End of year reading

At the end of every year, I find myself with a reading conundrum. I want to end the year with an amazing book. I scour the shelves, my library options, and, yes, sometimes bookstores. In the end, I usually re-read a book. Why? I think it has to do with comfort.

I might want to end the year with an outstanding book but there’s a lot of pressure to find the right one. Will I be disappointed? Does it say something about my reading choices, or even more worrisome, about me as a reader, if I don’t pick the right book? It’s too much pressure to put on a single book and on myself as a reader. I’m not going to even entertain thoughts about what the ‘right’ book would be…

So, I find a book on my shelf that I know. A book I have a relationship with. A book I love. This year, it’s Wuthering Heights. Yes, I’m ending my year with a morose book but somehow that dark, somber read seems appropriate to say goodbye to 2018. There are no regrets about this choice.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 will hold on the book front and to see what stories make it onto my shelf, into my library queue, and what books I write about.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2019 full of wonderful stories, great moments, and smiles. And of course, books!


The Sunday Salon – Non-Fiction

I’ve been reading a non-fiction book all week.  In general, I find it takes me longer to read non-fiction than fiction I guess because I’m paying more attention to facts, forcing myself to slow down so as not to miss an important detail that will be critical to the master plan later on.  Not really sure but I think I have pinpointed one problem with reading non-fiction — I must not read about the same topic twice.  I should probably explain that rather broad statement.  Follow me if you will…

Last year I read a book about the Jamestown settlement.  The book focused on several people and a specific shipwreck that was being sent to provide provisions for the settlers, and due to the ship being wrecked and its passengers being stranded on Bermuda, when the ship’s crew and passengers finally arrived (on a different ship the first being wrecked; see what I mean about important details in non-fiction?) in Jamestown, they sort of saved the place.  Not entirely saved, Jamestown was a debacle but you don’t need me to tell you that.  Anyway, the current book, Savage Kingdom.  It’s more about everyone and everything involved with the Jamestown settlement.  So not only am I getting information about the settlement itself, the Native American tribes (very interesting and part of the reason I wanted to read a second book on said topic) already inhabiting the Chesapeake area, but also goings-on in England and Spain.  It’s a rather far-reaching and all encompassing book and though I’m finding it interesting, I feel as though I’ve already read great parts of this.

Also, I feel like I’m listening to a lecture and it’s a bit disjointed as if the professor keeps jumping around saying things like: “Oh, before we talk more about Captain John Smith and his dealings with Powhatan, let’s go back to England for a minute and talk about what was going on with James II and his negotiations with the Spanish who had already setup house in Florida and were a little peeved about the English double-talk about Jamestown.”  This is where I would normally say, quietly and to myself, “What?!  Did I miss something?” and start wondering how I could go about transferring to another class.  Also, in the picture in my head, this professor keeps running his hands through his hair and he starts to look as if he’s been electrified.  Also, he’s a man cuz the author of the book is and for no other reason and have no idea why I needed to point that out but I did.

Let’s say I’m not feeling it this time around.  Did I mention that already?  Felt I should again just in case you didn’t get that from the long, rambling above section punctuated with generalized boring class behavior.

A goal of mine in 2011 is to read more non-fiction, once a month if I can.  My next non-fiction book is called Spook and is about the afterlife.  It’s by Mary Roach who wrote Packing for Mars which I absolutely loved and you should read it.  No, really, I mean that.  You should totally read it but don’t read it while eating because there’s a lot of talk about bodily functions.  Fair warning, it’s all I have to offer.  She also wrote a book about cadavers and when I mentioned that to my husband he looked at me weird and I’m pretty sure he was having a silent conversation in his head that involved taking away my library card.  There’s also a book about Cleopatra roaming around that I want to read so maybe I should mention this to him so he doesn’t wonder anymore about my reading.

If you made it his far, thanks for sticking with me till the end of paragraph six today.  Happy Sunday fellow readers.

PS — Next time I promise not to be so disjointed in my Sunday Salon.  Feeling inspired this week I guess.

The Sunday Salon – Reading Habits

Two things last week got me thinking about my reading habits — the Friday BBAW question and a post by Eva at A Striped Armchair.  BBAW asked about your blogging goals for the coming year and Eva was talking about reading on a whim.

I consider myself a whim reader and by that I mean I pick what I want to read based on what I feel like reading not on a structured plan.  Even when I’m participating in challenges I manage to find a way to ignore any sort of plan I’ve put in place and pick my next book randomly.  The last few days I’ve been thinking about why I do this and I can come up with no reason for it.  Normally, I’m a very organized person who loves to make lists and have everything in a certain order, and while I do make reading lists, I don’t have any prescribed way of reading the books on the list.  Even when it’s a book I’ve been wanting to read, I sometimes leave it until I’m feeling it more.

Here’s the good thing in all of this; I think this is what keep reading fun for me.  I’m always looking forward to something new and not knowing what that is, makes it fun.  Hardly do I ever think about the next book I’m going to be reading while reading, unless of course the book is bad, scary, or sad in which case I might make an effort to be sure the next pick is something more uplifting, but other than that, I don’t go out of my way to think about it.

On the right sidebar, I have a widget for the next book on my TBR and I realized earlier this week that it’s pretty much useless to me.  You see, I pick those books at random from a pile sitting on the little table next to the desk.  In some cases, the books I have there never get read. It was just a book on the pile and for that moment looked interesting. Sometimes I do read the books but sometimes I don’t.

In some ways, I have similar feelings about my blog.  I love doing this and BBAW gave me a humongous list of new blogs to visit, but I randomly take days off and don’t feel guilty about it in anyway.  My goals were, and remain, pretty simple — just to talk about my book reading.  I’m trying to keep it that way and I know it will stay fun.

So, the wrap-up.  Last week, I read:

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Dracula in Love was meh, Packing for Mars was fascinating and gross, and The Last Kingdom I’ll be finishing up today and it confirmed my love of everything Cornwell writes.

That’s it for today folks.  Enjoy your Sunday.