Reading Journal (4 Nov): Reading Progress and Library Loot

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I know that most of the blogging world (it seems) is busy writing novels this week and apparently for the coming month. I’ve noticed it’s a lot quieter around here!

I, too, don’t have much to say this week, especially since I wrote my challenges update on Monday. I’m loving my Spice of Life kick (why had I not found Julia Child sooner?!). Here is my reading progress for the week.

Finished/Abandoned Books

  • Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes by Emily Franklin (on 230 of 360 pages; nonfiction/memoir/cookbook). FINISHED!
  • Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking by Julia Child (110 pages; nonfiction/reference/cookbook). FINISHED!
  • The Neil Gaiman audio collection (about 1 hour on 1 disc; children’s fiction). FINISHED!
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (425 pages; fiction). FINISHED!
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (96 of 386 pages; fiction). Set aside. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not getting in to it at all. I’ll try again next year.

Currently Reading

Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week.

My Books

I didn’t make much progress on my two project reads, but I’m not in any rush. I am going to try to finish the Children’s Literature text this month so I can finish making up my “books to be read” list for that project.

  • Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (80 read of 350/455 pages; nonfiction).
  • Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer (254 read of 330 pages; nonfiction). For My History of Children’s Literature Project.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (20 read of 196 pages; children’s fiction). For My History of Children’s Literature Project.
  • Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton (180 read of 285 pages; fiction). For my book club. I’ll probably finish it tonight!
  • Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton (285 pages; fiction). I have not begun this 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.

  • The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins by William Clarke (250 pages; nonfiction/biography). For the Collins Classic Circuit. I have not yet begun this. My date is mid-November, so I’d better get studying. I’ve also requested a few other Collins biographies from the library; I may read a few of them if I’m feeling ambitious.
  • Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (30 read of 425 pages; nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge. I made some progress this week.
  • Jane Austen’s Little Advice Book by Jane Austen (125 pages; quotes from Austen’s fiction). For the Everything Austen Challenge. I have not yet begun this.
  • 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.
  • My Life in France by Julia Child (75 read of 300 pages; nonfiction/memoir). Loving this!
  • Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl. I haven’t opened this yet.
  • Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge. A kids’ cookbook. I didn’t read any more this week.
  • $3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk by Ellen Brown. I didn’t read any more this week.
  • Yum-O! : The Family Cookbook by Rachel Ray. I didn’t read any more this week.
  • Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book by Rachel Ray. I didn’t read any more this week.

New Library Loot

I tried to restrain my library loot this week and I failed. I have so much at home already and I’m starting to feel like I’m drowning in books I “need” to read.

  • Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks (audiobook, on 3 of 5 CDS; nonfiction). Fascinating thus far!
  • I Feel Bad about My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (audiobook; nonfiction/memoir/essays). An impulse while I was browsing for Sack’s book at the library.
  • Carmen by Georges Bizet (opera). I have not begun this yet.
  • The Harlem Renaissance edited by Harold Bloom (nonfiction/essays). For the upcoming (February) Classics Circuit.
  • Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan (nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge.
  • One People: Many Journeys. A coffee table book illustrating people around the world. I picked it up as an “anthropological” book for the World Citizen Challenge, but I’m not certain it technically counts as such.


I have been reading your blogs.

  • Nevermore: A Graphic Adaption of Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories. Valerie talked about this. While I really despise Edgar Allan Poe’s writing, this graphic adaptation of his stories sounds fascinating!!
  • Expat edited by Christina Henry de Tessan. Eva. I was an expat in Australia for 15 months, so while it wasn’t too foreign, maybe I could relate to this book of essays by expat women.
  • Miss Leavitt’s Stars by George Johnson. Eva. A science book.
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude and this is shorter and just as good says Eva.
  • The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. Eva. I need to be more creative for my son’s sake! Someone else reviewed this recently, so kudos to you to if it was you!
Reviewed on November 4, 2009

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.

  • Jackie, LOL! I’m enjoying everyone’s blog just being so bad about leaving comments. I’ve been voyuering and then not commenting. Bad me! Actually, all those came from the same post on Eva’s blog. Funny how that happened.

    Heather, YES. I feel the quietness too. But the fact that so many people are creating something is exciting! It gives me an idea for my own month-long project.

  • I have Tale of Two Cities on my to-read pile — I’ve heard it’s not the best of Dickens’ books but I’m still planning to read it.
    I’m listening to The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl in the car to/from work and it has got me into a very Dickensian mood.

    I read Tender at the Bone and a few of Ruth Reichl’s other memoirs and they are really good.

  • I really enjoyed Musicophelia last year! (But then, Sacks is my future husband, lol.) If you ever feel unrestrained w/ your library loot just think of all the books I get out and be comforted! 😉

  • Suzanne, It sounds like most people either love Tale of Two Cities or not, so I guess this time I didn’t enjoy it enough to keep reading!

    I think everyone is in a Dickens mood lately! It seems like it. I’m glad you like the Reichl; not sure I’m going to get to it this time around but it looks great!

    , Eva, I know, it’s your crush on Sacks that got me to find one of his! I know you get more loot than me, but you also read faster! I’m seriously drowning in books right now (although my side table is looking a little better today…)

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