I cannot believe I’ve made it through fourteen weeks of this. That comes out to just over a quarter of the year. I have discovered a few things:
I hate saying I don’t like a book. Every book is such a personal experience. It’s natural that there are books that I just won’t like. Yet, for some reason, I just hate to publish to the interweb that I merely dislike a book. I can’t imagine what’ll happen if I hate one! This is what hung me up on What Alice Knew and Water for Elephants. Both reviews were late, both for pretty much the same reason. I hated to say that I didn’t really like the books.
I cannot stand writing mid-book reviews. This is mostly because I’m always sooooo close to the end of the book when Friday comes along. Also, it just feels like cheating. So, to prevent more delayed Fridays so I can review one day later, I’m going to start doing a mid-week check-in. If I’ve not gotten far enough to finish, I’ll do the mid-book review then. I have Wednesdays off on the blogging schedule, so that should enable me to do a little better with the Friday/Saturday “I’malmosttherebutnotquite” delays.
Pretty much any book that is “for adults” and/or “not fantasy” is challenging for me right now. Not in the reading sense, but my brain got into this mode for pleasure reading during college. Breaking out of it has been . . . not so fun. Yet, at the same time, I’m having a BLAST with it! I’m loving reading all this non-fiction and historical fiction. I will have to be careful, though, not to get into another mode on the other end of the pendulum swing. That’s part of why I added in some YA/Children’s lit in the past few weeks. Just because it is YA/C doesn’t make it not challenging and I need not to get in these ruts ever again.
I need to find a way to get recommendations! NY Times best sellers list only gets me so far, internet searches are only slightly less than useless, I’ve yet to be successful with Goodreads, and my family’s scope is feeling a bit narrow these days. That’s something I’m going to have to figure out soon. I’ve got about 40 books on the list of books to read (including the past few months). I am nowhere near out of ideas, but I may have to start combing library shelves. Gee darn.
Plutarch’s Lives is much too big a project for this blog. So, naturally, I’ve made another. Each volume of Lives is at least 600 pages (one is more than 700). I don’t feel that it’s right to split a book on this blog, the point is a book a week (also, that would not be some simple two-way split . . . more like four – that’s two months to finish both volumes, not acceptable at all). However, I really do want to read the Lives this year. I’m missing my Classics classes something fierce, as well as just missing that kind of intellectual stimulation. So, I’m going to do a “live-blogging” project inspired by my friend, Flann, and this desperate desire to spend some time with ancient voices. Flann started live-blogging LOTR recently and it’s been wonderful to read. Somehow I doubt I’ll be quite as funny as Flann (my wit burns low and slow), but Plutarch is plenty hilarious on his own . . . at least he is to me. Enough about the cross-over project, though. I’ll post a detailed working of the blog for my first post there, just as I did here.
After writing my first couple Weeds Reviews, I was surprised at how . . . unenthusiastic I was. I really wanted to review these books! There were things about them that merited mention. I definitely won’t be doing those often. They just feel like they gum up the works, even though I know that I reviewed them for a reason and don’t regret doing so. Maybe it’ll feel different when I actually do it in time with the review and not all scrunched in with something like six reviews. Never getting that behind again. And though I feel less than enthusiastic about them, there is an author whose books I feel like deserve a mention. After I read her third book, I’ll decide which one I want to review, so expect a Heather Tomlinson Weeds Review in a couple/few weeks.
I like being able to pick up books now and say, “Wow, I bet I could read that one of these weeks,” instead of saying, “Ugh, I won’t be able to read that for a long time.” It’s been such a positive experience, doing this. Thank heaven for random people inspiring you to effect change in your life. I’ll check in again in a few weeks, I’m sure. Later this week: Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck!