Sunday, November 29, 2009

Get Ready for Book Monday

Check out Books on the Nightstand Monday November 30 for their 2009 Books on the Nightstand Holiday Gift Guide.
I've been listening to this podcast and following their blog for almost a year now and have picked up quite a few books based on their recommendations. I can't wait to see what they have picked for the holidays.
Funnily enough, I don't get books for the holidays, I think because I read (and buy) so many that people are afraid to select one for me. However, if anyone asks, I would welcome either of these books under my Christmas tree:
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (not yet available in North America) - I read the first two in the series in rapid succession this summer and cannot wait to read the final book in the trilogy
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith (also not yet available in North America) - this is the fifth book in Smith's 44 Scotland Street series and I have enjoyed the adventures of his characters very much.

So if anyone is heading over to Europe and has some extra room in their carry-on luggage, please think of me?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The to-read shelf

Is it possible to have too many books? I don't think so, but I will give you exhibit A, my to-read shelves (yes, plural):

Last week's podcast on Books on the Nightstand talked about the immense stacks of books to be read that most (all?) bibliophiles have and if one should just cut their losses and start culling the pile.
I don't think I could get rid of any books that I haven't at least tried to read; I may get a few pages in, realize the book is not for me and then put it in the box for the library, but my logic is that I must have bought the book for a reason and should at least give it a shot.
(Of course I should also be less impulsive when I go into a bookstore, but that is probably an entire post's discussion itself).

I do want to read all of these books -- I just don't know when that will ever happen. It would be easy (easier) if I just stopped buying books altogether and stopped visiting the library, but then writers would also have to stop publishing interesting books. And I hope that never happens.

Currently Reading: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (from my shelf - I think I bought it in August)
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer (borrowed from the library)
Time Regained by Proust (own it - might be on my currently reading shelf forever at the rate I'm going!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

South Asian Literary Challenge

One of the new things I've learned from seeing all of the book blogs out there is that there are a ton of reading challenges. I arrived too late to the party to participate in most of the 2009 challenges, but I am looking to get involved in a few for 2010. The first one I am committing to participating in is the South Asian Author Challenge, hosted by s.krishnas books . This challenge involves books set in South Asian by writers of South Asian descent.
I am committing to reading three books for this challenge, though I think I can probably read more. I enjoy reading novels set in this region, India specifically - A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is one of my favorite books of all time. I have this latent desire to visit India one day, but I don't know if I will ever be brave enough to face the reality of India; reading about it is for now the way I am able to experience this complex and beautiful country.
I have one book on my to-read pile that is perfect for this challenge - Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga. I can't wait to find more - I sure wish that Rohinton Mistry would come out with a new novel soon.

Joined the revolution

I have been on Twitter for a few months and am stunned - STUNNED - by the number of book bloggers out there. I wish I didn't need a real (i.e. paying) job because I could easily spend hours upon hours on the computer reading other people's comments about reading - in amongst my own reading of course.
So I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and start blogging myself. I love to read, I'd like to write more, and I love connecting with others who share these interests.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this yet but if anyone out there reading this has any suggestions please pass them along!
I just returned from a visit to my favorite bookstore, Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock, Illinois. It is a delightful place and such a pleasant change from the chain bookstores that have no personality. I purchased five books - adding to my ever growing and never ending pile of books to read: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (for an upcoming book group discussion at the store), Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (both for a Classics Reading group at my local library), The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo, and Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I don't know when I'll be able to get to them all considering all of the other books on my to-read shelves (yes, plural; one shelf cannot accommodate them all), but I guess I'm comforted by being surrounded by books.

What I'm currently reading:
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife by Francine Prose
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume VI: Time Regained by Marcel Proust