FYI

I'm trying to be better about writing at least a little blurb about each book I read. Trying being the operative word here. The blurb, if and when I do get around to writing it, will of course happen after the book has been finished. So, in the beginning, what may show up here is just the book's basic information, title, author, date I began reading it. But feel free to comment on the book even if I haven't yet written anything about it. I always like talking about books!

Curses

For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails…and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever. --Curse for book thieves by Edmund Lester Pearson (1880-1937)

Currently Reading
Links direct you to Amazon.com

The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten • E2 c

God’s Debris, Scott Adams • 0 c

Syndicate

I finally set up an RSS feed just in case anyone is interested in keeping up with what I'm reading through a news reader. RSS 2.0

Scale


Loved the book. Will probably find ways to bring it up in conversations and insist that people read it.


Liked it well enough. Would probably say that it's a good read, except for [fill in the blank].


Liked it well enough to finish the book but I wouldn't recommend that someone else read it.


So bad I couldn't finish the book. If someone mentioned the book title to me I'd probably shake my head and tell him not to waste his time or money.

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Reading is Fundamental

So many books, so little time

Book: Autobiography of a Fat Bride, Laurie Notaro
Start Date: 07/01
End Date: 07/08
Comments: 0
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Book: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris
Start Date: 06/27
End Date: 07/01
Comments: 0
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Naked is still by far his best book, but this had its moments. I marvel sometimes at how dysfunctional is so universal. True, each family has its unique quirks and dynamic but every now and again, I see things I recognize in a book and it’s a little comforting. In a perverse, I’m not the only crazy out there kind of way. In Ship Shape Sedaris’s father promises the family a beach house and, for some unknown reason the entire family falls for the dream, only to have it pulled out from under them in the end. The thing is, you know it’s going to happen, and yet you want to keep hoping that this time, this time, things will be different, that this time the promise will be kept. Man, do I know that feeling. Very well. Too well.

I laughed the hardest while reading Possession. There are times when I hesitate about posting something on the blog, when I’m so nervous and jittery that I actually break out into a cold sweat. Whenever that happens I force myself to hit the Publish button, simply because I refuse to give into the fear. The “What will people think about me?” thoughts. The embarrassment of admitting something which I find so private. All this trouble for what? For a handful of people to read it. Meanwhile, Sedaris puts his most troubling thoughts on paper, binds them up and sends them out to the entire world.

I mean, who admits to wanting Anne Frank’s apartment, not because of the history, but because of the apartment’s beautiful layout? Who would dare to say that, when looking at her wall of posters, he would tear it down to make the room more airy? Holy hell. I laughed, cringed and shook my head in wonder all at once. The nerve really. Just amazing.


Book: The Jane Austen Book Club, Karen Joy Fowler
Start Date: 06/23
End Date: 06/26
Comments: 2
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I’m always a little wary of books that tackle Austen. I can’t help but compare them to the real thing. Which is decidedly unfair of course, as they almost always fall short. But this was a gift from Sam so I’m happily making my way through it. Just a few pages into it so it’s too soon to say much about it.

Updated [6/26]

The best part about this book is trying to figure out which moments and characters are inspired by Austen books. There were some that were unbelivably easy to pick out, like the ex-husband who might as well have been named Wickham. But as fun as it was, it wasn’t easy. Mostly because, though I’ve read every Austen book, finished and unfinished, it’s been a while since I’ve reread them. With the exception of Pride and Prejudice of course. That I reread constnantly.

There’s a moment in the book when one of the bookclub members admits to never having read P&P. The rest of the club is stunned. I can relate to that feeling. I love this book so it’s hard for me to comprehend that a)some people have never read it and b)that some people actually don’t like it. Unlike the characters in the book, who, I think, would choose to not socialize with someone who dislikes any Austen book, but especially Pride and Prejudice, I still talk to someone who tells me they don’t care for it, but I do feel a little confused by it. What’s not to like? The writing is fantastic, the characters well thought out and the ending, quite happy. I never tire of reading it, each time I find something new to ponder about.

The ladies in the book club are much for ardent fans of Austen than I ever could be I fear. They actually found good things to say about Mansfield Park, which is my least favorite Austen. I find Fanny Price to be insuffarable and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I’d fallen in love with Austen and wanted to read everything and anything written by her, I never, ever would have tortured myself with this book. The writing is still good, don’t get me wrong, but the heroine inspires no sympathy from me and it galls me that she ends up happy. I’d rather she’d contracted a long, slow and painfull disease.

<aside>
A few months back I walked into the kitchen at work just as someone was saying, “Don’t let Patricia hear you say that.” I natuarlly asked what I wasn’t supposed to hear. “S. just read Mansfield Park and she didn’t like it.”—Neither do I, I said. The coworker blinked, surprised that I would speak ill of an Austen book. But I redeemed myself somewhat it seems. After I ticked off everything I didn’t like the book I finished with, “it may be my least favorite Austen, but even a bad Austen book is better than most of what qualifies as literature nowadays.”
</aside>

All in all, I liked The Jane Austen Book Club. It’s inspired me to reread the Austen books (in the order they were written this time). Any book that accomplishes that is a good book in my eyes.


Book: The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett
Start Date: 06/20
End Date: 06/28
Comments: 2
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finis


Book: Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Start Date: 06/18
End Date: 06/20
Comments: 0
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It’s been a good while since i was sucked into a book from the first page. Bel Canto has been on the reading list for close to a year now and till Friday, I had never even bothered to read the back cover. I bought it because I overheard several co-workers discussing it.

I flew through the book, started it late Friday night and finished it Sunday morning. Even if I hadn’t had trouble sleeping, I would have purposefully lost sleep just to continue reading.

I have this habit of skipping ahead to the end of books. It happens about 95% of the time. I never know when the urge is going to hit, but when it does, it’s so strong that I simply can’t continue reading until I know how the story ends. With Bel Canto the desire came very late into the story; I was about 20 pages from the end before I felt the familiar itch.  I was able to hold off for so long because Ann Patchett provided brief, simple sentences that foretold the ending. Some people don’t like that, but I appreceited it.

I’ve had a couple of people tell me they didn’t like that Patchett never identifies the country in which the story takes place. That’s one of things that I enjoyed about it. It let me get into the story without bringing in any preconceived notions of the country.

The ending felt a little rushed and I had to spend a couple of minutes trying to imagine how the events came to be, but they’re not entirely out of the realm of possibility. I just wish she’d fleshed it out a bit more, but that’s just me being selfish and wishing that the story could continue.


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