View From The Glen

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wha To Read (aka: Summertime Blues)

I love reading. Love it. Which is why it's odd that I haven't been doing very much of it recently. Recently being - oh the last six months or so.

When I ask myself why, there is no good answer. I have been spending a lot of energy writing this past year and maybe that's where the book mojo has gone. But there is more to it than that. I find more and more that though I still buy new books that I absolutely MUST READ (The Bishop's Man; Devil's Brood;  Nikoloski; New York) they sit unopened on my shelf because I am not quite prepared to crack open something new.

Am I getting conservative in my advancing age? Perish the thought!

I used to read everything and anything. In my mind I'm still up for it, but the reality is proving different. I'm half-hearted when it comes to new books, don't give them a chance and if they don't grab me in the first 50 pages, I read on with reluctance.

When I do sit down to read, I want to know it's a good book, and often end up re-reading favourites. This fascinates me because I often have a different perpective upon re-reading books. But it's not exactly open-minded, is it?

Making my reading list for the summer, I was consious that the only "new" book for me was Dan Brown's latest - and even that is at the bottom of the pile. I did just read Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed for my book club, which provoked some excellent discussion last night over fresh fruit and wine, but I'm left trying to  figure out if it is me or if there is just nothing out there to inspire me right now.

What books inspire you? How do you pick them? Have you ever picked a book by its cover alone and loved it? (I have).

Dish the dirt, I want to know.


Julie said...

Might I suggest - Wicked, I don't know how closely the musical follows the book but it can't hurt. I found it entertaining.

L. K. Below said...

Wicked was a good book. Wish I could have seen the musical.

I just recently read Just A Hint, Clint by Lori Foster, and that's an amazing one. If you've never read Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrel, trust me, you want to. It is a fantasy, but the way she writes it makes it sound like it was written in the 1800s, when it's set. Or one of my favourite classics was Cyrano de Bergerac, though I cried at the end.

I choose the book by a combination of things. I don't have much time to read anymore, either, so I start by checking to see if my favourite authors have any new books. If not, or if something (yes the title and/or cover) catches my eye, I read the back blurb and maybe the first paragraph. Usually I know by then whether or not it's something I want to read.

Denise Nielsen said...

WIcked is an excellent plan - thanks Jules! And Lindsay - Strange & Norrel was on my list a few years back but I never got to it so maybe this is an opportunity to do that. And I love Cyrano de Bergerac. I might revisit some of my favourite classics - that's always a good idea.

Leanne Haines said...

I picked up Wicked yesterday, along with three other bargain books that I chose just for the cover or synopsis that intrigued me. Denise, I don't know how you find time to read! When I was working part-time books just barely made it onto my radar. How you work, write, parent and still find time for books is beyond me! Do you sleep?

I just finished The White Queen (on your recommendation, I believe) and I really enjoyed it. I'm reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven right now, started yesterday, for a book club. Next I'm heading into Still Alice (which I bought with you last summer), and I really want to get to the last Harry Potter soon. I'm reading The Goblet of Fire with Connor right now, and it has me itching to finish the series. I have a million unread books on my shelves, too. Don't know why I go back to the library and the bookstore... but I just can't help myself. The Last Symbol was good. I read it in the hotel while we were waiting for our moving truck to arrive. I really enjoyed Committed, too. I should have joined your book club online, but I think we had soccer that night. I'm saving Wicked for vacation. Only 25 more days until I'm back in NB!

Sorry for the long comment! I think we need to have a phone chat about books soon!

Finola said...

We read a lot of the same books. I read New York after Christmas, read the Bishop's Man for book club, and am reading Nikoloski right now.

For the summer I was going to pick up The Help. I think it's a lighter book, but I'm not too sure actually.

I do find that now that I'm doing more writing, that I don't take as much time to read as I used to. I really wish I could retire...

Denise Nielsen said...

Finola, we'll have lots to talk about at BOLO! Like our plans for retirement:) Lee, would love to phone chat with you sometime. Wow! So old-fashioned!

Bluestocking said...

I know what you mean about losing interest in reading when you spend so much time writing. I have to force myself to pick up a book in my to read pile. And then force myself to get through that first couple of chapters. But by then I'm usually invested enough in the plot and characters to keep going. I think it's just hard to switch from writerly mode to reading mode. Best of luck with your summer reading, though. If you find any tricks, be sure to share!