Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Sunday Salon: My Weekly Reading and (Not) Reviewing

I am a world-class procrastinator. If there were an Olympics for putting things off, I could delay for the US of A. I've actually done pretty well with my reading so far this year – six books finished, and three more started. But I've only written two reviews. Plus, I have at least four or five reviews I've never written for books I read in 2008. And I really want to write the reviews – I just can't seem to make myself write. Yes, I can hear you saying, "Stop whining, and just sit down and do it, already!" That's exactly what I've been telling myself.

But I haven't been completely dormant this week. This is what I've been doing instead of writing those reviews:

Started reading Land of Marvels, by Barry Unsworth. This was an ARC that I received last week, even though the book is actually out now. Haven't got very far into it, but it's billed as a "thriller set in 1914," so I'm thinking it might fit into my reading for the Suspense-Thriller Challenge (Historical Thriller sub-genre).

Started reading Index to Murder, by Jo Dereske. This is one of the Miss Zukas mystery series, about librarian and amateur sleuth Helma Zukas. I'm reading this one mainly for the 2009 Reading Challenge associated with the MysteryReaderCafe Yahoo Group ("new-to-me author").

Continued reading The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I've only gotten a few chapters into this one and I'm still reserving judgment, but so far it's not really grabbing me. But it's a relatively long book and I've seen a lot of favorable reviews of it, so I'm going to stick with it a little longer and hope it picks up.

Spent way too much time playing with my Good Reads account. I've had it for quite a while now, but I'm just getting around to adding books. I still prefer LibraryThing as my main cataloguing site. But I have accounts at Shelfari and Good Reads, too; and I'm using them mainly to keep track of books I've read and books I intend to read someday. Don't know which I'll like better – they each have their different attractions.

Found yet another challenge that I'm thinking about signing up for. Yes, I know I'm seriously challenge-addicted, but I've already finished one this year, The Winter Reading Challenge – though I've yet to write all the reviews or the wrap-up post (more procrastination – I'm definitely going for the Gold). So there's room for one more now, right? Anyway, the new entry is The Guardian's 1000 Novels Challenge, hosted by Jennie of Biblio File, and based on a list (compiled by the British newspaper, The Guardian) of the 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Before They Die. It runs through February 2010, and involves reading ten books from several different categories (you can read more about the challenge, and sign up here). I was surprised, when I looked at the list, at how many of the books I've already read. But there are hundreds of interesting titles still to be read, many of which I've already got on my lists this year, for one challenge or another. So this one really does look doable.

And that's pretty much it. Oh, I also spent a considerable amount of time searching for something to replace the Stanley Desk Journal refills I've been using for years now. They came from Levenger, and fit into really nice refillable leather covers. But they seem to have been discontinued, like most of the products I use. Bummer. So I guess it's Moleskine from now on.


  1. I'm really impressed by your desire to sign up for challenges! It seems that every time I make myself a list, I avoid it at every possible opportunity. Somehow this doesn't apply to ARCs, because I love having a little schedule for those. I make no sense!

    Good luck with your reviews!

    Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

  2. I usually read one book at a time, stopping to write when a thought comes to me. By the time I've finished the book, I've almost finished the review. I do this because I don't trust myself to remember! I really don't think I'd be able to write after reading several other books.

    I guess we all have our way of doing things. Just be you.

  3. I thought "The Time-Traveler's Wife" was heart-wrenching and I recommend it to everyone. However, if it hasn't grabbed you after the first few chapters you should probably skip it. I also found that it isn't a book you can pick up and put down. To enjoy it, you have to let the mood envelop you and it dissipates if you set the book aside for a few days.

    I have accounts on all three book cataloging services, too. For about a month, I bounced between the three of them trying to decide which one I like the most. I found that LibraryThing has too many features for someone like me, a non-librarian who doesn't buy books. Shelfari has a prettier interface and is favored by my teenage daughter. I ultimately settled on Goodreads because that is where most of my online friends have accounts. I like being able to see what they are reading so I can get book recommendations.

    (BTW, thanks for commenting on my blog.)

  4. I love goodreads, if I start keeping my books at too many places I'll forget which one has what and did I add this to that one or was it the other one...I think I would win the silver for procrastination!! I know it is not good for me but for some reason I can't seem to stop doing it!

  5. I have Land of Marvels to read as well, I'm curious to see what you think about it!

  6. You sound very organised Joy! A couple of books there I wouldn't mind reading too.


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