Too much detail about family busy-ness and not enough cooking!
- The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert (267 pages; nonfiction/memoir/graphic novel). I have not yet begun this.
- Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (484 pages; fiction). For the Gaskell Classic Circuit. I have not yet begun this. My review isn’t until December, so I may not read it for a few more weeks.
New Library Loot
I got on a Spice of Life kick this week and picked up a ton of new memoirs and food books.
- Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl. I haven’t opened this yet.
- My Life in France by Julia Child. I haven’t opened this yet.
- Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking by Julia Child. I haven’t opened this yet.
- Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge. I’ve skimmed this kids’ cookbook and made a recipe. It is just at my level. J
- $3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk by Ellen Brown. I’ve browsed through this. The $3 bit is mostly a joke (she means $3 a serving), but not a bad recipe book.
- Yum-O! : The Family Cookbook by Rachel Ray. I’ve skimmed through this. Rachel Ray is driving me nuts in print.
- Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book by Rachel Ray. See previous comment.
While I have been reading your blogs, once again I was awful at commenting and adding books to my TBR this week! I suppose not adding books to my TBR is a good thing?
- A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. A Bibliophile’s Bookshelf. I liked the movie, and hadn’t realized it was first a play!
- The Story of Art E.H. Gombrich. I found this after finishing Proust was a Neuroscientist. The chapters on Cezanne got me wanting to understand the history of art better.