Read This Month

I can’t believe tomorrow is already October. We’ve been in Dallas a month and a half, and things are finally starting to cool down. Or…at least as much as Texas cools. The State Fair just opened up, and my lucky husband gets to take a work trip over there today. I’m so jealous! Hopefully we can make it over there soon.

I read a ton of books great books this month. Now that I’ve set a schedule for myself, I’m getting quite a variety again. And I’m allowing myself to ditch books if they aren’t up to par, which I had stopped doing at one point. Gotta stop wasting time. Some books just aren’t blog-worthy.

(Which, on that point. Aaron’s Rod is on the list below, but I’m not going to do a post about it. I got about 65% through it before I had to give it up. Far enough to count it as “read” but I’m not going to bore you guys with a terrible post. Not DH Lawrence’s best work, let’s leave it at that.)

And now, the books!

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Read this month:

Throne of Glass by Sarah Mass

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Justine by Lawrence Durrell

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (which didn’t make it onto the list in the picture…oops!)

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Aaron’s Rod by DH Lawrence

Spine of Book

My husband and I are both “collectors.”

Once, that meant packrat, but now that we are older, and learning to love finer things…and are limited on storage space…we are giving up the junk and turning to real collections.

With some exceptions. *cough*

One of the things we both agree on, is that we want a book collection that is not only mentally pleasing, but also aesthetically pleasing as well. While for the most part, the books stay in the office, the goal is to have a home with a den or library, and shelves scattered through the house. Neither one of us are highlighters, we like to keep our books nice. So, we have started buying, when we can, pretty leatherbound hardbacks. We both especially like the Barnes & Noble Classic collection, so we have a ton of those.

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Some I’ve read, a few are still on my TBR shelf waiting patiently.

 

WWW Wednesday 9/3/2014

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We’re starting to get rolling, and I’m starting to feel better about my reading choices and blogging abilities. I’m definitely back in the swing of things now. Here’s what’s up this week:

 

What are you currently reading?

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (It’s driving me mad that I haven’t finished that collection yet.)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Winter’s Tale by Mark Hellprin

Justine by Lawrence Durell

Stars

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been reading a LOT of Ernest Hemingway lately. Hubs got me the big leatherbound collection from BN for Easter, and I am working my way through it. I’m almost done, just Old Man and the Sea, which I’ll probably do after the readathon.

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When I saw today’s theme, the first thing that popped into my head was the moment when Lt. Henry is wounded and needs surgery. He doesn’t want just any surgeon to do it, only a Major will do. A prospective surgeon comes in, he offers him a drink, to which the doc replies basically, “Hey, why not 10 drinks!” He examines him, tells him he can do it right away (the other doc had told he’d have to wait half a year), and that’s when Henry notices the star. He’s a Major. Done, and done.

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Treesofreverie June Read-A-Thon: Questionnaire | Part 1

Home sick today, so I’m curled up with R on the couch while he watches the World Cup. Thought I’d take some time and answer these questions, since I can’t concentrate on much else.

  • 01. Where will you be sharing your bookish updates for the Treesofreverie June Read-A-Thon? Here! Some of my other challenges on Instagram have also been tagged with the Trees hashtag, if it’s a book I’m reading for this, but for the most part, all of my posts will be on this blog, which also feeds into Tumblr.
  • 02. How did you start book blogging? What got you interested in starting, were there particular blogs that influenced or encouraged your decision? (If you don’t have a book blog, are you interested in starting one?) I was just exploring Tumblr, when I read The Happiness Project. I was seeing book blogs, and I wanted an outlet for book discussion, so I started this. I can’t believe how much feedback I’ve gotten, it’s been so much fun.
  • 03. What’s your ultimate book-inspired holiday? What would you do and would you take anyone with you? Has a particular book or author inspired this? Most of my vacations are more food related than book related, but I do always imagine Italy in an Under the Tuscan Sun sort of way, and France as Julia Child describes it. My vision of countries are very much influenced by the memoirs I’ve read.
  • 04. Which five authors (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party and why? Who do you think would get along and what would you talk about? First and foremost, Ernest Hemingway. I would LOVE to have a drink with him. Julia Child is another, because, obviously, she would do the cooking, and I think she would be hilarious. I’d love to hear about her travels as well…and Hemingway and Child might be interesting together actually. They both had pretty “live life to the fullest” perspectives. Jane Austen, because…obviously. George RR Martin so I can get inside his head. I want to know what the heck makes that man tick. John Green, because he’s just SUCH a nerd, and I’d like to have someone to geek out with.
  • 05. What were the last three books you recommended to someone and why did you choose these particular books to recommend? If your last recommendations were a large list shared all at once, then pick three books. The only book I really remember recommending (other than here on the blog) is the Kingkiller Chronicles. I’ve been telling everyone I meet to read that. Most people in real life ask me for book recommendations, then don’t ever take me seriously, because I have such an extensive list. I’m sure I’ve told people to read TFIOS too.
  • 06. Describe your perfect reading experience. Paperback, Hardback or eBook? Genre? Where are you reading? Alone or in company? Indoors or outside? Season? Weather? What time of day? Snacks? Give me a sunny, just warm day, in the shade. Preferably alone, but maybe somewhere I can watch people. A bottle of wine opened on the table, with some good cheese to munch on. A fantastic old book, well worn with that musty old smell.
  • 07. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. What are your thoughts on negative comments and reviews on books? Does it make a difference for you if they involve any constructive criticism or feedback? The interesting thing about the book blogging community is that we all get a different experience from the books we read. It’s like tasting wine. No one person is going to taste the same glass of wine the same. We all have a different perspective. It is ok to disagree. That said, I think sometimes, the disagreement turns into hate, and that’s not ok with me. There is a difference between conversation and persecution. We need to be careful in how we treat our fellow bloggers. I would much rather see this community as a place of friendship than a place of war.
  • 08. What would your ultimate dream book collection include? What would it look like and how would you arrange your books? I’ve always dreamed of having one of those really old school Victorian smoking jacket studies. You know what I’m talking about. Where the lord of the manor would retire in the evening to his brandy, amongst his wood paneled shelves with books rising to the ceiling. They were a thing of awe. At least in our imagination today. Ever since I saw the Beast’s library (which was white instead of brown), I have wanted a library like that. 
  • 09. What are your biggest book-related pet peeves? Why do these things bother you more than others? I am very contradictory when it comes to my books. I break my spines, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with a well loved book. It needs to feel good in my hands. But, I will absolutely NEVER NEVER NEVER ruin the pages with ink. That is an abominable sin in my eyes. And I will never buy a used book that has been inked. (Which was really sad because I found a copy of The Great Gatsby the other day for $1…only to find someone had underlined over half the book…for SHAME!) I also use bookmarks instead of dogears.
  • 10. What are some of your favourite things about people who read books? These may be generalisations or relate to a specific person. I love how we all just geek out over the smallest details. I always thought it was just me, until I discovered this wonderful community online. Hermoine’s dress was BLUE not PINK. Arya has LINES in this scene, you idiots. We memorize not just quotes, but “insignificant” characters’ names, eye color, birthdays. We know who dies when and how and why. We know what author is going to be in what city and how to get in to see them. And we are obsessive about collecting not just books, but the specific copies of books in a series so everything matches on our shelves. And even though many of us are introverts, get us talking about the books we love, and we will not shut up.

WWW Wednesday 6/18/2014

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What are you currently reading?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Aimless Love by Billy Collins

 

What did you just finish reading?

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

Brooklyn by Colm Tobin

 

Trees of Reverie ReadaThon June

For those of you who have been following the blog since the beginning (first of all, I love you!), you will remember the readathon I did back in April. It was a week long marathon reading session, where I got through 5 books.

Trees of Reverie is holding another one, beginning today (well it was midnight Monday her time, but she’s on the other side of the of the globe from me) through June 30th.

I have a stack of books to read, and I’m sure I’ll read a few ebooks as well! Here’s what is on the list:

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

Garth Stein, Raven Stole the Moon

Colm Tobin, Brooklyn

Ernest Hemingway, Old Man in the Sea

Veronica Roth, Divergent (A reread for bookclub next week)

 

I started Walden today and I’m about a quarter of the way through it. Hoping to get at least halfway, but it’s a piece of work. Are any of my readers joining in with the readathon? What are you guys reading?

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, you can just Obscenity OFF!! 12939379   And yes. He really does replace the F-bomb with the word Obscenity in For Whom the Bell Tolls. It’s about the most annoying thing ever. That, and the Thee and Thou and Thy. Am I reading the King James Version of the Bible?                             OK, so that’s it. That’s my whole review.                               What are you still doing here?               I’m serious guys. That’s it.                               Ugh. FIIIIIIIIIIIINE. This was a beast, and I really don’t know what I think about. It definitely doesn’t have the normal Hemingway voice that I am accustomed to. Plus it’s about 200 pages longer. The quick random romance is there, the kind Hemingway prefers–lots of love promises, but you know it’s going to end in sadness at some point. The war is there, but I know nothing about WWI in Spain, so maybe that’s why I had such a hard time connecting to this book. The gypsy circle was semi-interesting, but soooooooo confusing. And the language was just really hard to grasp on to.   I did want to share one section with you, towards the end of the book. This is one of the most brilliant descriptions of sex I have ever read. And he does it without ever naming a single body part. “Then they were together so that as the hand on the watch moved, unseen now, they knew that nothing could ever happen to the one that did not happen to the other, that no other thing could happen more than this; that this was all and always; this was what had been and now and whatever was to come. This, that they were not to have, they were having. They were having now and before and always and now and now and now. Oh, now, now, now, the only now, and above all now, and there is no other now but thou now and now is they prophet. Now and forever now. Come now, now, for there is no now but now. Yes, now. Now, please now, only now, not anything else only this now, and where are you and where am I and where is the other one, and not why, not ever why, only this now; and on and always wheeling now, soaring now, away now, all the way now, all of the way now; one and one is one, is one, is one, is one, is still one, is still one, is descendingly, is one softly, is one longingly, is one kindly, is one happily, is one in goodness, is one to cherish, is one now on earth with elbows against the cut and slept-on branches of the pine tree with the smell of the pine boughs and the night; to earth conclusively now, and with the morning of the day to come.” Ok, so I was wrong. He does throw an elbow in there. Heaven forbid. But I love that, because it’s so dead on, and yet nonpornographic, like so much of today’s sexual references. We don’t bat an eye at that today, but in his time it was probably hugely racy. I still want to tell him to Obscenity Off for the rest of the book, though.

WWW Wednesday

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What are you currently reading?

The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

White Apples and the Taste of Stone by Donald Hall

 

What did you just finish reading?

Getting over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton–A reread, but it’s up next for book club.

I put Cinder by Marissa Meyer on hold, but I’m 11 people back, so we’ll see how long it takes to get it. I keep seeing everyone talk about that series, so I can’t resist any longer.

A Farewell to Arms

Goddammit Earnest.

I knew I loved A Farewell to Arms, but  I couldn’t remember why, and I was seriously second guessing myself after reading The Sun Also Rises last week.

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But sometimes you read a book with such an emotional ending that you forget how traumatic it is. This is one of those books.

And not only that, but the rest of the book is so damn simplistic. Yes, it’s about WWI, and but the battle scenes are very minimal. Most of it is about what happens away from the front. And the true beauty of the story is in the way Hemingway writes the very minute details. The small conversations and the little moments. He doesn’t just write “And we ordered dinner…” He writes in vivid detail about the waiter coming into the hotel room and asking whether they want woodcock or souffle. He writes about wanting his whiskey and ice separately so it doesn’t water down so quickly. He writes for two or three pages about a rainstorm. And the way he does it, in that unique Hemingway voice of his, draws you in.

It’s what he hadn’t mastered yet in The Sun Also Rises. I could tell it’s what he was trying to do, but it just wasn’t clicking for me.

I want to read Farewell again already. And again and again and again.