Saturday, October 23, 2010

Calling all Vonnegut fans:

Help me. I just read Slaughterhouse-5 and I'm all "I don't see what all the fuss is about." (And please, PLEASE don't say "So it goes.")

Is anyone out there? (tap tap) Is this thing on?

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I'm reading

I've spent the year reading a random assortment of books or authors that I've been meaning to read for a while, but somehow never got around to before. (And I've been alternating those with mysteries, which are my favorite escapist reading.) Right now I'm reading my first Dashiell Hammett book called Red Harvest. It's set in a small Montana town and is very noir. I've only started it, but his snappy style of writing is amusing. It's like reading a screenplay for a film starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What I'm reading

I'd like to introduce myself and let you know what I've been reading, am reading and will be reading.  I'm a knitting buddy of Elizabeth, the Plumsock Road Book Club founder and that's how I've come to be a part of this blog.  I live outside of Philadelphia, have two grown kids, a wonderful husband and a crazy dog.  I'm a civil engineering designer by trade, not a writer as will become clear as you read this posting.  I have three passions: knitting, photography and reading.  I do love long walks and sunshine but I don't want this to sound like I'm looking for a date...

 I've just finished reading an Ann Cleeves Shetland series Raven Black, White Nights and Red Bones.  These are light-weight, fast reading, murder mystery fiction with most of the characters reading as fairly one dimensional.  I enjoyed the Shetland Island setting as well as the romance that runs through all three books.  Inspector Perez is a quiet sort-of scattered detective that I found to be endearing.  My biggest frustration was that the author pulls out a bit of information right at the end of each book that the reader couldn't have know and that is the key to the murders (and by the third book the bodies really start piling up).  Anyhow, they were fun, easy reads.

Right now I'm reading Carl Hiaasen's Star Island.  Wild, Wacky and Quirky are the adjectives that describe this book to perfection.  The chapters are fairly short and I find myself thinking, I'll read one more chapter and then go make dinner, fold laundry or let the dog in.  Each character develops slowly as the chapters unfold, layer upon layer.  They are not believable (larger than life) but are silly and fun, a fairy tale for grown-ups but without a moral.  The author ties up loose ends and then makes another quirky mess as the book goes along. So far it's been a fun read.

My book discussion group is reading Infidel in November and that's my next read.  I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy this book but not all books need to be enjoyed.  I'll let you know what I think once I've read it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a poll

OK, I sure hope you're all busy reading, but I bet that's not why it's so quiet. So here's the survey -- which of these is keeping you from telling us what you're reading?

(1) it's soccer season and if I spend one more minute in the car, I will explode
(2) I'm going to school and if I start to read a good book I'll stop doing my homework
(3) Christmas is coming
(4) I need new glasses
(5) I'm afraid to post because I think I have to write a long, eloquent, thoughtful review
(6) This time of year I'd really rather be outside
(7) There are so many books in my living room/on my bedside table/in my car that I don't know where to start
(8) Other


Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I am reading

I am listening to The Girl who Played with Fire, the second in the Stieg Larsson trilogy. I'm actually enjoying it more than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as it is a better mystery IMHO, with more interesting plot twists. It does have a little too much violence and sex for my tastes, but I look forward to car trips to hear more.

I started reading My Antonia by Willa Cather last week, but haven't made it past the second page (very busy . . . which is why I like audio books, I can listen to them when I'm stuck in the car not able to do anything else). I'm trying to read lots of classic books that I never read before. I scoured the library book sale a few weeks ago and bought several . . . I'll see how long it takes me to get through them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

post-weekend update: what are you reading?

Finished: Oxygen, by Carol Cassella. Recommended.
Started: Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny. I'm having a terrible time -- I want to read this book as fast as I can because I can't wait to find out how it all turns out, but I want to read it as slowly as I can so I can savor every word. Read her books in order (the first one is Still Life) so you can get to know the characters gradually, as you would in real life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Can someone advise me how to comment? I've tried twice and before I submit, it asks me to pick my profile (Google account, Word Press, etc..). I must be picking the wrong one each time. :(

Friday, October 1, 2010

How do you manage your to-read list?

Starting in 8th grade and continuing through high school, I kept a list of books to read, handwritten (of course -- it was The Olden Days), on lined looseleaf paper. Every time the list reached 100 items, I went back and crossed out those I had read and those that had lost their charm, rewrote the list, and started again. I probably should go back to that system, because I've never found one that works better. If I try to keep a notebook, it's never with me at the library. (I wish my library had a spot on their web site where you could enter things you want to read -- that way I could check on the computer when I'm there.) Carol and Pat are big fans of goodreads, but that hasn't clicked with me either. I have joined the iPhone generation, but I can't even remember to add things to my to-read list there!

Now, it's obvious that operator error is one of my major problems with keeping a book list -- but I'd love to hear how all of you keep track, organize your lists, and find your way to wonderful books.