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 – 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 – Brain Candy

Early Saturday morning, I got off a redeye flight from Las Vegas. An hour after walking in my front door, I was asleep and was pretty much in that state all of yesterday. Sunday has been much the same with one exception — I’ve been watching Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. It’s sick how addicting this show is! Seriously, someone come take the remote from me.

*Backing away from the TV now.*

Typically, the week I spend in Las Vegas is usually a very good week of reading for me. I can get in about 2 – 4 books depending on what I’m reading. I was prepared, as we readers are, with numerous choices in case my tastes changed somewhere mid-week. Unfortunately, I broke no records this year. I finished one book, a short story, and started two other books. Here’s the wrap-up:

A Crystal Age by W.H. Hudson — I downloaded this one from The Gutenberg Project a few weeks back in anticipation of this trip. It’s vintage science fiction and I was excited about this one simply because I have very little knowledge of science fiction from the early 50s and 60s. I wasn’t blown away but I did find it interesting. It falls into the anthropological category of science fiction with cultures trying to understand each other and the implications of those differences.

The Year of the Big Thaw by Marion Zimmer Bradley — This is a short story I also downloaded from The Gutenberg Project. I adore Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, and knowing she has written outside of the fantasy genre, I wanted to explore more of her works. This seemed like a great candidate and it was. It’s only about 25 pages and reminded me so much of a take on Superman but it was a great little piece to read while drinking tea and eating breakfast in the middle of a casino.

Key Out of Time by Andre Norton — Another Gutenberg Project download. I love a good time travel story, and this one is interesting, but I’m having a bit of trouble with it. I want to like it so much more than I am and the problem I think I’m having with it isn’t necessarily the book. It’s me. I kept reading it in between work events and only for a few minutes at a time and I haven’t had the opportunity to get into it for more than a few pages at a time. I may decide to sit down with it this week and finish it and hope that I can get into.

The Likeness by Tana French — With my Nook battery running low, I went for the one real book I brought with me, Tana French. I loved, loved, loved In The Woods. Half asleep on a layover but happy to be back on the East Coast, I wanted to stay awake to board the plane and get home and I knew French would keep me awake. She did. I’m about 55 pages into this book and let me tell you how good it is. I thought In The Woods was great, well, this one is already better.

If I can pull myself away from the TV for a few hours later tonight, I plan to pick up The Likeness again. For now, Bigfoot is calling. I’m scared to stop watching; they might find something when I’m not looking.

Happy Sunday readers. Finish any great books last week? Tell me about them. My stack is getting low.

(Also, ignore any typos. I’m still recovering from last week.)

The Sunday Salon – Out of Pocket

When this posts, I’ll be on a plane somewhere over the US heading towards Las Vegas. Before you get all excited about sparkly Las Vegas and how exciting it is, I’m going for work. Also, Vegas is not a favorite place of mine but I do get a ton of reading done when I’m there so yeah for that.

I had grand plans to schedule posts but between work, a hurricane (superstorm?), and the weird life I seem to be living right now, that didn’t happen. Instead, I’m going to consider this a short break. I will return soon with news of books read.

Enjoy and read on you readers you.

The Sunday Salon – Impending Storm

We’re waiting; waiting for Hurricane Sandy to appear. For the last few days that’s all the news has talked about. You’d even swear the election was over there’s so much Sandy coverage! I have my water, food, and batteries. Now, we wait.

I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I don’t have a good excuse so I’m not going to make one. I’ve been lazy. Following with the lazy thing, I’m looking forward to sitting on my couch with a book or two. There’s nothing like bad weather to inspire some reading. I have The Courtier’s Secret by Donna Russo Morin to keep me company later today.

This morning, I need to work. That means this is the end of this post. I’d like to get as much done as possible so I have the whole evening to read.

I wish you all happy reading today.

If you’re in Sandy’s path, stay safe.

The Sunday Salon – Comfort Reading

The last few weeks have been, well, kinda crappy. I won’t go into details let’s just say we’ve had better months in our lives.

Anyway, during this time, I kept reading, reading good books I should say, but what I wanted was something comforting. I wanted something that made me feel safe and happy. A book that allowed me to escape to a place so different from my own life that it would be a momentary relief from the regular day’s drudgery. (Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever used the word drudgery in a sentence until right now.)

I’ve been picturing the books on my shelf wondering what would fill the gap. There’s The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; always a favorite. I could go to Middle Earth. The new movie is coming out and I should read the book again just to be sure I’m properly re-acquainted with these wonderful characters. Fantasy has made up a large part of my reading this year which is not unusual for me since I do tend to go on reading binges. For as much as The Hobbit appeals, it wasn’t right this time. I wanted something I could fall into and imagine in great depth. (Please, I know this is more than possible to do with Tolkien’s work. I’m just saying it’s not the right time for me to pick this up. Besides, I think I have until the end of November to read it before the movie comes out so all good.)

What I wanted was historical fiction. Yes, that was it. I wanted to imagine hearing the swoosh of a long skirt dragging across stone floors, feel the heaviness of a velvet dress, the cold and damp corners of a castle. I wanted courtiers, royals acting badly, mistresses, and court antics. So, library, help me out. I found what I was looking for and got an email that my book is ready. It’s a new to me author and she writes exactly what I want to read right now. We shall soon see if success has been achieved.

Things were slow here on the blog last week but I’m hoping to fix that. I’m, for the most part, caught up with most reviews and will be doing some editing this weekend to get those reviews ready for public eyeballs. Posts will happen!

Now, go read. Happy Sunday.