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.


Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  The idea is to give everyone a look inside the book you’re reading.

Play along: Grab your current read; Open to a random page; Share two teaser sentences from that page; Share the title and author so that other participants know what you’re reading.

I’m currently reading Life in Medieval France by E.R. Chamberlin, and while interesting, it’s more like a textbook and not really good for teasing.  Instead, I’m going to share from a book I’ll be reading later in the week — The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier.

“The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air, and the sharp green colour of the land.  There was no softness anywhere.” (1)

What are you teasing us with this week?

Library Loot – Re-Reading Authors

The library, oh, the library. It seems each time I try to pick up a book, confusion reigns. I may love my library (really, who doesn’t) but lately we seem to be having a battle of wills. This week, I won. If you can call several trips back and forth to pick up promised books that, in fact, were not actually available, winning. I call it winning because I came home with more books than I originally planned to. This happens to me frequently. I was only planning to bring home one…

Here are my goodies! While getting my books together for this post, I realized these are all authors I have read before. I need to start keeping track of my author re-reads and my reactions to their different books. Blog post in the making me thinks.

Fire by Kristin Cashore. This is the companion novel to Graceling which I adored. It’s not a sequel and not exactly a prequel but I fell in love with the world Cashore created and couldn’t pass this one up when I found out the library had it. This one centers around the last remaining human monster named Fire.

The Divine Sacrifice by Tony Hays. This is the second book in Hays’s Arthurian mystery novel series. I generally don’t read many mysteries but I have been trying to branch out a bit. I enjoyed the first book, The Killing Way, and saw this one on the new releases shelf and decided to give it a try. In this sequel, the trusted counselor to King Arthur is off to Glastonbury Abbey to investigate reports of rebellion. Really, did anyone think I would pass up a book with King Arthur? 🙂

Benighted by Kit Whitfield. I recently finished In Great Waters by Whitfield, and while I won’t say that I loved it, there was something about her writing that made me want to read another of her books. While In Great Waters introduced the reader to a world of mermaid like beings, Benighted is a world full of lycanthropes. Yes, werewolves. I know, I know. More werewolves. I wasn’t sure either but after reading a few pages, this one looks good. My hopes are high.

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. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Friday Finds – Spies and Trains

I came across two books this week that sounded very interesting and then I found out one was out of print. I sighed heavily but decided that this small detail wouldn’t stop me from getting my hands on these beauties.

The Venetian Affair by Helen MacInnes. Supposedly, she was writing spy novels before spy novels were popular. This one is about a newspaperman caught up in Cold War espionage. It was originally published in 1963 and is currently out of print which means I will be hunting through the stacks at the used bookstore for this one.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. I’m 99% sure this is the novel the Hitchcock film of the same name is based on but I didn’t look that up so don’t take it as the truth. But, either way, I want to read this one. Two people meet on a train and begin planning the deaths of their families. OK, yes, sounds grim but what suspense! This was re-published in 2001 so hopefully I’ll have an easier time finding this one.

The Venetian Affair

Strangers on a Train

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

Friday Finds – Conspiracies, the Dead, and Kraken

I haven’t played along in a while and I have recently added a few more finds to my TBR and thought, well, it’s as good a time as any to share some books and spread the love.

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. This is the fourth book in the series. I enjoyed the first, The Thief, and hope to make my way through the series this year. Luckily, my library has the first three in the series. The books are YA fantasy and I’m feelin’ like a little fantasy in the coming weeks.

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn. Gothic romance set in 1858 Scotland and Transylvania. I don’t read much romance but there’s something intriguing about Scotland (OK, I’ll read almost anything that’s set in Scotland. Really, I will.) and Transylvania with a little bit of the paranormal thrown in the mix.

Kraken by China Mieville. An alternative London where magic and myth reside side by side. It’s the end of the world and everyone is fighting to either bring it about or stop it. I don’t need anymore than that, just please sign me up for this one!

A Conspiracy of Kings

The Dead Travel Fast


Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.