Reading Journal (17 Feb): A Brief Post

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I only read one nonfiction book in January, so my library requests focused on the nonfiction for February. But I have still been craving fiction. I feel like I’ve been reading a lot this week, but I have barely anything to show for it. I’ve been working on Inventing English, which is quite fascinating, but I have still not finished. I guess I can only take so much at once. DNA has been boring me. I did not spend much time with it this week. It’s my monthly project book, so as soon as I finish Inventing English, it will be a priority.

In fiction, I spent a lot of time with A Tale of Two Cities this week. I abandoned it after 100 pages in October, so I forced myself to get through page 100 again, and it is much better once I passed that hump. Now I really want to know how it ends! East of Eden is my slow fiction read: I want to read it in a long stretch, but my goal is to take it slow and savor it. I started and finished a Wodehouse audiobook while I’ve been painting. It was lots of fun. And now I’ve begun some Jules Verne, which is very delightful.

Once again, I’m tempted to do a vlog but since I’m watching a friend’s kids this morning and my son needs to be fed and dress, I’ve got to run.  Besides, I’d like to visit your blogs a today too! How do you vlog-gers have time for it?! How long does it take? What technology do you use? I’m a bit afraid of it.

Finished Books

  • Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (about 5 hours audiobook; fiction/short stories).

Currently Reading

Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week. I did make a little progress on some of these.

My Books

Here are the books I own or downloaded. I’ve been rather horrible at reading my project book this week!

  • Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (130 read of 455 pages; nonfiction)
  • DNA by James Watson (140 read of 405 pages; nonfiction). My project book.
  • A Raisin the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (drama). Not begun yet.

Old Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

  • Inventing English: a portable history of the language by Seth Lerer (190 read of 265 pages; nonfiction).
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (155 read of about 600 pages; fiction). For the Classics Reads Book Group.
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (310 read of 390 pages; fiction). I’m enjoying it!
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I have not begun.
  • Reading in Bed edited by Steven Gilbar (20 read of 150 pages; nonfiction/essays). A collection of essays about our favorite topic: reading. Since this is due at the library soon and it is ILL (not renewable), I ordered my own copy for $4 from Amazon Marketplace!
  • I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World by Martin Luther King, Jr. (200 pages; nonfiction/speeches). I have not begun.
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave (nonfiction/memoir). I have not begun.
  • Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (fiction). I have not begun.
  • The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata (fiction). I have not begun.

New Library Loot

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (on part 4 of 10, 11 ½ hours audio; fiction). So much fun!
  • Daily Life in Victorian England by Sally Mitchell (nonfiction).
  • We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson (children’s nonfiction).
  • Japan: A Concise History by Milton Walter Meyer (nonfiction).


  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Suzanne. Because it sounds so good.
  • Jamaica Kincaid, Henrick Ibsen, Henry James. Eva. Because I should read these authors.
  • Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Dalloway. Amanda. Because it sounds important.
  • Flush by Viriginia Woolf. Savidge Reads. Because it’s an “autobiography” by a dog.
  • The Good Women of China by Xinran. Nymeth. Because it sounds important, albeit painful to read.
Reviewed on February 17, 2010

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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  1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying A TALE OF TWO CITIES now. I remember loving it way back when, but I know you’ve had difficulty with it. EAST OF EDEN is, of course, great as well. And I think you know about my love for Wodehouse and Jules Verne! I’m totally jealous of your reading at the moment … mine isn’t nearly as much fun. :/

  2. Fortunately vlogging is fairly easy for me and Jason because the MacBooks come with a camera and audio feed built into them. We don’t need a webcam or anything. It also comes with iMovie so we have built-in software to record, process, and export.

    I’ve oddly been reading a lot of nonfiction this year, and not too much of it has been memoirs (which normally dominate my nonfiction reads).

  3. I already tweeted you this, but vlogging for me takes about 5 minutes set up, 10-30 minutes to record (depending on if I do more takes…usually I just do one and don’t worry about it!), and 5-10 minutes to edit it, get it uploaded, and published on my blog. I use the free Windows Movie Maker (it came on my computer, so if you have a PC I bet it’s on yours too). I use a Logitech Webcam that I’m sure was pretty cheap-my mom got one for each of us a few Christmases ago so we could all skype together. 🙂 It’s really intuitive to use…just clip it on top of my screen and plug it into the USB port.

    I would *love* to see you vlog, and I think you’ll find it surprisingly easy. 🙂
    .-= Eva´s last post on blog ..Library Loot: February 17-23, 2010 =-.

  4. Heather J, it’s not a favorite, but I ended up liking it! (Finished it last night!) I am enjoying East of Eden too!

    Amanda, yeah, I just need to go get the proper technology. You always do so many vlogs, I’m glad to hear it’s so easy for you.

    I normally like nonfiction, but this year is turning in to a year of fiction cravings…

    Eva, I do have Windows Movie Maker, I think, so I guess I just need to invest in a webcam too!

    Nymeth, it’s very good, just not one I can read in large chunks. I like it!

    Vasilly, thank you!

    Amateur Reader, I kept reading! I still found the first 100 pages or so horribly boring. I wanted to quit. But I decided to keep going and I pushed through them. It started getting better and the end was wonderful, but the beginning almost killed me. Again. Not sure why.

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