Reading Journal (24 February): My First Vlog

Although I’m much more comfortable writing than talking, when it comes to my favorite subject (books), I decided I could give talking about books a try. Thanks to the encouragement of Amanda, Eva, and Jason, here’s my first vlog!

You’ll notice that I’m just as nerdy in person as I am in writing. I made an effort to pretend I was not nervous. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad.

In case you didn’t want to watch it, here’s my current reading in text as well!

Finished Books

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (390 pages; fiction).
  • Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language by Seth Lerer (265 pages; nonfiction).
  • The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata (165 pages; fiction).

Returned or Abandoned Books

  • Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (fiction). I didn’t read any of it, but it was due at the library! I will revisit at some point.

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 (260 read of 405 pages; nonfiction). My project book.
  • A Raisin the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (drama). Not begun yet.
  • Reading in Bed edited by Steven Gilbar (nonfiction/essays). A collection of essays about our favorite topic: reading. Occasionally, I’ll post some thoughts about an essay for the Reading Reflections feature.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein (130 of about 400 pages; fiction). For the Lord of the Rings Readalong.

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.

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (250 read of about 600 pages; fiction). For the Classics Reads Book Group.
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (about 200 pages; nonfiction). I have not begun.
  • 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.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (on part 7 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).

New Library Loot

  • The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata
  • A History of Japan by R.H.P. Mason
  • A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years by Shuichi Kato
  • A History of Japanese Literature: From the Manyoshu to Modern Times by Shuichi Kato
  • Introduction to Classic Japanese Literature by Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai


Note: In my effort to get my vlog up, I did not check reader yet! I will later today.

  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwide Dandicat. Nymeth.
  • Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana. Eva.
  • Hunger by Knut Hamsen. Salvatore at Five Borough Book Reviews.

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.

  1. Congrats on your vlog! And I’m very excited that you’re planning a Japanese tour for The Classic Circuits later on. I’ve been eyeing a couple of non-fiction books about Japanese literature but not the ones you mentioned here so I’m going to look into those. I really don’t know that much about Japanese literature myself, but am enjoying reading more this year. I look forward to hearing about your discoveries.
    .-= tanabata´s last post on blog ..Recent acquisitions =-.

  2. Rebecca, I looooved your vlog! You are so adorable. 😀

    I can’t stop myself from recommending Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. It is excellent.

    Also, the Woolf in Winter ladies and I (plus Richard) will be reading Kenzaburo Oe’s A Personal Matter in July. I hope you read along with us. Oe is my favourite Japanese author.

    Kawabata is great and I love him, but he seems to be too quiet for some readers.

    I love the idea of Japanese lit for The Classics Circuit. I’m hoping to join that.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on A Room of One’s Own, most definitely. (And more vlogging?)
    .-= claire´s last post on blog ..Tar Baby =-.

  3. What a cute vlog! I, too, am excited at the prospect of a Japanese Literature Classics Circuit at some point in the future. Would definitely join.

    And I second Claire’s recommendation of Kenzaburo Oe. I was blown away (odd phrasing, since it’s such a quiet book, but still apt) by his A Quiet Life.
    .-= Emily´s last post on blog ..Essay Mondays: Stevenson =-.

  4. I enjoyed your first blog, Rebecca! It was nice to see you “in person”…

    re: Japanese Literature: If you haven’t checked out Tanabata’s blog, I recommend it. She is also hosting a couple of Japanese Literature events (Japanese Literature Read-A-Long AND Japanese Literature Book Group). You can find more information here. I know my experiences with Japanese writers has been mixed, and having group feedback has been helpful in the past.

    Have a great week!
    .-= Wendy´s last post on blog ..Why Join Reading for a Cure? =-.

  5. Congratulations on your first vlog! It is great to see and hear you. You are very different to my mental image, but perhaps that is because I just associate the name with my friend Rebecca who has short, dark hair!

  6. It’s so fun to see what you look like! 😀 And I love your hair-I’m so jealous of redheads. Anyway, I totally enjoyed your vlog and I hope you do them regularly now. 😀

    I read Kawabata last year (Snow Country) and wasn’t a big fan. I know I should give him another chance, but his portrayal of women *really* annoyed me.

    Talisman Ring is very tongue-in-cheek; I thought it was funny and it read kind of like a spoof to me. 😉
    .-= Eva´s last post on blog ..On Reading Deeply =-.

  7. Rebecca, I really liked the vlog. It’s always fun to see the face behind the blog.

    I read A Raisin in the Sun in high school, but I was kind of ambivalent about it for some reason. I just remember not loving, but not hating it either. A friend of mine read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass for her English class along with The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. She liked the second narrative more than Douglass’.

    I like how you’re really diving into Japanese Literature, especially since I know all this research will translate into a great Classics Circuit with loads of reviews for me to read and add to my list.
    .-= Christina´s last post on blog ..The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao =-.

  8. You did a GREAT job! You didn’t seem nervous at all, and I’m very glad you overcame your nerves and took the plunge. It was great to see and hear you after knowing you online for so long. 🙂
    .-= Heather J.´s last post on blog ..Two Awards =-.

  9. Well done! You sound a lot like I imagined you would 😀 And you DON’T sound nervous! I wish my reaction to the vlogging experience had been “it wasn’t so bad”, but alas 😛

    Yes yes yes to a Japanese Classics Tour!

    Talisman Ring was the Heyer I was going to read if I’d joined, but then I decided to Be Good and not acquire yet another book.

  10. Great vlog! I really need to start East of Eden for the read-along. We Are The Ship is a great read. I think you’ll like it. It’s a book that children and adults can easily love. Nelson is a very talented illustrator and author.

    I hope DNA gets easier for you to read.
    .-= Vasilly´s last post on blog ..Saturday read-a-thon =-.

  11. Amanda, thanks!

    tanabata, thank you for all your great JLit reviews! It’s helped me thus far get very excited!

    Kathy, thanks! I guess high school acting club helped.

    Mary, I may have to do it again — but I probably won’t get through all these by next week!

    Claire, Thanks! I ended up reading A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN last night because I found I couldn’t renew it! It was good. And I’m still playing with where to go for JLit.

    Claire #2, thanks! Thanks for the JLit suggestion. And I’m looking forward to Oe. I’ve heard great things. I may have to join you for that readalong!

    Emily, your mention of Oe is partially what got me excited about JLit! A Quiet Life is on my list!!

    Suey, thanks!

    Wendy, yes, Tanabata’s blog and Bellezza JLit challenge is what got me so interested in the first place! Yeay for bloggers!

    Natasha, I hope I can get to it. I am not a baseball person, but I do love the art work!

    Aarti, I am so glad you love Talisman Ring. I’m trying to get psyched for it!

    Kim, thanks. I actually started about five times and then kept stopping because it wasn’t right. Then I decided it’d never be perfect and just kept going. I’m a good pretender 🙂

    Jackie, I haven’t ever shown a picture of myself online so I think everyone had their own idea!

    Eva, My husband and son have red hair too. We are, afterall, the Reids (Scottish/Old English for “red”).

    Oh, too bad about Kawabata’s portrayal of women! I have that one coming, so I’ll have to see what I think. At least his books are short. lol.

    Christina, thanks! I haven’t heard of that second narrative. I’ll have to look it up. And yeay for more interest in JLit!

    Chris, thanks!

    Heather J., thanks!

    Nymeth, Good job Being Good! As for the vlog, I just kept pretending I was talking to myself or to my friend about the books I’m reading, since you’re all my friends, of course!

    Vasilly, lol, since the readong ends in a week and a half, yes for East of Eden read! DNA is getting better. I suspect it’s been ghost written and the last half was put together by someone else. It’s less technical!

    Nicole, thanks! I’m glad I appear to know what I’m doing.

    Valerie, thank you!

  12. Agree, of course, with everyone else on a great first vlog. I’ve watched Eva and most recently Jennifer at The Literate Housewife doing her first vlog, and you seem to have “it down” like they do.

    However, only one “concern”: Your couch is begging to look a little overburdened with books. I hope the springs are good on it. 😉

  13. unfinishedperson, lol! No worries, I have a very sturdy side table with a shelf underneath it. Plenty of space for all my books (although, sometimes it does get full….)

    Chrees, thanks!

    bebek, thanks!

    Jenny, I redid the first minute about five times because I kept stammering. So then I said, forget it, if I’m going to do it, I’ll do it. So then I just kept going even though I felt like I was still stammering…Since no one has commented on that aspect, I’m sure no one would notice on yours either!

  14. Love the vlog! It makes me so happy to see other people who must max out their library cards like me!

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