Today’s challenge, hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale, is to name your favorite and least favorite movie adaptations. Continue reading “Bout of Books Book-to-Movie Challenge”
After last month’s #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks fail, I wanted to do better in August. So far, I’ve read two books, one my own and one borrowed. This means I’m meeting the goal I set for myself: to read 50 percent my own books through the end of the year. Hopefully, I can keep that up!
What are you currently reading?
At the moment, I’m most actively reading The Girl Under the Olive Tree by Leah Fleming. Continue reading “Wednesday reading roundup: August 10”
My sincere thanks, as ever, to Taking on a World of Words for the weekly inspiration of WWW Wednesday and to Coffee and Cats for introducing me to it. They have been so successful at inspiring me to read that I’m sticking with it despite just having written a monthly recap!
What are your currently reading?
I have three books going at the moment though haven’t managed to get very far in any of them.
In paperback, I’m reading Chinue Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, which I picked up at a library book sale last month. It’s set in a fiction Igbo village called Umuofia and centers around Okonkwo. Hardworking and stern, he’s driven by a desire to achieve in ways his father never did – achieving titles, material success, and the respect of his peers. I’m only about a third of the way through but feel a deep sadness permeating this story. Perhaps this is because I sense an irreconcilability between the emotions characters feel and the emotions that are “acceptable.”
I’m also still working on Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus, which I’m determined to finish this week. Continue reading “Wednesday reading roundup: August 3”
It felt like a slow month of reading for me. For good reason: It was. With six books read, July was my slowest month of reading this year. And it’s even slower than it looks since I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in one day, that day being July 31.
On the upside, my low reading tally is the result of spending loads of my free time with friends and family. And you definitely will not hear me complain about that! Continue reading “The unabridged list of books I read in July”
Outside the context of school or work requirements, reading isn’t a responsibility to anyone but oneself. So no one is obligated to finish a book or provide an explanation for why they didn’t. By all means, feel badly if you quit on hope and humanity. Feel badly for being hateful or impatient or selfish (to the extent that feeling badly inspires you to do better). But feeling badly about not finishing a book (or about what you read)? No. Full stop.
So there I was, all fired up, marching up and down my imaginary battlefield, brandishing my imaginary spear and, for whatever reason, imagining myself clothed in chain mail and a metal helmet. And then … a funny thing happened: I looked over my reading data and realized, Oh. I haven’t actually quit on many books this year. How inconvenient it is when empirical evidence contradicts what we want to believe. Ahem.
I stand by my message. It’s just that my lack of quitting has come as a surprise. At times this year, it has felt as if I was abandoning books with, well, abandon. Continue reading “I thought I was book quitter until I checked the stats”
A funny reader moment happened to me last week when I got together with one of my favorite cousins. “I remember how you used to devour books,” he said, as we reminisced about our childhood. “You’d carry around these big books. I’d ask you how far along you’d gotten, and you’d say, ‘I finished it.'”
I have no recollection of this happening, but it sounds legit. And a fitting memory to introduce this week’s reading roundup, yes? Now let’s get to the books!
What are you currently reading? Continue reading “Wednesday Reading Roundup: July 20”
With my annual summer relocation happening this week, I’m behind. I could let it go and plan to catch up next week. But I won’t. It’s like with working out: If I let myself go one week, it’ll be too easy to let it go the next one. And the next one after that.
What are you currently reading?
Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus by Harry Mount. I discovered it through this review in The Guardian. Oddly, it was the first title that came up when I googled “what’s the best translation of The Odyssey?” Mount’s project – to follow Odysseus’ journey from Troy back home – intrigued me. Busy days haven’t left me as much time for reading as I’d like, so it’s still early days for the book and me. So far, though, I’m enjoying the voice and writing quality.
What did you recently finished reading?
Earlier today, I finished Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. I enjoy ballet books and had this one on my list since it came out. And would you believe: All those e-book sales I get finally paid off: Last week, Tiny Pretty Things was on sale for $1.99, and I scooped it up.
It’s about high school students at an elite New York City ballet academy, where the pressure to excel pushes students to the brink physically and emotionally. The story unfolds through three first-person viewpoints. California girl Gigi feels the weight of being the only African-American student at an academy where “ballet blanc” is the unspoken code. June wants more than the understudy roles she’s been getting, especially since her mother has given her an ultimatum to get better roles or leave the academy. Bette, a legacy student, fits the prima ballerina description to perfection but struggles to replicate her older sister’s success.
The story begins with a student, Cassie, falling during a class, then fast-forwards to the following year. We discover Cassie is not longer at the school. She was injured in the fall. It turns out she was also the victim of intense bullying/harassment by other students, Bette at the head of the list. The bullies find a new target in Gigi, with the “pranks” becoming increasingly alarming. We spend the book not knowing exactly who is doing what. I raced to the end hoping to find out what was going on only to find the last page is the biggest cliffhanger of them all – sneaky! I guess I’ll have to read the sequel, Shiny Broken Pieces.
What do you think you’ll read next?
It’s hard to say at this point. I have quite a bit of Harry Mount’s Odyssey ahead of me. Earlier this week, my parents were showing me photos of their recent trip to Norway. As ridiculous as this sounds, the photos kind of made me want to read the first book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. A Hamish Macbeth mystery also sounds appealing.
So it remains to be seen what book lands on my “next up” list.
How about you? What books are on you read, reading, and to read list?
Ah, how I love Wednesday reading roundup day. Without it, I’d probably gorge away on books and forget to take a bit of time to think about what I’m reading. Many thanks as always to Taking on a World of Words for hosting WWW Wednesday and Coffee and Cats for introducing me to it!
What are you currently reading?
My May book-buying binge (courtesy of my birthday) included a novel called An Accidental Greek Wedding by Carol Grace. I bought it on a whim, though I’d never heard of it, because it’s set in – you guessed it – Greece. As I’m getting reading for my annual family visit there, I picked it up. I love reading novels set in the places to which I’m traveling. I haven’t read many novels set in Greece, either, so couldn’t resist trying this one. Continue reading “Wednesday reading roundup: July 6”
As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the United States of America, it’s a question I’ve been pondering. Since I like to think on my own but not alone, I turned to The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly—150 Years of Writers and Thinkers Who Shaped Our History.
Published in 2007 to mark the Atlantic Monthly’s 150th anniversary, the book isn’t about American novels but rather about the larger idea of America, as a state of mind and of being. The doorstop-sized collection includes great American writing that has appeared in the magazine’s pages over the last century and a half: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Ian Frazier’s “Stalin’s Chuckle.” Continue reading “The American Idea in 10 Great American Novels”
Books read this week, meet books read this month: Today’s WWW Wednesday, which I discovered through Taking on a World of Words and Coffee and Cats, includes my monthly reading roundup as well. The books with the fuller write-ups are, of course, the ones I read and have been reading over the last week.
The big excitement of this month is my return to reading paper books, at least in part. I’m still trying to work through Mount TBR, e-books edition.