This is officially my first summer since I started book blogging: last June, July and August I was still in Australia, where it was winter. I didn’t think weather would make a difference on what I want to read, but it certainly does. I’m craving light books! I’m ready for some fluff!
Does warm weather change your reading plans? Can you recommend any fun “fluff reads? (Dare I ask?)
I joined my library’s summer program (Library Program A), which is to read 6 books. Then, a few weeks late, I also joined the summer program at the library I volunteer at (Library Program B). That program is to read 7 books in six categories: audiobook, poetry, mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, biography, and your choice. I technically am not required to read one in each category; I can choose any books I want. But I like the idea of finding some fun, light summer books to read in each category.
I’m joining some new challenges for the second half of the year (more on those later), and when I look at my list of “challenges” I see that I’m overextending myself yet again. My approach to joining challenges this time is different, however. At the beginning of the year, I joined the Dewey Decimal Challenge, for example, fully intending to read all 10 books. Now, however, I’m joining the “Take a Chance” Challenge, for example, only intending to do a little bit of it. I probably won’t finish all of my challenges, and I now feel remarkably okay about that. It’s fun to make lists and be a part of a little personal challenge, even if it’s unrealistic. Do you join challenges you don’t think you’ll finish?
I finished a few books this week. Because I have been reading them so slowly, finishing them only meant a few hundred pages. I really enjoyed Guernesy, although it had its flaws. My sister and I will write a joint review when she finishes it.
I decided to return Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the library. I think I’ll try the annotated version in the fall, when it’s not so nice outside and we’re distracted by the sunshine and the park.
Finished or Abandoned Since Last Wednesday
- Chicago: Then and Now by Elizabeth McNulty (150 pages; nonfiction/coffee table book) This had lots of pictures, so it was quick to skim through. I may do a joint review with the other Chicago architecture books in a few weeks. FINISHED!
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer and Anne Burrows (275 pages; fiction) FINISHED!
- The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington (320 pages; nonfiction). FINISHED!
- Art History by Marilyn Stokstad (1150 browsed pages; nonfiction) FINISHED! I did not read this but rather browsed through it and looked at the pictures. I don’t know much about art! I still love Ancient Egyptian and 1800-1900 European art best.
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (161 read of 388 pages; fiction) I returned this to the library without finishing it. I plan on revisiting it in a few months.
I finally got The Arabian Nights back from the library (I had to return it and then request it again); while that doesn’t fit my “light” cravings, I’m finding if I read it in bulk in the evenings (such as 40 pages at a time) I can get through it better than when I read it in 5-10 page intervals. So I’ll aim for doing a “bulk read” once or twice a week until I’m finished.
- Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (82 read of 160 pages; children’s fiction) I have a head cold so I haven’t read aloud lately. My son flips through it, “reading” to himself.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (290 read of 750 pages; children’s fiction) I got through some of this book this week, but to my surprise, I’m rather bored of my friend Harry right now.
- The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (250 pages; fiction). My mother lent it to me with a high recommendation. I may begin it this week.
Library Loot, Old
- The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. Monk (160 read of 263 pages; nonfiction) I am really enjoying this!
- The Arabian Nights: A Companion by Robert Irwin (102 read of 292 pages; nonfiction) Not much progress this week.
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (audiobook, on track 17, disc 7 of 9 discs, about 10.5 hours total; fiction) almost finished
- Lost Chicago by David Lowe (20 read of 270 pages; nonfiction/coffee table book). No progress this week.
- The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record by Stanley Appelbaum (108 pages; nonfiction) Not yet begun
- Chicago’s Classical Architecture: The Legacy of the White City (Images of America series) by David Stone (128 pages; nonfiction) Not yet begun
Library Loot, New
- The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy (240 read of 425 pages; fiction). I had to return it to the library, but I now have it again. I should make a lot more progress this week.
- The Forsyte Saga, Series 1 and Series 2 (4 episodes watched of 10, on 5 DVDs; 2002 fiction movie). Not at all like the book, but okay by itself; still, I’m getting bored and I may return it to the library without finishing it. I much prefer the book. I may try the older movie instead; I’ve heard better things about it.
- Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (150 pages; children’s’ nonfiction). I’m leading the discussion for my book club next month. I read this first in March 2009.
- The John Cheever Audio Collection (6 discs audiobook, about 6 ½ hours; fiction/short stories). My next audiobook; Twelve Cheever stories narrated by actors and the author himself.
- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (13 disc audiobook, about 16 ½ hours; nonfiction). Another audiobook for future listening pleasure.