I'd Rather Be Reading

December 09, 2011

I’m shamelessly stealing a page from Dani Torres’ blog (pun totally intended but not very good) and doing a library books post today… mostly because I’m snowed under by so much stuff I “should” be doing that I don’t want to do anything. And because when I went to the library to return things, a whole bunch of my requested books had come in AND I found a couple books at the Friends of the Library bookstore. You never know with the library request system. Sometimes books come right away, and other times it takes a week or more. I got all hot and bothered requesting books last weekend, and five of them came in all at once! This makes me simultaneously happy and stressed…happy because I love to have plenty of delicious books to choose from, and stressed because I’m worried I’ll have to give them back before I finish with them. Though I want to start on these right away, I’m already reading a novel (The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, which I am loving) and the last book for my “Off the Shelf” challenge (Why New Orleans Matters, by Tom Piazza, also excellent)

I know it’s crazy to have so many books hanging around waiting to be read, especially this time of year when I have so many other things to do. I can’t seem to help myself! See, here are the library books I picked up. Don’t they all sound tempting in their own ways?

Of Flowers and a Village, Wilfred Blunt. I can’t remember where I heard of this, but it sounds charming. This is a novel written in the form of “chatty letters” from a godfather to his goddaughter who is bedridden while recovering from an illness. The letters paint a picture of village life, combined with history, gardening knowledge and local lore.

The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life, William Nicholson. Laura, a happily married mother of two, begins to question her choices after her college boyfriend resurfaces after 20 years, comparing the passion of her first love with her current suburban life. Little does she know, she’s not the only one having a personal crisis in her small English village.

Civil War Wives, Carol Berkin. A peek into the lives of the wives of abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld, Confederacy President Jefferson Davis and Union commander Ulysses S. Grant. Publisher’s Weekly says, “[Berkin] wants to catch the realities of three privileged, yet restricted women and thus to reveal how even the most fortunate of wives—at least fortunate in the importance and celebrity of their husbands—struggled, not always successfully, to face down the difficulties of their sex. In this, [she] is entirely successful.”

Design*Sponge at Home, Grace Bonney. Design*Sponge is one of the most popular design sites on the web, and creator Bonney’s book contains home tours, DIY projects, before-and-after makeovers and more. I’m enamored of this table/library project...

What It Is, Lynda Barry. How to describe this book? It’s called a “writing how-to graphic novel” and one review commented, “Each page is a feast for the eyes with beautiful full-page collages of photographs, watercolors, ink drawings, and text, resulting in a gorgeous volume that explores and encourages writing in a combination of ways.” Sounds fun, yes?

My two bookstore finds were Mary Emmerling’s Romantic Country, and, ironically considering the state of my house and my mind, Karen Kingston’s Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.

It’s likely that while I “should” be wrapping gifts or writing Christmas cards, I’ll be reading. Oh, well. Maybe I can use reading time as a reward for getting my chores done?

Which book would you choose to start with?

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  1. I think it's interesting that you read more than one book at a time - I almost never do that. At least, not more than one novel at a time. I do sometimes read a novel and something else, like an art book. But I have enough trouble keeping one story straight! LOL!!

    That's quite a stack of books you brought home. I would probably start with The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life. Or maybe Of Flowers and a Village, or even Civil War Wives (to go with my Civil War Reading Challenge this year).

    Did you get The Paris Wife in NOLA? I know I saw it at the bookstore we went to, but I can't remember whether you bought it or told me you already had it.

  2. See, you'd have a hard time choosing, too! :) I don't usually read more than one novel at once, either, though I will often have one novel and several non-fiction books of varying subjects going at once. I truly didn't mean to get all these at once--what was I thinking??

    The Paris Wife is also a library book, and I checked it out after we got back from NOLA. I like it a lot, and it's a pretty easy read, so will probably finish tonight or tomorrow and can choose a new novel to start.

  3. Wow! Nice haul! Enjoy yourself no matter what you choose to go with first. I see several that have my attention.

    As for reading more than one novel at the time, it's quite common for my father to have as many as four on the go at the same time! He is a very fast reader, but how he keeps them straight, I have no idea!

  4. Isn't that always the case--they end up coming in all at one time--just when you know you can't possibly read them all but are still happy to take them all home! :) I always end up requesting lots of books when I check out the library's virtual new books list, though lately I've not had too many books on request--I still make up for it with books I find while browsing! I really liked Paris Wife and loved the Nicholson book when I read it last year. They all look good-have fun choosing!

  5. Laure--I'm impressed! I don't think I could manage four novels at a time--as fun as that might be!

  6. Danielle--It's fun to take them home and drool over them, even if you don't manage to read them all in the allotted time. As long as no one else is waiting for them, I can renew for up to nine weeks. That's usually plenty of time.

    I started Of Flowers and a Village last night--so far it's wonderful. Reminds me a little of the Provincial Lady books, though they really aren't that similar in characters or tone. Maybe it's the English village aspect?

  7. Well it sounds like you can be reading some while looking at others so you have a good combo here. I'm going to go look at the Civil War Wives one; that sounds interesting to me.

    When I have too much to do, like you, I find myself wanting to put it all aside for something else. I think it's just the feeling of being overwhelmed and where should you even start feeling but truthfully, I can get this way with a long pile of unread books too!

  8. Hi Kathy, thanks so much for your visit! I have been enjoying catching up on your posts this morning.

    I bet that Lesa would love to have you link up this book one on Monday on her Bargain Book Bonanza party ... that is where I will be telling about my Friends of the Library purchases. I will also be featuring author Jennifer Weiner on my post that day.

    I have really enjoyed your series on your trip to New Orleans. Your sketches are wonderful. What a great idea for a trip. Both you and my blog friend Anni have been there recently, and I really want to go back there too.

    Love the tradition that you and your neighbors have; what a blessing to have good friends for neighbors.

    Take care, and have a wonderful weekend,

    Kathy M.

  9. Timaree--too true, a big stack of unread books can stress me out and make me feel overwhelmed! It's silly, because it's not hard to return them, and check them out again when I have more time. An example of my making life harder than it has to be?

  10. Kathy--Thanks for visiting. I spent Saturday catching up on your posts, too, as you probably noticed! I'll have to check out Lesa's blog today.

    I'm very lucky to have had the NOLA experience, and to have friends as neighbors.