When My Eyes are Bigger Than My Stomach

Do you:

  • Ever have moments when you walk into the library and you want everything you see?*
  • Pick up book after book, taking them home though you know it might be awhile before you’re able to get to read them?
  • Look at those books longingly as they linger unread on your shelves?
  • Guiltily return your stack of books to the library unread and sometimes even late?

*Of course, this situation also applies to bookstores.

If you answered yes to two or more questions, then you have a case of your eyes being bigger than your reading stomach.

I have a case of this right now. There are so many books currently being published that sound amazing. I’ve been checking out stacks of books from the library, though the only way I will get to them is if I took a few weeks off from everything to just read.

For me, one of the side effects from this bookish condition is guilt. My bookshelves are stuffed with unread books and instead of trying to read what I own, I’m constantly picking up books that blogging friends have raved about. I often find new-to-me authors that way but my shelves are collecting dust.

While I think there’s no cure for having such a huge reading appetite, I’ll probably cut back on what I check out from the library for now. It would be nice to read some of the books I’ve own for a year or so.

What do you do when your reading eyes are bigger than your stomach? Do you just go with it or try to cut back on what you check out from the library or accept from publishers?

Sunday Salon

Morning! I’m starting to think that hell is Daylight Savings Time. It seems a bit unnatural to be up so early.

It’s day four of my NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) experiment. I’m starting to find it hard to come up with something to say. I have plenty of writing prompts in front of me but getting pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard is proving to be hard. I usually blog only when I have something to say.  For November, I have to find something to say every day.  I missed posting yesterday but I’m not letting that stop me from finishing the rest of the month.

Last week was a week of starts and stops. I kept picking up books, read a few pages, and putting them back down. Part of the problem has to do with the fact that I’m in the middle of three non-fiction reads: The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our HealthAnd a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong, and The World’s Religions by Huston Smith (for school). I needed a light fictional read and couldn’t find the right one. I still haven’t found one but I do have a great list of books to choose from.

Yesterday, Publishers Weekly posted their list of the Best Books of 2012. My tbr list has expanded and I’ve started placing holds for many of the books listed. You can find my short thoughts on the list here. In my post, I’m asking for recommendations on some of the best books you’ve read this year.

I’m off to read. What are you reading today?

Sunday Salon: What I’m looking forward to in October

 

Morning! How’s your weekend going? Bloggiesta started Friday and I’ve been working my butt off. I’ve accomplished a lot and still have a few tasks left to do such as writing two more reviews and coming up with a few more blogging ideas for next month.

Tomorrow is the first day of October and there are a few events that I’m looking forward to such as:

Banned Books Week. Today is the start of Banned Books Week! Readers all over the United States will be celebrating our freedom to read. Did you know that not only has John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men has been banned and challenged in several states throughout the country but it’s also been banned in Ireland? Or that Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, a children’s book, has been banned because of nudity? To celebrate the week, I started re-reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, a book that is still required reading in some schools around here. I ended up staying up the rest of the night to finish it. It’s a classic for a good reason. To find discussions going on about banned books during the week, the Twitter hashtag is #bannedbooksweek

Carl (Stainless Steel Droppings) is hosting The Graveyard Book read-along as part of the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril (R.I.P. VII) Challenge. The read-along starts tomorrow and ends on the 21st. Everyone’s welcome to join. The Graveyard Book is a story that I’ve liked but didn’t love. There’s something about it that makes me want to read it again though so I’m participating.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon! October 13th, the lovely ladies over at Estella’s Society (Andi and Heather) will be hosting the latest read-a-thon. For those who don’t know, the event is one huge celebration dedicated to reading. Often, we don’t have enough time to read what we want to when we want to. The event is a day that participants dedicate to mostly reading. There are a lot of fun mini-challenges and food is often a huge topic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve participated but I’ve only missed two read-a-thons so far. There’s still time to sign-up to participate or even work behind the scenes.

Lu (Regular Rumination) is hosting a dual read-along of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. She’s calling the read-along The Wicked Circus. The read-along goes on throughout October and wraps up the last week of the month. Twitter hashtag: #wickedcircus

Book-buying and library-borrowing ban along with The Book Monsters Review Copy Wipeout. One of the resolutions I made back in January was to read as many review copies as possible by the end of the year. I’ve been doing okay but October is pretty much here and I still have 27 review copies left on my Nook and bookshelves.  27!! I would shame myself and show you my overstuffed bookcases as proof but my camera’s batteries are dead. 18 of my review copies are from this year and the rest are from last year. I’ve already read six of them, now I just need to review them. That’s about seven books a month to read. I think it’s doable. To keep me going with this, I’ve decided to join The Book Monsters Review Copy Wipeout since they have the same goal only dedicated to their 2012 review copies.

Last event but definitely not the least, Halloween! I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays, tied only with Thanksgiving because I love to eat. This year is slightly different though. For my Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion class, my fellow classmates and I are required to wear costumes! I haven’t worn a Halloween costume in years. I have no idea what I want to dress up as. Any suggestions?

In other news: Aarti’s A More Diverse Universe blog tour was a success! More than 90 people participated and 106 reviews were posted. If you haven’t checked out the tour, I think you should. I’ve added many new bloggers to my feed reader and my tbr list has grown a lot in the past week.

Also: I have a reader survey up. I would love it if you took a minute or two to give me your thoughts on this blog and what I can do to improve it.

Whew! This is a long post. I’m off to read and continue Bloggiesta. How are you spending this weekend? What are you looking forward to in October?

Sunday Salon: July reading plans

Morning! It’s about 9 a.m. here and already it’s warm. Why?! The weather is crazy all over the United States right now so if you’re on the East Coast, I hope you’re keeping cool. If you’re anywhere that’s flooding, I hope you’re safe and dry.

June was one of those rare reading months where the quality was WAY better than the quantity. I read fourteen books, mostly children’s books with the kids. Every adult book that I read last month was fantastic. I read:

  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna Rating: 5/5
  • Fables Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham Rating: 5/5
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin Rating: 5/5
  • The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter Rating: 5/5

The kids and I also read some amazing children’s books like:

  • Boy + Bot  by Amy Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino Rating:  5/5
  • How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan Rating:  5/5
  • Extra Yarn by Marc Barnett Rating:  5/5
  • And Then it’s Spring by Julie Fogliano Rating:  5/5

Now that July is here, I’m hoping to have another great reading month. Jill (The Magic Lasso) is bringing back Orange July: a month-long celebration where participants read at least one Orange Prize nominee or winner in July. I’m signed up and there are so many great-looking books that I want to read like The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard and Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan to Kathleen Winter’s Annabel and A Mercy by Toni Morrison.

I also put myself on a summer-long new book ban. My bookcases are filled with unread books so for the rest of the summer, I won’t buy or check out any books for myself. I can read the library books that I have checked out but I’m not renewing them. Think of it as my summer version of C.B.’s TBR Double Dare. I did have a small buying binge yesterday but it was mostly short stories from Tor.com.

So those are my plans for July. What are your plans for the month?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey. Each week bloggers are encouraged to share their reading plans for the week.

Since it’s National Poetry Month, I usually post a video of some sort but I’m having a little blogging emergency. One of my resolutions for 2012 was to post at least 100 reviews this year. I am so behind. It doesn’t help that the longer I stay away from reviewing books, the harder it is to get back to it. So I’m writing this post to state publicly that if I don’t post three reviews this week, I will give away three more books. It’s important to me to write more often, so hopefully this is the push that I need since I really want to read every book I own.

This week I’m reading:

  • The Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (currently reading)
  • Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened  by Jason Rodridguez
  • The Perils of Morning Coffee by Alexander Mccall Smith
  • Food Rules by Michael Pollan
  • One book off of my tbr list

PostcardsMorning Coffee, and Food Rules are all less than 100 pages so I should be able to finish them in no timeWhat are you reading this week? What do you do when you have trouble writing reviews? Any tips?

Spring Reading Thing 2012

March 20, 2012 – June 20, 2012

Hosted at Callapidder Days

If you didn’t know that today was the first day of spring, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking out my window. It’s nice and cold outside, perfect winter weather. So it seems a little funny to be making a list of books I want to read for spring. I missed last year’s Spring Reading Thing, a seasonal “challenge”, and I refuse to miss it again this year.

I decided to dedicate this year’s SRT to my many stacks of unread books. This idea came to me yesterday after “finding” an under-bed shoe storage filled with books. I think that’s one of the great things about Spring Reading Thing is that participants are encouraged to make goals. It’s not just the amount of books to read but anything else you can think of.

One of my goals is to read at least fifteen of my own books within the next three months. It doesn’t have to be the fifteen books on this list but it needs to be fifteen. I’ve own The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot since its publication in 2009. I even pre-ordered it and still haven’t read it. If I don’t read it by the end of this challenge, I’m going to give it away to my local public library. Which leads me to my second goal:

  • Give away at least ten books by June 20th. If I don’t miss the 30+ books under my bed, I won’t miss the ten that I plan on giving away. I’m thinking of this as my own bookish spring cleaning.

Last but not least is to have at least one read-along with my daughter. She’s ten and hasn’t read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett yet. It’s been a reading tradition of mine to read it every spring. I already bought her the book and movie version. Now it’s time to read it to her. Maybe I’ll give her a package of seeds to go with it. I think she’ll like that. If the read-along is a success, we can add Natalie Babbit’s Tuck Everlasting in June. It’s one of my favorite summer reads.

My pool of books:

  1. Head Off and Split by Nikki Finney (poetry)
  2. Land to Light On by Dionne Brand (poetry)
  3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (non-fiction)
  4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (non-fiction)
  5. Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson (middle grade)
  6. The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
  7. A Mercy by Toni Morrison
  8. Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech (poetry)
  9. The Humming Room by Ellen Potter (middle grade)
  10. Sula by Toni Morrison
  11. Alcestis by Katharine Beutner
  12. What Looks Like Crazy on An Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
  13. No Regrets Parenting by Harley A. Rotbart (non-fiction)
  14. The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman
  15. Among Others by Jo Walton (young adult)
  16. The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
  17. Wonder by R.J. Pollacio (middle grade)
  18. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (young adult)
  19. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (middle grade)
  20. Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith (middle grade)
  21. The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon (middle grade)
  22. Cousins by Virginia Hamilton (middle grade)
  23. An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor (non-fiction)

So that’s what I’m planning this spring. Have you started thinking about your spring reading? Are you joining Spring Reading Thing this year?

Summer reading and looking ahead

Summer is almost here by Leland

Yesterday was the last day of the semester and I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I love the excitement of a new semester with teachers that I usually haven’t had before on classes that I’ve been waiting to take. But the end of a semester brings its own share of excitement: the stacks of books that I can read without interruptions.  For the next four weeks I can read as much as I want while the kids are still in school. After that I can still read a lot but not as much since the kids will be home with me most of the summer.  So I feel a little (just a little) pressure to make every second of this time count.

Last night I started reading Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write about Real Sex edited by Erica Jong (June 2011). It’s a collection of essays , short stories, and even a comic from a variety of writers and artists about sex and love and everything that comes along with it. Note: This is not romance. Romance is talked about in the book but don’t think of romance novels or anything of the sort when you think about Sugar in My Bowl. Some of the authors featured in the collection include Rebecca Walker, Eve Ensler, and Julie Klam.  So far the writing is smart and funny. I love Jong’s introduction and how she admitted that most of the authors featured wouldn’t agree to be a part of the collection until their partners said yes. It made me think: would a male writer asked his partner if it was okay to be in a collection about sex?

Review copies

I’m also reading The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey. The novel is about an English couple who have spent decades in Trinidad and their marriage in the midst of the country’s political unrest. It appeared on the Orange Prize for Fiction’s longlist along with Rosie Allison’s The Very Thought of You (July 2011). The Very Thought of You has been on my reading list since the beginning of the year when  Jill from The Magic Lasso shared an article about the book. Set during WWII the book is about a young girl, Anna, who’s  sent to the Yorkshire countryside to live with a childless couple. Anna ends up being a witness to an affair and the consequences of it. The book has received mixed reviews but I can’t wait to read it. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt is a book that I’ve read only positive things about. I don’t read westerns but if this book is half as good as the hype surrounding it and the cover, I know that I’m going to enjoy it.

From my tbr shelves and lists

I love reading stories by and about women so I’m looking forward to The Secret Lives of Bab Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin, Tillie Olsen’s classic short story collection Tell Me a Riddle, and The Girl who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow.

Read-alongs

Have you noticed that some of the best read-alongs are hosted during the summer?Allie over at A Literary Odyssey is hosting a read-along of The Iliad while the lovely Belleza is asking others to join her as she reads Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad that starts May 23rd, which is just a few days away. Atwood is an author that I’m pretty intimdated to read so I think The Penelopiad would be a great start. Of course there’s also my read-along  of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns which will be going on throughout June. There’s also the Woman Warrior (Maxine Hong Kingston) read-along over at Feminist Classics. It seems like this is a book that everyone read in high school – except me. I plan on changing that.

And last but not least, what would a summer be like without re-reading a few favorite books? I first read Beloved by Toni Morrisonduring last year’s Christmas break and it was easily the best book of 2010. I can’t wait to read it all over again along with American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I plan on giving it a dual reading once again: in print and audio. Every time I even think about this book, I wonder if I should change my major back to anthropology.

So that’s a few books that I’m looking forward to reading over my summer break. What books are you looking forward to tackling this summer?

Sunday Salon

Reading

The first thing my 11-year old sister did once she woke up this morning was to pick up the books that she’s currently reading, and sit in front of the heater. She ended up reading for more than an hour. Watching her made me wonder when was the last time I did that? I used to have a morning ritual of drinking coffee while reading but I stopped. I need to go back to that. Nowadays I squeeze reading into my day. I read while waiting for the bus or at night when I can’t sleep but I haven’t carved out time to read. How do you incorporate reading into your day? Do you carve out time to read or read whenever you can?

March reading stack

Once again I didn’t read much from my February reading stack. I read two books from the stack: Lonely by Emily White and Someone Else’s Garden by Dipkita Rai. Both were great reads. Instead of posting a photo of my March reading stack so I think I’ll just share with you a few books I’m looking forward to read next month.

Madre by Liza Blakewell has been in my tbr pile for over a month now. I first heard about this book from Jen at Devourer of Books.

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. This was on the syllabus for the children’s literature class I signed up for this semester. Unfortunately I had to drop the class when one of the kids became sick.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. I’ve read so many great things about this foodie memoir but unfortunately my library only had the audio book of this. Who buys an audio book of a memoir that has recipes? I was finally able to get this at a discount, so I bought it.

I Love Yous are For White People by Lac Su. There was much media coverage for Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua which led to so many discussions about tiger moms and parenting. Lac Su grew up with very strict parents who fit the “tiger” description. Instead of helping, the discipline hurt him and he ended up joining a gang and fighting again low self-esteem that he still has to deal with as an adult. I can’t wait to read this.

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow. I’ve heard great things about this book. Durrow is having a book signing at my little-bitty school so I’m so excited!

So now I’m off to continue reading the page-turning Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. What are you reading this Sunday? Any books you’re looking forward to reading in March?

Finally. . .The TBR Dare

When I first heard of CB’s TBR Dare back in December, I knew it was the kind of dare that I needed. As much as I love my overflowing bookcases, I would love it even more if I knew the content of the books stacked on those cases.  I pledged to read at least 25 books from my TBR pile before the dare ends on April 1st. Since my pledge, I’ve only read five books off my shelves. *sigh*

I know some people reading this would wonder what’s the big deal about having bookcases overflowing with unread books. When Nymeth wrote her great review of Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels almost two years ago, I immediately bought the book. I still haven’t read it. So many bloggers read and recommend a lot of books that sound absolutely fantastic and I often buy those books based on their recommendations. The problem is that those books usually linger for months or years on my shelves before I decide to either read them and give them away. I often just give them away. What a waste.

So I publicly pledging to read the remaining twenty books between now and April 1st. I’ve read some amazing things about the books in my tbr pile like Big Machine by Victor LaSalle, Among Others by Jo Walton, and Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. I’ve already started a few books in my TBR pile and I can’t wait to share my thoughts of them with you.

Have you read a book out of your TBR pile lately?