Sunday, April 10, 2011

Super-Short Read-a-Thon update

It's just past midnight here, and I just finished an awesome book, a novella by the late great Muriel Spark called The Driver's Seat. This is maybe my fifth Spark book overall, and man, no one else writes like she did. Her imagination is sort of creepy and twisted, and the writing is so good, the story and characters so believable, no matter how unbelievable a premise might seem. This one blew me away.

OK,I'd better stop gushing and finish my update. ;-) I started the day with the book I'd already been reading, Sula by Toni Morrison. This was only my second book by her; I read The Bluest Eye as a teenager, and remember nothing about it, so either it just didn't grab me, or I was really too young to read it. Sula is great, and also a little creepy in spots (is "creepy" my theme today? hmmm...), but the writing was excellent.

Alongside the Spark novella, the other book I started and finished today was a poetry collection by Louise Gluck (one of my favorite authors) called A Village Life. I have sticky notes on many pages, marking phrases or stanzas that I hope to share on my Tumblr page, and to help me out if I end up writing a review.

I'm not sure of my total time read; the day has been more scattered than I'd hoped it would be. But total pages read is almost 250. I also took a walk this morning, and listened to another 30-40 minutes of Pilgrim's Progress. I told Jeff that I planned to stay up as late as I wanted to, reading. But, since I have to do a lot of housecleaning tomorrow (that didn't get done today because of Read-a-Thon, or last evening because OTHER things got in the way), I think I'll grab one of the novels for my Read 20 Pages Project, start reading that in bed with the book light, and see how much longer I last. Not quite done yet, but getting close, and that's all right with me. :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

TGI Read-a-Thon time!

We’re between my sons’ basketball and baseball seasons, and tomorrow is the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. Thus, while one of my kids has a baseball practice scheduled, Jeff will be taking him to that, and maybe taking the other one as well, and I have nothing scheduled. So I decided a couple of weeks ago to put the Read-a-Thon on my calendar, and tell my husband about it, and basically just assume that I’m going to participate. And this time, I’m gonna do it right! Unlike my previous two attempts, I have a book pile all ready, and I’m planning to do housecleaning Sunday so I can just focus on that stack … with my laptop nearby, of course. ;-)

Speaking of the book pile, here’s what I’ve got.

First up is my current read, Sula by Toni Morrison. I will definitely finish this one on Saturday.

I picked a few really short books in the hope that I can get through at least one whole book, start to finish, during the Read-a-Thon. I didn’t do it in my first two tries, but they say the third time’s the charm, right? The “Books Most Likely to Succeed,” ha ha, are:
A Village Life by Louise Gluck, one of my favorite poets, and I don’t know how I’ve had this for a year but haven’t read it yet;
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, who always keeps me on my toes; this one is only about 100 pages; and
Turning to Fiction by Donna Masini; this is a poetry collection that I bought on impulse because I loved the title, and skimming through it, it looked promising.

In the slightly longer, middle-length novels category, I have On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, and A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ll hopefully start one or both of these, but won’t push myself to finish them.

I have The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone in the pile because – I’m so psyched to say this! -- I just won it!!! There was a giveaway hosted by Rebecca of The Book Lady’s Blog, and I won an autographed copy of the book, and at some future date, I’m to have a Skype chat with Michele Young-Stone herself!!! So I got that earlier this week, and if I don’t get to it Saturday, I’m definitely going to start it ASAP. Yay, I won something – something good that I actually wanted!!!

And finally, I have several longer novels. I realized some weeks ago that the Read-a-Thon might be a good time to “sample” some titles from my TBR Mountain, for my Read 20 Pages Project. I bet I’ve had three of the four for more than two years, and still they’re unread. I’d like to dip into all of them, but realistically, if I spend some time with two of them, reading at least 20 pages from each, I’ll be satisfied. These titles are:

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen;
Carry Me across the Water by Ethan Canin;
The Lightning Keeper by Starling Lawrence; and
All Shall Be Well, and All Shall Be Well, and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well by Tod Wodicka – because just like the Michele Young-Stone and Donna Masini books above, I just think that title is awesome, so the book is bound to be at least pretty good.

So those are my reading plans. I didn't sign up to cheer or anything, but I hope to visit some blogs during my reading breaks, and I know I'll be on Twitter, checking out the readathon hashtag and what readers are talking about, and tossing in a few comments here and there. I'm excited to check the Read-a-Thon web page too, and see other people's book piles. Yes, it's going to be a great day. Happy Read-a-Thon, fellow book lovers!