Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Readerly Rambles

I've finally accepted the fact that I was not meant to be a book blogger.  I keep trying to move towards more bookish blogging, but, frankly, it seems like such a chore.  I'm lucky if I get to read 5 book a month (I collect hobbies like I collect tattoos).  I've hated nearly every ARC sent to me.  I don't give a damn about hosting book giveaways -- especially book giveaways that are thinly masked marketing ploys --  and I am incapable of writing a well-thought out interesting review.  Books are my first passion. Okay, my family is my first passion, but books are a close second.

I'm a nerd with a blog.  Not a book blogger.  Just a sorta blogger who loves books.  Given that I lack the ability/inclination/time to write stunning book reviews, I'm just going to pop-on and occasionally ramble about what I've read.  I might even have sentence fragments or lack transitions or *gasp* say nothing of value.  Whatever.  There are books to be read and no time to dither about structuring elegant prose.

What have I read?  Not much.  I've read about half the number of books I read by this time last year.  Hummmmm.... I wonder why... oh, yes.... Atticus.  Atticus is only my rolypoly baby boy for a tiny window of time and my books will always be there on the shelf.  I can read when he is older.  I will say that what I have read has been CRAZY good.  I don't think I've read a single sucky book.  Yay!

Some of these books I've already discussed here, but for OCD's sake, lets just run down the list starting with...

Silent Woman:  Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes by Janet Malcolm:  I thought about writing a long post on Malcolm's book about attempting to write Plath's biography and dealing with issues of literary estate, memory, and point-of-view, but...... I didn't.   This book is interesting if you are a Plath-fiend, but this book is less about Plath and more about writing biography.  I would teach it in a creative non-fiction class and not in an American lit class.  A very interesting book that will have your brain mulling over interpretations of the past for weeks (months!) afterwards.

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers:  meh.  This is the first Lord Peter Wimsey and I do plan on reading the others despite my lukewarm reaction to the book.  A murder mystery involving a body in a bathtub and a bevy of British characters (caricatures) this book was okay in the mystery department, but I was annoyed by the foppish behavior and speech.  I think I had high expectations for this book and was disappointed.

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens:  I've already blogged this book, but let me express, once more, that I freaking loved it!  Easily my second favorite Dickens' novel.

Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation by Noel Riley Fitch This book took awhile to finish as it was so dense.  I really loved this book.  More than a biography of Sylvia Beach, this book has so much about Paris and the Lost Generation.  Fans of Joyce, Hemingway and other ex-pat writers will enjoy how Fitch immerses the reader into the streets, bookshops, and cafes of Paris.

The Queen's Man by Sharon Kay Penman:  A historical mystery series in the time of Eleanor Aquitaine written by Penman.  Need I say more?  A definite win.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain:  This novel concerns Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Hemingway.  It took me a bit to get into the novel, but after about 50 pages I was hooked.  This story is heartbreaking and no, I still don't feel sorry for Mr. Macho Hemingway.  Being a damned good writer is no reason to be a selfish prick (cough Ted Hughes cough).  I highly recommend this novel, but only if you are in the middle of a healthy marriage.  I imagine this book may be disheartening to single-folk and dismal for miserable married-folk.  Luckily, I read and thanked my lucky stars that Sam is hugely talented as an artist and devoted to me.

Not much reading, but it has all been pretty solid.  Right now I'm reading a book for work about Interlibrary Loan Best Practices (for work, duh) and I'm consumed by an Edna St. Vincent Millay biography.  Hopefully, I'll ramble in a readerly-fashion at least a few times a month.


Linda said...

I'm sort of a book blogger but I don't read ARC (unless they are given to me by a friend) or enter most giveaways. I hope you keep rambling about books. I enjoy reading about what you read.

christina said...

I love the line - I'm a nerd with a blog! Yay.

I'm glad you adored Little Dorrit. I've come to the realization, after my fourth CD novel, that I'm just NOT a Dickens fan. I can appreciate what he is doing, much like a Monet, but ultimately have to accept that I'm never going to gush. Although I do find it fascinating that he has been listed as one of the potential identities of Jack the Ripper.

nerdybookgirl said...

I can't picture Charles D. as Jack the Ripper! But then again, Drood by Dan Simmons gave me the creeps. Dickens and Wilkie Collins were less than savory in that novel.

Eva said...

Whatever you are I like it! :D And I think you're selling yourself short if you don't think your book posts are thoughtful and well-written.

>>I don’t give a damn about hosting book giveaways — especially book giveaways that are thinly masked marketing ploys

Totally agree.