Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Reading

I'm kind of in a reading slump.  I'm struggling to figure out what to read- I peruse the shelves at Barnes and Noble and the library and can't seem to find what trips my trigger- not in the mood for heavy, romance, or intellectual.  I've been waiting to see the Louise Penny- Armande Gamache series- new book on the shelves at library, but alas I broke down and just put my name on the "hold list"- 2 Penny fans ahead of me. 

I'm reading book club book- which I like- but I normally have 3-4 in my "reading cue" but just am kind of road blocked.  So kids and I went to library today and seriously were there about 2 hours- which I took advantage to write one of my overdue posts, hence the two in one day (kids asleep now and hubby watching movie that wasn't my genre tonight- Murder/Suspense/Thriller- not in the mood for "scary movie").  So I'm digressing- at the library today I looked into the Nonfiction section- Dewey Decimal 011 and 028 to be specific- books about books and what people read.  I'm hoping two of my picks inspire- "1001 Books you must read before you die"- written by over 100 book critics (which intimidates me a little- I'm not high brow and wonder if the critics will be high brow).  The other book "So Many Books, So Little Time- A year of Passionate Reading" by Sara Nelson.  I'm already at chapter 3 and like this lady a lot, but thus far her reading picks haven't keyed me in on any must reads, but her writing style and how her reading affects her family and life in general do resonate with me.

So enough about my reading roadblock and onto what I read this past month.  In no particular order...

Behind the Scenes at the Museum  Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
This was an interesting read.  It was written in a quirky no nonsense type dialect- almost in letter form, with dates being written in the heading of each titled chapter.  Ruby is the main character and you follow her through her life.  For some reason I thought the book was going to be a comedy, but it really wasn't.  It was o.k. and I didn't regret reading it, but don't know that I'll pick up another Atkinson book.

The Pale Blue Eye  In my quest for some reading stimulation I walked along the shelves starting alphabetically one day at my favorite public building- Library.  I came upon this book after picking up the one previously mentioned- get it Atkinson, Bayard.  This book look intriguing and so I picked it up after the Atkinson one and found it read like a mystery.  The book takes place in 1830 West Point and the two main characters are a New York City detective and a young cadet named Edgar Allen Poe- yes that Poe.  I found it a little long, but was not disappointed in the end and was a better pick from my alphabetical wanderings at the library.  Would be interested in reading other books by Bayard, especially since it had a historical fiction feeling to it and wonder if other of his books do to. 

  Ivy and Bean (Ivy and Bean, #1)  Ivy and Bean (#1) by Annie Barrows
Daughter was wanting to read a "chapter book" with her good old mom and so I asked our wonderful children's librarians (two of my favorite- one was whom suggested "My Father's Dragon" for my son and I to read back when he was in 1st grade and seriously without her suggestion I don't think I would've known about that wonderful trilogy- read it if you haven't).  Anyways,  these two ladies had another good suggestion- Ivy and Bean are two different girls who find their differences appealing.  I appreciated this book because it showed kids using their imagination and there was little of the language I despise "boring, stupid, shut up" or worse.  My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it so much we have ventured to the library twice in search of book #2- there are 9 in total- so put my name on that "hold list" today too.

Athens, America "Athens America" by Larry Baker
Book club read for the month.  It was an interesting story, but after book club this past Wednesday I wondered more than once whether or not I would have enjoyed this book as much if it didn't take place in a fictitious town very ironically similar to the one I live very close to.  Was I drawn into the story wanting to read and look for "city" connections.  After I got over looking for the "city" references I did wonder how all the stories tied in.  It was not a feel good book and I felt at the end I was kind of left wondering what it all meant.  If you are interested in "city politics" I would recommend this read as I feel it does portray a somewhat accurate picture of what I've heard "city politics" to be like.  I.E. the local PTV station just happens to lose audio during important speeches/debates/ or basically anytime they don't want the public to hear the truth.    Again, O.k. read, but unsure if I will pick up another Baker book.

Which leaves me with the thought that some authors are unlucky in that a reader may pick up their worst, instead of their best and never read their best.  I.E. if I had read Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" first I don't think I would've read another Steinbeck book, but I read "East of Eden" first which I thought was great and so went on to read others and may end up reading another by him, so maybe I'm doing myself a disservice by saying I won't read another book by a said author just because I don't like the first one I read by that author.  Anyways, off to read- having a glass of Cab (fyi- Butterfingers candy bars go great, Peanut M&Ms not so much :)).  I'll keep you posted on what books I've found in reading about reading and books about books. 

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