Adventures in Reading

I Ain’t Dead & Bookstore Happenings
December 13, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: maintenance, thoughtful | Tags: , ,

I’ve been absent over the past few weeks and though I had a rather light course load this semester, the conclusion of the year was pretty demanding. But everything is finished and today is my first day of nearly a month without any classes (though I will still be plugging away at the bookstore).

The bookstore has been interesting. We’ve been frightfully busy and anyone popping in would be surprised to learn of the economic situation of the country. Whether this is true or not, but I had one customer tell me that she believed people were looking to give more meaningful and lasting gifts this year. After all, there are few gifts as meaningful and lasting that you can purchase for the price of a book!

(Also allow me to add that at present I am not too keen on WordPress’ recent interface alterations. Usually tech-like changes don’t bother me in the least, but I don’t find it intuitive at all. Perhaps I just need to play with it a bit more. I just inadvertently deleted about 20 comments. Sorry!)


Pen pal? Anyone?
December 4, 2008, 4:10 pm
Filed under: thoughtful

So, anyone interested in being my pen pal? I’m serious! I love writing and sending letters (a.k.a. snail mail) and rather than sign up for an anonymous personage through some letter-exchange-system, I thought it would be a nice idea to see if any of my fellow book bloggers had a similar interest. Let me know!

December already?
December 2, 2008, 9:29 am
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When did November creep by? I expected long and snuggly autumn days and it’s December already. With the holidays (I went to the zoo), being ill, working in retail, the end of a semester (oh my!), and a particularly exciting paper titled “The Grammar Delusion: Breaking Students’ and Tutors’ Misconceptions of Grammar in the Writing Center,”I haven’t even had a moment to check my email. I’m going to spend the next few days catching up on reviews, but it’s likely I’ll be absent for another week or so as I finish the current semester of school.


Over break I spent some time reflecting on my reading habits of the past year and am pleasantly pleased that, excepting any unexpected pitfalls, I should have read at least 150 books this year. This is 51 more books than last year and though I know I could try to beat this number for 2009, I think I’m going to try something different.

I have found it frighteningly easy to fall into the habit of reading books to enjoy, but to also increase the number of books I’ve read. For next year I’m ignoring (as best as I can) the quantity of books I’ve read in exchange for a bit more quality. In 2009 each month I’m going to focus on a different author:

January for Julia Alvarez, February for Roddy Doyle, March for Willa Cather, April for Haruki Murakami, May for Toni Morrison, June for Albert Camus, July for Joyce Carol Oates, August for F. Scott Fitzgerald, September for Banana Yoshimoto, October for Dave Eggers, November for Virginia Woolf, and December for Kurt Vonnegut.

I picked these authors because I own a lot of their books and I will endeavour to read three to five books at least for each author. This doesn’t mean that I won’t read works by other authors, but I’m very much attracted to this idea of focusing.

And that’s enough about me: How was your holidays? Do you have any reading plans set for 2009?

¡Pillaging Blogrolls!
November 22, 2008, 2:42 pm
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necromancyOnce again I wish to expand the territory of my Google Reader and this time as a result of the Terror of Lake Effect Snow (Duh duh duh!). For those of you missing out on the wonders of the Great Lakes, yearly we are inundated with great swathes of blustery snow and the never ceasing Lake Effect Warnings. I turned to the blog of my fellow Ohioan Necromancy Never Pays to discover a wealth of new links.

Tortoise Lessons


Novel Readings


Maud Newton


Guys Lit Wire


Box of Books


Bookmark My Heart


More on reviewing the unfinished
November 20, 2008, 11:42 am
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Yesterday I posted an inquiry into people’s opinions on posting reviews, or thoughtful commentary, on why they didn’t finish reading a book. But I thought, “Why not do utilize that dandy poll feature WordPress offers?” And here it is in all of its glory:

Reviewing the unfinished
November 19, 2008, 11:35 am
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For those of you who don’t have secret crushes on film critic Roger Ebert or who don’t want to adopt him, you may be out of the loop on some recent occurences known as Minutegate. In short, Ebert wrote and published a review on the film Tru Loved; a film he notes within the review that he didn’t finish:

Full disclosure. I lifted the words “San Francisco to conservative suburbia with her lesbian mothers” straight from the plot summary on, because I stopped watching the movie at the 00:08.05 point. IMDb is also where I found out about Bruce Vilanch’s dual role. I never did see the lesbian mothers or my friend Bruce. For “Tru Loved,” the handwriting was on the wall. The returns were in. The case was closed. You know I’m right. Or tell me I’m wrong.

Q. How can you give a one-star rating to a movie you didn’t sit through?

A. The rating only applies to the first eight minutes. After that, you’re on your own.

This got me thinking about my own little world of reviews and the times I’ve commented on books I simply couldn’t finish: Branchwater, The Turtle Moves!, I Am A Cat, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Forgery of Venus, and The Witches of Eastwick to name a few. Reasons to not finish a book range from reader’s block to a book just being sucky (in my opinion). But how do people feel about this? Thumbs up or thumbs down on explaining why you couldn’t make your way to the last page of a book?

Viva Las Vegas
November 9, 2008, 4:40 pm
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