• Books

    Booking Through Thursday – Being a Reader

    On BTT this week:

    I was talking to a co-worker the other day about a book I’d read recently, and realized how very, very few people I can do that with. In my daily life, it seems like almost no-one reads anything more than a newspaper or a fashion magazine. I only have one person I can truly chat about books with … and yet, being a Capital-R-Reader, I simply can’t imagine going through life without a book constantly at hand, or shelves of them proudly displayed downstairs. I’m proud of being a person who not only reads, but who reads a lot–not just in volume but in variety. I like having an inquiring mind. I like exploring new ideas. I love following an intricately plotted story (the more layers the better). I love BEING a reader and simply can’t imagine what it’s like to go through life without being one.

    Am I the only one who feels this way? That wonders at how other people can simply NOT do something that should be so essential? Who feels almost sad that so many people seem content to go through their lives without stretching their mental wings at all?

    Can you imagine NOT being a Reader? How does it shape your life? Your perception of it?

    How does being a Reader affect your relationship with all those folks who are looking at it from the other side and simply can’t understand how you can sit and READ all the time?

    In the Jasper Fforde Thursday Next series, Thursday lives in a world where books are read by almost everyone. People devour the classics and the idea of a Pride & Prejudice reality show readily happens. I remember trying to imagine a world where most people read fiction and literature, and it seems so idyllic to me.

    I would not say it is lonely to be a reader because I love it. Books are your friends when you are a reader. You engage in them and they open all these ideas and worlds to you. But it is rare for me to find someone to talk with me about all the books I read. If I did, I probably wouldn’t have this blog 75% dedicated to books.

    I can’t imagine not being a reader. It keeps me sane. It keeps me inspired. It keeps my mind at work. It does sadden me a bit that we live in a world where books are not really valued or used. On the other hand, I don’t really care if people think I am bookish or introverted. I am rather private about what I do with my life, but being called bookish is a compliment to me. Being a reader means something to me and so there is nothing to hide about the real me.

    How about you?

  • Books

    The 2013 TBR Pile Challenge

    TBR challenge

    Time for another reading challenge. I’ll be joining Adam of Roof Beam Reader’s 2013 TBR Pile Challenge. Twelve books that I should read for 2013 with two alternates. Books must be published before 2012.

    I tend to buy a lot of used books at fairs and then not read them. The following books I either own or in one case, have on loan from a friend.

    1. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – completed February 11th 2013
    2. Respect the Spindle y Abby Franquemont
    3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
    4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
    5. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
    6. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
    7. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    8. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
    9. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
    10. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    11. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
    12. William-an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton

    Alternates:

    1. How to Eat by Nigella Lawson
    2. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

    Join me and others in this challenge. What are you reading for 2013?

  • Books

    Sunday Salon: November Reading Block

    Sunday Salon

    Hello everyone! Happy belated Thanksgiving to those celebrating it in the US.

    I really need to wake up earlier, but I was actually a bit productive yesterday as I did some job stuff (did diddly all the rest of the week), fiddled, knit and even cleaned a bit.

    Today, I anticipate a little of the aforementioned and reading Craig Thompson’s Habibi. I have been in a reading block lately so I am slowly making back to it by reading graphic novels. I am not sure if it is working, but at least I am reading something.

    Does anyone else get this too? My other hobbies have been in the way and I am trying to be busy with other things. I still need to read about 13 more books to make my 75 for this year. I do get very bookish during the holidays though.

    Have a good end of November, everybody!

  • Books

    Booking Through Thursday – Thankful

    On BTT this week:

    It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S., so … what are you thankful for this year, reading-wise? New, favorite books? New gadget for reading? New comfy chair? Bonus time to read? Just the mere fact of BEING a reader? Having the internet to share ideas/recommendations/conversations about books?

    I’m always thankful for being a reader and the gift of the languages I have learned. I’m also glad this year that I decided to blog about books again and that I had the chance to buy books too. The internet has always been very helpful for me to discover new reads and to explore books and my own reading further.

    What are you thankful for?

  • Books

    Soulless Manga, Vol. 1 by Gail Carriger and REM

    Soulless the manga

    As someone who has read and enjoyed The Parasol Protectorate Series and also graphic novels in general, I decided to read this managa to spur my current reader’s block.

    This is actually a manga rather than a graphic novel. It has been awhile since I read the original Soulless novel, but I remembered relatively quickly. The adaptation worked really well. I found Alexia even more sympathetic in the manga than in the novel and while Alexia/Maccon is a bit more rushed, I also felt more invested in it. The visuals really helped and really illustrates this is more of adult book for teens.

    I imagined Lord Maccon as looking more bigger and macho, but his depiction really grew on me too. Then again, this style of art renders everyone too being more pretty than handsome. Something I’ve really liked about this series is the supporting characters and Lord Akeldama is wonderfully depicted here too.

    I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to read the rest of this series from my library, but I enjoyed myself as one should from manga. I think this series would do very well in Japan as it really reminded me of when I did read manga years ago, not only the artwork but the storyline too.

    Recommended if you enjoy manga and fantasy series.

    Read November 17th 2012.

  • Books

    Sunday Salon: Lazy and Hopeful

    Sunday Salon

    Hello everyone! I’ve been forgetful about the Salon and do them much later than in my mornings. [One hour later] See, it happened again. I become busy doing other things.

    Since I stopped working, I haven’t been a particularly good reader or all that productive in my job search. I have been looking after my spiritual health a bit more and feel more content and hopeful about the future.

    I did read yesterday: Soulless: The Manga and the review will be up tomorrow.

    Other news of this week which made me satisfied was that I bought a rechargeable electric toothbrush: Oral-B 5000 series. I am really geeky since this has pleased me greatly. It really does make my teeth very clean after every brushing. I really can’t afford to go to the dentist as much anymore, but I try to be diligent with my dental routine with flossing, tongue cleaning, and by investing in this toothbrush. Does anyone else have an electric toothbrush too?

    In other news, the weather is cool but bright. The snow hasn’t made any significant appearance so the only thing that tells me it’s the holiday season is coming is the plethora of people shopping and the decorations. I really do like the festive season even though (or because) my family and friends aren’t big on it so there isn’t much stress about gift giving or obligations.

    How are you looking forward to the end of the year?

    Have a happy Sunday everyone!

  • Books

    The Classics Club – November 2012 Meme

    The Classics Club November 2012 Meme Question:

    What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)

    Since I grew up with classics, they are not really intimidating to me. I think it was a bit daunting when I first started in my adolescence with the serious reads, but since then, it’s been natural to read the classics.

    I think the classic I am closest to being intimidated with is Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I don’t really get scared by long reads, but this is the longest novel in literature with 1.5 million words. Secondly, I rarely hear of other people actually reading this work. People will go on about how long Ulysses and War and Peace are, but rarely do I read about people willing to read Proust’s magnum opus. It makes me a bit a curious to read it for the challenge. Also, since it’s in French, I’d also be tempted to read at least part of it in the native language to since from all I can gather, Proust was a great writer. The novel doesn’t seem particularly exciting though, but I do like some modernist works so there is a good chance that I’d like at least one volume of it.

    How about you? What’s an intimidating classic for you?

  • Books

    Sunday Salon: Changing Routines

    Sunday Salon

    Hello, everyone!

    It’s Remembrance Day and I hope everyone has taken some time to reflect on that. Out of tradition, I tend to read or recite In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

    My review for Gone with the Wind was posted this week.

    I have more free time now, but I haven’t really made a dent in my big pile of books. I will today though. Maybe read a chapter or two of Bel-Ami and start Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

    This weekend, I’ve just been watching movies, knitting, and took a few of photos. A friend and I are doing a 20 week photo challenge with our respective new DSLRs. It’s been a good way to set some time each week to thinking about photography and also getting out there.

    Today, I will read, maybe start making some lime marmalade, play the fiddle, and watch some more movies. What are you doing this Sunday?

  • Books

    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    This book was epic. Once again, I was conflicted about giving it a 4 or a 5 on Good Reads. As with before, the deciding factor was if I would reread it again. I wouldn’t be against reading it, but then again, I’m not planning on it. It was frustrating and very long at times, but there is no doubt that this is a well written book in many ways and a classic.

    I started reading this book September 20th, but I really didn’t read much of it until the last weekend of September wherein I read 70% of the book from Saturday to Tuesday October 2nd.

    The Beginning: Not that bad, easy going, lots of exposition, lots of idyllic life of the antebellum South.

    The Middle: Gripping, dark, and compelling. This was when I started to really hit my next page button.

    The End: Scarlett gets more and more cruel, ridiculous and unbearable. Book just ends a bit abruptly.

  • Books,  Food

    Sunday Salon: November Blues

    Sunday Salon

    Hello everyone!

    Sadly, I did not read at all this week. Work has been hectic, but it’s my last day this Wednesday. Even though I will miss the income and don’t want to job search, I really need the break from working.

    Today, I may read a bit, but I have been particularly tired from my weeks. The weather has been dark and gloomy all week. While Sandy didn’t really hit us around here, we got the tail end rain of it.

    Brownies

    In good news, I baked brownies yesterday. They were a bit too sweet for me, but I used over 10 ounces of chocolate (I had a lot of leftover dark chocolate). Also very crumbly and buttery. Hmmm. I think I am really a blondies girl at heart.

    What are you reading and eating this weekend?