Reading Is My Only Joy

Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy. Reading is my only joy.  Reading is my only joy.  Continue reading

Books to Read if You Love “Saturday” by Ian McEwan

Sometimes, when you really love a book, you think “man, I really like this book, I wish I had a million more like it.”  I’ve had this feeling here recently with Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment.  So good!  But unfortunately, it seems to be uniquely good.  It sort of defies comparison.  One contributor has described it as Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs meets Herman Koch’s The Dinner.  So far, I have found that to be very accurate.  But unfortunately I have already read both of those books.  So now what? Continue reading

Magical Library Book Recommender

For as far back as I can remember, I have strongly believed that libraries are just about the coolest places around.  I love the books, the ambience, the possibilities.  But I have come to realize that one of the most unsung yet greatest parts about libraries is their librarians.  Intelligent, helpful, bookish, they are great sources of information.  I have received many excellent book recommendations over the years from thoughtful librarians, especially Dunce One, aka The World’s Strongest Librarian.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge

Does anyone else do the Goodreads Reading Challenge?  I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, and really enjoy it.  Enjoy it, and hadn’t thought too much about it, until just recently when I read an article on, I believe it was Book Riot, where one of its submitters said she was taking a break from the Challenge, or at least dialing it way back, because of the hold it had taken on her life.  Granted, she had some ridiculous goal of reading something like 300+ books a year, and so found herself reading while eating, reading in the shower, reading instead of ever going out with friends, not sleeping so she could read, and reading junk just to fill a quota.  This is taking it to the extreme.  But I have experienced a micro version of some of these. Continue reading

Reading Hard Stuff

sleepersHaving just finished Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra, I was eager to see what others thought of the book.  I discovered an interesting phenomenon.  Some people enjoyed the book but gave it a low rating because of the dark and disturbing subject matter.  Others did not enjoy the writing, but gave it high marks because of the dark and disturbing subject matter, the thinking being that if it’s a true story and it makes you uncomfortable, it has to be “good.”  I think I fall somewhere in the middle.

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CliffsNotes: Wuthering Heights Edition

In digging through some boxes in my basement, I made a horrifying discovery.  Buried surreptitiously beneath some actual books and innocent-looking old school papers, I saw the ominous and telltale black and yellow that could only mean one thing: CliffsNotes.  A whole disgusting stack of them.  These were NOT mine.  Perish the thought.  As an English major, I had seen them, around, wasting valuable space on bookstore shelves and giving away many a literary underachiever.  I think/thought they are/were dirty, and cheap, and utterly repugnant.  I…would…NEVER!  Continue reading

What Is The Purpose of Literature?

Under-The-Net-Murdoch

Under The Net by Iris Murdoch

The purpose of literature is to show that other people exist–Iris Murdoch

While I’ve been traveling recently I’ve had more uninterrupted reading time than in the previous two months. On cramped airplanes and in hotel rooms that would be lonely if I hadn’t had my Kindle with me.

The pendulum swung far and it swung wide. I read books 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Continue reading