Library Books

TSSbadge1In anticipation of a major snowstorm that was supposed to hit my city last week, I went to the library to pick up a few things thinking I would be spending a whole day stuck in the house with loads of reading time on my hands. That storm turned out to be nothing (other places did get snow, just not my city), and I spent the day at work like any other Wednesday. I was disappointed as all hell but I still have some good books to read so there’s that.

Side note: Funny how I didn’t run to the grocery store for milk, bread, and toilet paper but went to the library for books instead. To be fair, I had all of the above. Also, I grew up in an area that got a lot of snow so snow panic doesn’t set in for me.

Oh, the books.

Lord of the North by Bernard Cornwell – I started this series probably two years ago and I’m finally getting back to it. It’s the third book in the Saxon Tales series and pretty good. I’m flying through it. Also, I just finished up Mary Stewart’s second book in her Arthurian legend series, The Hollow Hills, last week and wasn’t ready to say goodbye to this setting so this seemed like a good place to start in on the library haul.

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson – I blame Elizabeth over at Dark Cargo for this one. She was talking about it, evangelizing really, and it made me want to read it. My library, which doesn’t always have a great selection of science fiction (it’s getting better or I’m just discovering new authors, not sure, but either way it makes me happy) had a copy. Thanks to an early flip through the book, I can say it looks really interesting.

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft – I read my first Lovecraft a few weeks ago. It was The Shunned House and so, so good. I needed more and it turns out my library had this one. Also, it has an introduction by China Miéville! China Miéville, people! And it takes place in the Antarctic. I think this might be the next to tackle in the library pile.

Swamplandia! By Karen Russell – I don’t read much contemporary fiction but this is one I’ve wanted to read for a while. But since it was on the bestseller lists and everyone was loving it, I had to avoid it. I’m like that. I don’t like to read books on bestseller lists or books that everyone seems to be in love with at any given point in time. So, I avoided. Russell had a new book out, everyone is raving about it again, and for as much as I want to read it, I’m avoiding and going back to the first one I didn’t read. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m now going to step outside and run some errands. My husband’s conference is in town this weekend and he’s been working non-stop the last two days and I’ve barely left the house. But, on the bright side, I did clean many things and read like a fiend ** so there wasn’t much reason to leave. However, the sun is out and it’s warm so I think I’m going to get some vitamin D. Besides, I hear books can be read outside.

Happy Sunday.

** I’m also reading Clockwork Phoenix 4 edited by Mike Allen and while I’m only a few stories in, I can’t wait to tell you more about it because you’ll want to read it too.

Do you take notes?

TSSbadge1I don’t take notes when I read. The reason I don’t is that I don’t like to break the spell (Go ahead, make fun but sometimes I get really sucked into a book!) to stop and write down passages, thoughts, or quotes. I wish I did that but I don’t. It’s my reading style. It’s how I’ve always read, and for the foreseeable future, this is how it will probably be.

Even though I don’t take notes, I do write down my thoughts after finishing a book and I do use those notes for my reviews. Sometimes the notes are helpful and sometimes they aren’t. It’s the way it is. Sometimes I can’t read my writing and sometimes I throw away all the little notes I make on Post Its because I have no idea what they refer to.

I have a Nook (We needed to stem the tide of physical books coming into the house; limited space and all.) and sometimes, though infrequently, I do take advantage of the notes feature and type up a few things as I’m reading. Most of the things I type though have to do with aspects of the story that annoy me and I’ve noticed that these notes aren’t that helpful. Apparently, I don’t have the hang of it yet, but I will keep on with this experiment in the hopes that it might yield something, eventually.

My husband is currently reading Cloud Atlas and mentioned to me yesterday that he had to go back and re-read a chapter because the author referred to something from the first chapter and he needed that bit of info to understand what was going on later in the book. In a situation like this, where the book is really one big puzzle, I can see notes being useful. When I get around to finally reading this, I probably won’t take notes and will just constantly ask my husband what’s going on, and after I annoy him and he stops talking to me about it, I’ll google. Would taking notes be easier? Hell yes. Will I do it? Hell no. Some days being me is a pain but I persist.
So, some questions. Do you take notes? Are they helpful? What do you do with all the notes after you finish with them? Any tips, let me know. I’ll admit I’m jealous when I hear people talk about their notebooks filled with quotes and passages they loved but I’m not that sort of reader. Then again, I have this blog, and for me, it’s sort of my way of taking notes on my reading.

Things I should be doing

TSSbadge1Right now, I should be writing a piece for a class I’m taking. Obviously, that’s not happening because I’m clearly writing this instead.

I should get on posting a whole load of reviews that I’m saving for what I can only determine is a very special event.

I would like to finish reading Tana French’s Faithful Place. I also want to start Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill which came in the mail the other days and looks so good. That might actually happen since I’m obviously all about procrastinating on the writing efforts today. And really, the way I see it, finishing a book is always an accomplishment.

Maybe some tea and a nice warm breakfast will help me think. Yes, I’m sure that’s what I’m missing. Pancakes it is. And, no, this is not procrastination this is following dietary guidelines that say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yea, whatever, I know exactly what I’m doing.

Read any good books this week? February is turning out to be slow reading month for me but that’s not surprising with everything else I threw on my plate this month.

The Sunday Salon – Out of Order

I did something I normally don’t do. I read a series of books out of order. I know, the horror, right. There was this book about two years ago that everyone was excited about. I was trying out NetGalley and requested a copy. I knew it was part of a series but I decided to go with it anyway because it was exactly the type of book I like. Well, about two years later, I’m getting around to starting the series, officially. If you’re curious, it’s Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series. I finished Silent in the Grave this week and I think I may be looking around for the next book for some holiday downtime reading.

In other non-book related news, our tree is decorated and has finally started to look like a tree instead of a large, pine scented bush. I’ve started the holiday baking, presents have been bought, and holiday spiced beer has been drunk. So, why am I not feeling the holidays yet? Hopefully I’ll get into the spirit later this week when all the crazy work stuff is done and holiday parties begin.

Well, I have pierogies to make so I’m off for today. Happy Sunday reading.

The Sunday Salon – I’d think up a title but I’m going lazy today…

TSSbadge1I was sort of appalled when I realized I still had that awful rendition of a turkey up here. Then I continued to watch TV. Obviously, I quickly got over it. I thought taking a bit of a break would help, and it has especially on the reading front, but what it’s also done is make it easier not to do anything.

So, what have I been doing when I’m not reading or writing posts? I’ve been watching Call the Midwife on PBS for the last week. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. It’s a wonderful show and I’d say more but this whole post would just dissolve into a snotty love fest full of tears and joy and sappy language that I don’t even want to temp myself into writing. It’s better if you just watch it yourself. The show is based on a book and I’ll probably be buying it.

In the last week, when I wasn’t watching TV, I finished City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte which was a bit of ridiculous fun. I’ll be posting about it this week. I also finished The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m still trying to figure out what I thought of it. It was interesting but fell flat at the same time. I’m not sure if it was the mystery or just that I wasn’t in the mood for it, but it was boring. I know; right now I suck as a Sherlock Holmes fan. Next book. A co-worker loaned me a book of short stories called The Firefly Dance which has a story by Sarah Addison Allen. She’s one of my favorite authors and never fails to cheer me up. This one did the trick. It’s called In My Dreams and was exactly what I needed to read. I’ll probably skip the rest of the stories in the book though. I’ve been reading The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan the last few days. It’s interesting and I’m hoping to finish it today as it’s pretty short. Also, I have Maureen Johnson’s The Name of Star waiting for me at the library so I don’t want to start anything new. I’m late to this one but now that everyone’s talking about the sequel, I now want to read it.

For the rest of today, I’m planning to sit on my couch and alternate reading and watching shows about the apocalypse on the History channel. Why? Because I can. I might also watch the first season of The Walking Dead too. I foresee a relaxing day ahead.

Happy Sunday readers.

The Sunday Salon – Conquering the Slump

Last week I refused to believe a reading slump was coming on. Much like I always refuse to believe I might be getting a cold. Anyway, it hit. Not too hard; it just sort of snuck up and nested itself right on my book making it impossible to read. Furry, little reading stealer… It’s odd because the book I’m reading (and have been reading for over a week now) is good. Really good. I thought that if any author would keep the slump at bay it would be Tana French. She’s good but sometimes, well, sometimes nothing can help.

If I’m honest with myself, it’s that time of year when my reading slacks off. Not only are we in the middle of trying to get a major purchase straightened out before the holidays and travel commitments descend upon us, but I’ve also got recipes trolling around my head making it difficult to sit still for any amount of time to read.

Here’s my plan — I’m going to finally finish up the last few pages of French’s The Likeness in the next two days. I’m going to put aside the book that hasn’t been interesting me and give it a few days without reading. I’m going to reset fellow readers. This will work. I know it will. We all need a break and I think it’s my time for that. My books will be there for me when I’m ready.

Enjoy this lovely Sunday.