My studying efforts have ceased for the moment (the new term starts in October) and I’m looking forward to catching up on my reading. My goal of reading 100 books this year is looking rather daunting and I’ll be happy to get 52, thus averaging one a week. Here are this week’s reviews:
- John Ortberg – The Me I Want to Be – 2010/036
- Dorothy Elbury – The Major and the Country Miss – 2010/037
- Pat Conlon – Handbook of Devotion to Our Lady – 2010/038
And the incoming books:
- Muriel Spark – Omnibus 2
And my stack for the coming week:
- Linda Nichols – At the Scent of Water – currently reading
- Max Lucado – Just Like Jesus
- Carol Steward – Journey to Forever
- Chris Baty – No Plot? No Problem!
- Mona Hodgson – Two Brides too Many
- Fr Tadeusz Dajczer – The Gift of Faith
- Tamera Alexander – Rekindled (Started a couple of weeks ago but set aside. This may be a DNF.)
It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by BookJourney.
The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader: TSS: When a new book isn’t a new book.
I clipped this post ages ago because new books that aren’t new books have bitten me in the past and made me very cross. There’s nothing worse than seeing something ‘new’ from a favourite author, buying it and hurrying home to cuddle up and read for the rest of the afternoon only to find it’s a retitled volume which you’ve already read. The waste of money doesn’t bother me so much as the feeling of disappointment.
If I worked in publishing I’m sure I’d know the reasons behind retitling. But I don’t and I don’t. So my plea is for retitled books to be clearly marked – and not in 6pt type underneath the copyright information!
What are you currently reading? Colleen McCulloch’s The Thorn Birds.
What did you recently finish reading? Vanessa del Fabbro’s The Road to Home.
What do you think you’ll read next? I’m behind on book admin and haven’t picked out this week’s books yet so I really have no idea!
If you’d like to see how other readers have answered these questions, or answer them yourself, visit this post at Should be Reading.
Over on Facebook, there’s a group called ‘No, I do NOT have too many books’. I don’t remember which of my friends found it but, when I saw it, I knew it was one I had to join. Even though I do (kind of) know that I DO have too many books. But there’s always room for one more. And I am trying to release them through BookMooch. Incidentally, I’m OldFashionedGirl over there. If I’ve reviewed a book recently which you would like to read then it’s worth checking my inventory as it may be available for Mooching. But I digress.
The owner of the ‘too many books’ group asked:
So tell me, if a book is popular, do you find yourself having slightly different expectations of it?
It’s an interesting question and rather ties in with the current debates about bloggers accepting review copies of books from publishing houses which I wrote about recently. As we now know that some of the hype surrounding books is artificially managed by the marketing people, what expectations do we have when (or if) we finally read it for ourselves?
In all honesty, I’m not sure that hype really affects me as a reader. It’s true that I acquire books under influence of reviews – whether in blogland, magazines, or wherever – but it’s usually so long before they reach the top of Mt ToBeRead and I start reading that I’ve long forgotten what the reviewers said. All I know is that I heard about the book, wanted to read it and now so shall do.
There are a few exceptions – if a book is part of a series (think Harry Potter) then the hype is so much more and much more long-lasting. People may be talking about the fourth volume when I pick up the first. And I guess that does alter my expectations. I may be sick of hearing about it and skip the reading altogether. Or I may expect ‘great things’ from the volume in my hand and, perhaps, be disappointed.
But, really, we’re all individuals. Someone else liking or not liking a book doesn’t mean you will or you won’t. A reviewer may flag up something you feel strongly about and that will influence whether or not you read the book. But, at the end of the day, you’re going to have to make up your own mind. And you’ve got the pleasure of reading while you do.
On Reading: On Second Thought. . . ..
Today, Jennifer is asking:
What are some books that you knew you enjoyed when you read them, but you didn’t realize you really loved until they stood the test of time. What is a book that you’ve given a second thought?
This is a really hard question for me to answer.
With fiction, every now and again a book will stay with me but I generally know it’s One of Those when I read it. If I’m caught up with the characters, setting and atmosphere, if I find myself thinking about them when I’m not reading and can’t wait to get back into that fictional world then I know it’s made a deep impression and I’ll probably always be able to recall it. Books like that are favourably reviewed – I don’t give stars – and, if I’m making a list of ‘Best books read’ then I’ll pick them out of my general list of ‘What did you read this year?’
I treat non-fiction a bit differently. If it makes a big impression, it goes to live in the ‘For Further Study’ box. If it doesn’t then it’s less favourably reviewed and takes the first train out-a-here.
The decisions are made as I read and as I review. I don’t go back and change them. I suppose occasionally I’ll re-read something years later and have different opinions because I’ve moved on in life but I honestly can’t remember a book where I’ve done that.
But I’ll repeat Jennifer’s question to you – I’ll be interested to hear how you come to these decisions and if they’re final or more malleable.
Gary Chapman – The Five Love Languages for Singles
Kathlee Y’Barbo – Golden Twilight
Sue Prosser – How to Stop Dieting and Start Living
Jon McGregor – So Many Ways to Begin
Susan Squellati Florence – The Gift of Now
Angela Huth – Land Girls
Tony Castle – Exploring Prayer with Therese of Lisieux
This is the plan of my reading for next week. I don’t think I’ll get through it all as I’m studying at the moment but I shall give it a jolly good try!
What do you plan to read next week?
I think, from time to time, all readers come across a book that just doesn’t ‘do it’ for them. Maybe it’s the wrong time. Maybe it’s the wrong topic. Maybe it’s the writing. There must be a million and one reasons to look at the book in your hand and ask:
Why am I reading you?
And, having put that question into words, one then has to decide what to do next. Do you:
- Say: “I’ve started so I’ll finish,” and slog right through to the very last page.
- Faff about doing lots of things which aren’t reading.
- Stop reading, feel guilty and pick another book anyway.
My middle name isn’t Perseverance so option 1 is a non-starter. Faffing is a very popular activity in this house (watch a cat to learn from a Master Faffer.) But I’m trying to do less of it. And the guilt option? You may be a step ahead of me here and be wondering why one would feel guilty at all but I do! The author took the trouble to write the words. My maiden aunt bought the book for my birthday. The great and the good love the book so it must be good (and I am therefore intellectually deficient). And, well, it’s a book and books are meant to be read.
And here’s where the Fifty Page Rule comes in. Incidentally, I have to point out that I am not the author of the Rule – I first came across it through BCUK and quickly adopted it.
So, the Rule is:
If, after 50 pages, you’re not enjoying your reading then it’s time to stop and choose another.
For me, giving the author 50 pages of my attention is a sufficient investment. He’s had enough time to engage my interest and if he hasn’t? Too bad. Life’s too short and I’ve too many books to waste time reading something I’m not enjoying.
How do you deal with books you just don’t want to read?
Sharon, over at The Bird’s Nest, has been reviewing her progress on 2010’s Resolutions. And it seems that she’s doing quite well. Which has prompted me to go and find out what mine were …
- Lose 52lbs in 2010: Yes, I’m the kind of perfectionist who aims for 1lb a week for 52 weeks. I’ve lost 2lbs so far this year so I’m already behind schedule. But I have high hopes that SlimmingWorld will get me back on track. If the snow stays away I’ll be starting my new class tonight. The groceries have just arrived and I’ll be starting to cook it all up into meals this afternoon so I’ll be ready to start on the new plan from breakfast time tomorrow. Watch this space.
- Attend Mass every Sunday in 2010: I’ve failed already although, as I had a genuine illness, I’m not beating myself up over it. I’m in a cycle of migraines at the moment or I’d tell you I’d be there on Sunday for sure. As it is, I’ll be there on Sunday if I’m not squinting in pain.
- Read 100 books in 2010: This one has gone awry too. I need to read 8.3 books a month and I only managed four in January. I’m in a real slump with reading just now and don’t know how to get myself back on track. If any of you knows how to reignite the spark then I’d love to hear from you.
So that’s my review of 2010’s Resolutions. And now I’m depressed.
I’m really disappointed that I haven’t read more this year. Last year, I read more than 100 books. This year I shall struggle to make 52. I’ve watched more TV this year, done quite a bit of knitting and been very busy with Cats Protection work, but still …
My ideal would be to read a book a day or at least a couple every week. So I have come up with a little game: Books out of Seven. Each Sunday I’ll choose seven books to read in the week ahead and report back on how I’ve done the previous week. There are no prizes, rewards or penalties – it’s just a bit of fun to try and get me a bit more focussed.
If you’d like to play (you can set yourself any number of books, it doesn’t have to be seven) post to you blog what you’re aiming to read and pop a link into the comments of this post.
See you next week …
(Duh – I forgot to tell you what books have made it into this week’s pile:
- Glynn MacNiven-Johnston – Martin de Porres
- The Alli Diet Plan
- Mary O’Driscoll OP – Catherine of Siena
- Tony Palmer – Getting Out of Debt and Staying Out
- Debbie Macomber – 204 Rosewood Lane
- Suzanne C Segerstrom – The Glass Half-Full
- Tom Wright – Acts for Everyone)