Reading Goal: Update 5

I haven’t been reading as much as usual recently. I went out to Washington last week and spent the time socializing with Calvin and my mom, working, and going to bed when Calvin did. This didn’t allow much time for reading.

I only took two physical books with me and those were for Calvin on the plane. The rest were ebooks. I did get through one of them and started, but have not finished, two others. However, on the way home I got a craving to read a “real” book. I have never seen myself as being a snob that is hung up on the format of a book. I have always considered Audio books to be “real” books, perhaps even more real than print books since storytelling predates written language. However, while sitting in the Portland airport waiting for our plane I had an overwhelming urge to feel a traditional print book in my hands. As soon as we finished our supper I dragged a protesting Calvin over to Powells 1.

After arriving at Powells I browsed the sale books and then moved toward the back of the store to peruse the SF and Fantasy books. However, nothing was speaking to me so I decided to wander over to Young Adult. On the way, Calvin convinced me to buy him Otis and the Puppy. Once we made it to Young Adult I was delighted to see that a hardback copy of Graceling was available for only $6.98. I had been meaning to buy it so I grabbed it up and happily re-read it on the plane ride back to Denver.

I would have read more this week except I got side-tracked watching Going Postal which was a British TV movie based on the fantastic Going Postal book by Terry Pratchett2. I thought the TV adaption was decent. I liked some of the modifications they did but not others. I was particularly distressed by the decision to leave out Annoia, minor as her role might have been.

Books I’ve finished recently:

  • Short Stories: More Malice Domestic – This had a decent number of mysteries that I enjoyed. Some more than others but it was still fairly pleasant to listen to. Now I should go back and find the names of the authors whose stories I particularly enjoyed. Maybe that’ll help me fill my mystery quota.
  • Christian Fiction: Vicious Cycle, by Terri Blackstock – The plot resolved around drug addiction and abuse, not my favorite subjects, but I did like the story better than the first Christian Fiction novel I read.
  • Poetry: Ekaterinoslav: One Family’s Passage to America: A Memoir in Verse, by Jane Yolen – I was browsing the Erie library poetry section in hopes of finding something I’d be able to muddle through when I came across this volume. I have trouble getting poetry, too prosaic I think. However, I have read some of Yolen’s stuff before, most recently Briar Rose, and have found her to be a very good writer. Plus, the book was thin, only 53 pages. Ekaterinoslav is the story, in poetry form, of how the author’s family came to live in the United States. It was good. I particularly liked 3 the poem titled “Cholera”. Yolen wrote in the introduction that her grandmother had two or three children, she’s not sure of the exact number, who died in a Cholera outbreak that only left her with one child. She felt God was punishing her. Then she had twin girls and many more children. Yolen says, “Then she was convinced that G-d had forgiven her . . . though I am not certain Mina ever forgave G-d.” This provides context for the poem which ends, “How could she get up,/ now knowing God’s casual mathematics, / the subtraction that so divided/ her uncountable heart.”

Currently Reading:

  • Short stories: Epic – I requested this anthology from the library after giving up on Gaiman. I requested it because N.K. Jemisin has a story in it and her stuff tends to be really good. Plus, it has a lot of other short stories by famous authors whose books I haven’t read yet. I figured it might provide a nice sampling to see if I want to try any of the novel-length works of the other authors. However, what I had not noticed until I got the book is that it’s fairly large at 607 pages. I had considered taking it to Washington with me but eventually decided I didn’t have the luggage space for it. As a result, I’m only to page 150. I do think I’m going to make it all the way through though. I like some stories more than others but haven’t hated any of them yet. I haven’t gotten to Jemisin’s short story yet.
  • Realistic Fiction4: The Expats, by Chris Pavone – The premise kind of interested me: an ex-CIA operative who decides to become a “normal” housewife and move overseas to support her husband in a new job only to discover things aren’t as they seem. However, I’m a fourth of the way through and not entirely sure if I’m going to stick it out or not.
  • Juvenile Fiction: Into the Wild, by Erin Hunter – I’ve heard my manager’s daughter is (was?) really into this series so I decided that was as good a way as any to find juvenile fiction books to fill my quota. It’s a fantasy based in our world but written from the perspective of a former “kittypet” who decides to abandon his “twolegs” owners and join a wild cat community. I’m about half-way through. I could definitely see the appeal to a juvenile audience but I think I might be too old to truly appreciate the book.
  • Realistic Fiction: I just started listening to Sushi for Beginners, by Marian Keyes – This is chick lit. Chick lit is suppose to be lighthearted and fun. However, the first chick lit book I read left me feeling really stressed by the protagonist’s inability to prioritize financial independence over shoes. *gah* I read a couple others after that but they all seemed to have a fanatical devotion to fashion at the cost of practically everything else. It drove me nuts. However, I was needing to get another audiobook so reluctantly decided to give Sushi for Beginners a try. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Yes, fashion does appear but so far it hasn’t usurped the show. Plus, so far the women seem fairly sensible, though I suppose that could change.

Current Goal Counts:

Category Goal Number Read
Best Sellers 2 1
Biography, Autobiography, Memoir 2 2
Fiction Books Jaeger Recommends 2 1
Christian Fiction 2 2
Graphic Novels 2 2
Historical Fiction 2 0
Informational 2 1
Juvenile Books 12 4 and 1 in progress
Literature 2 1
Mystery 2 0
Poetry Anthologies 2 1
Realistic Fiction 2 2 in progress
Short Story Anthologies 2 1 and 1 in progress
Total 36 16
  1. Every airport should have a Powells. I get so tired of visiting airports where the only reading selection is whatever is on the current NYT Bestseller list.
  2. To be honest, I don’t like reading Terry Pratchett’s books. However, I love listening to all the audio versions of his book. Perhaps I need a translator to get the humor right?
  3. Like isn’t the right word but I’m not sure what is.
  4. So, I called this category “Realistic Fiction” but what I really meant is a book that a random person might pick up in the library wherever “general fiction” is shelved.

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