August 13, 2013
For a few years, I was not really reading much (for me) and enjoying it less and less. I'll explain why in a later blog post, but, now, I just want to enthuse about all the great books that we've been reading lately.
Younger son is reading one of my favorite fantasy novels, Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg. I last reread it 4 1/2 years ago (while healing from knee surgery). I wanted to reread it again so that I could discuss it with fresh details. The local libraries didn't have an available copy so I ordered another one from Amazon. Older son is filling out his book collection with family books that he'll want a copy of whenever he moves out on his own.* I told him that I could either order the book for me and give him that copy as a used book, or I could order it for him and borrow it right away. He wanted a copy with the same cover photo (right) as the one we have so I ordered a used copy which will be his when I'm through with it (and which is in better shape than our copy!).
Dear husband is reading Kraken by China Miéville. I'd like to eventually read it, although older son and dear husband have cautioned me that it has more violence in it than I usually read. I shouldn't read it at bedtime then. I made that mistake with American Gods by Neil Gaiman - an excellent book, but not one to wind down with. I ended up reading half a Regency romance to get myself calmed down enough to sleep after that!
Older son is reading Iron Council, also by China Miéville. I'm wondering which one of us will get to Neil Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane first. That came this week. I don't usually order hardbacks, but it's his newest book, it was on sale for half price at Amazon,** and it would have taken a long time to get from the library. The Durham County Library has 29 copies and 116 holds (Chapel Hill Library: 6 copies and 42 holds)(Hmmm... Orange County Library is down to 11 holds on 6 copies).
Daughter read Daniel Boorstin's The Creators when she was homeschooling in high school. Younger son loves science and also likes reading about explorers so I was going to get Boorstin's The Discoverers for him to read. I thought it was the shortest of this series of books.
At the Chapel Hill Library, I found that I was wrong. At over 700 pages, it's only 100 pages shorter than The Creators. The Seekers is actually the shortest of the three at 351 pages. I got The Discoverers out anyway just to take a look at it and see if I wanted to recommend it to younger son.
However, I got it out a week before the opening night of the musical so I didn't get around to checking the book out right away. After a few days, it disappeared from its spot on the kitchen island because younger son decided to read it. He's enjoying it, and, if he's still reading it by the time can no longer be renewed, I'll just order a copy. It would be a good book to have (I was surprised we didn't already have it since we have the other two).
My books... of which there are a lot. I've kind of gone crazy reading this last half year since I've started really enjoying it again. I've been keeping track of what I've read/am reading in Goodreads, and I'm currently in the middle of twelve thirteen books.***
I've been getting allergy shots since last March, and I've had a few reactions. I always wait in the office for about 45 minutes to make sure I don't have a reaction.**** It's a wonderful time to read. In my allergy shot bag, I currently have On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs: Teaching, Writing, Playing, Believing, Lecturing, Philosophizing, Singing, Dancing. It's the sort of book that I only read a chapter or two of at a time and then think about it. I just finished The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. This Robin Hood story started a bit slowly, but it turned out to be as beautiful a version as I'd expect from her. I'm also reading Oh Myyy!: There Goes the Internet by George Takei which is as funny as I expected.
[Later addition: I'm now also back into reading Adventures with Old Houses, which younger son recently finished. It's a large book to bring into the allergist's office.]
At the times when I have the most attention (which is not when I might be having an allergic reaction) and ability to savor a book, I'm reading Little, Big, one of dear husband's favorite books, and a beautiful fantasy, and Amadeus.
And, at various other times, depending on what I feel like at the moment, I'm rereading Going Postal, another wonderful Discworld book by Terry Pratchett, and reading Lackadaisy, a graphic novel recommended by other family members, It All Turns on Affection, essays by Wendell Berry, and Searching for God Knows What, which I've posted about before and which got buried under a pile of other books.
I used to read while eating breakfast, but younger son has gotten past the sleep-until-ten-am part of his growth spurt so Hiking NC's Blue Ridge Mountains, which was my breakfast book, is still unfinished.
I stopped reading out loud when younger son hit his growth spurt and started sleeping in. I had been reading The Sword and the Stone out loud at breakfasts (back when he ate breakfast later than I did). We both recently mentioned that we need to get back to that.
I injured my hand back in June, and gripping anything hurt - which means no spoons, spatulas, etc. Since I couldn't cook, I read out loud to dear husband while he cooked, and then, of course, the guys came in and listened too. I read parts of Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson, which is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Since then, I've read essays in The Art of the Personal Essay and The Americans: Fifty Talks on our Life and Times.
Last weekend, however, on a rainy Saturday evening while dear husband was making dinner, I started reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making out loud (post here), and all the guys enjoyed it.
What a wonderful world to have so many books in it!
* No current plans, but his intern job ends this fall.
** If you follow an author on Facebook, you find out these things.
*** I started another before finishing this post.
**** You only have to wait 20 minutes, but I hate having a reaction on the way home so I wait longer.