Tuesday, February 5, 2013

For the Record: January 2013

Ah the New Year.  I've been trying to focus on reading what I want to read, when I want to read it, not worrying about how many of what kind of book I read, and so far it has been a lot of fun.  What a concept!  I may be back into the swing of reading!

8 Books Read in January: (8 year-to-date)
1 for Book Club:
  - Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver (3.5) [meh...the agenda was too much]
3 Non-Fiction:
  - The Famine Plot, Tim Pat Coogan (4) [good overview of the times, cause, & effect of famine]
  - Two Guys Read Jane Austen, Chandler & Hill (3.5) [not as funny as it should have been]
  - Below Stairs, Margaret Powell (4.5) [brilliant!]
2 Classics:
  - Persuasion, Jane Austen (5) [adored, as usual]
  - Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw (3.5) [I suppose I should watch My Fair Lady now too?]
2 from my shelf:
  - Little Pear, Eleanor Francis Lattimore (4) [fun read-aloud written in a time gone by]
  - Running the Rift, Naomi Benaron (3.5) [all right, I just didn't care as much as I'd hoped I would]


1 Current Reads:
  - River of Earth, James Still.  This has been on my shelf for yearsandyears.  I'm happy to have found the right time to read it.  Written in 1940, this is classic Appalachian literature.
  - Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Reading it along with a great group (& Wallace) @ Unputdownables.  This has also been on my shelf for yearsandyears, and I'm worried that I won't like it & will constantly be wishing he were Tolstoy instead.  Oh well, here goes nothing...for the next few months.


On My Nightstand:
I'm really enjoying leaving my nightstand somewhat open and pulling books off the shelf as the mood strikes me, but my mood has been pushing me towards my next Willa Cather, and the ARC on my shelf...we'll see what happens once River of Earth is done...you never know.



  1. Did you read The Eternal Husband in the novella challenge? I've been wanting to read Crime and Punishment ever since I read that novella by Dostoevsky.

    I put Running the Rift on my TBR list after reading a review from another blogger. What was it that was just OK.

    1. I did read The Eternal Husband and enjoyed it, it made me look forward to C&P also. It's the intro to C&P that has made me a little skeptical. It made Dostoevsky seem so dark and depressed that I worry it'll be a little overwhelming. I need a little hope, you know? My brother really liked it though (he's the one who bought it for me YEARS ago and told me to read it) so we'll see. :)

      Running the Rift was easy enough to read (and it kept me turning pages) but I was never invested in any of the characters, which makes the eventual impact smaller than it should be. The main character is pretty clueless, and if it weren't for the historical aspect I would have been completely ambivalent. It feels terrible to say that about a book about Rwanda, but there it is.

  2. I think that's an amazing array of books. And good for you for determining that you're going to read what you want, when you want to. Sometimes even obvious, simple decisions like that can make all the difference in a reading/blogging rut.

    I agree with you about Jean Patrick from Running the Rift--it was as if he was intentionally sticking his head in the sand re: political climate. That being said, I did think it was a good book. Frustrating to read a character like that when you know what's coming--but I can think of plenty of Americans who would react the same way if we had something so terrible brewing here.

    1. It's a pretty interesting mix, isn't it? It's always nice to look back on the month and feel satisfied.

      You're completely right about how Jean Patrick wasn't necessarily an unrealistic character, even if he was a bit frustrating. Also, the writing style being very simple and steady probably made an intentional contrast with the events it was leading up to, though I wished it were a bit more involved too. A good book, I just had hopes that it would grab me more.

  3. Yay for reading according to whim! I'm doing the same this year and so far I've not regretted it at all.
    I remember not liking Crime and Punishment, although I think I was too young for it and it was my first Russian book. I would probably like it if I picked it up now...

    1. It is so refreshing. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I'd really read according to whim--I've missed the feeling of anticipation for picking out the next book. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it also!

      I'm expecting to find much to enjoy about C&P, but also expect it to demand my attention. I definitely would not have been ready for it when I was young. I read Anna Karenina in high school and enjoyed it, (though on a much more superficial level than when I re-read it last year,) but I think Dostoevsky would have been quite a different story.

  4. You had a great month of reading! My January was pretty awesome too, if I do say so myself ;) I'm with you on reading whatever you want, I'm doing that this year as well and it's been great!


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