Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Salon

***Warning: I am feeling a tad "chatty" this morning. This portends a rambling, say-nothing-of-consequence post.

My first Sunday Salon post. Not sure what took me so long to sign up, because I absolutely LOVE reading everyone's posts. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy reading book reviews and couldn't imagine blogging without them, but there is just something I adore about reading posts where people just chat about books and reading. When Nymeth joined in last week, it was just the push I needed to finally go sign up. I know, I'm such a little copycat.

And speaking of being a copycat, I did a monthly wrap-up post for January. I always enjoyed reading Dewey's monthly wrap-ups so much. Despite the fact that it also made me feel like such a pathetic reader in comparison. :)

On the surface, my January reading list doesn't look all that horrible, but if you actually look closely, it's easy to see how little reading I actually got done. It's definitely one of those months when I look back and grumble a little in my head, "Man, if I didn't have to homeschool Annie, just think what I might have gotten read for fun." But I don't really mean that grumbling...1. I actually enjoy homeschooling, 2. I feel extremely lucky that I'm able to give Annie what she needs, and 3. I generally like all the stuff I read for homeschooling. But you know how it is...that whole "you MUST read this" feeling.

Anyway, while I didn't do so hot elsewhere, my short story reading was definitely up. And that makes me happy, because I really do love short stories despite the fact that I don't always seem to make enough time for them. I have Carl's mini-challenge for Dewey's Books Challenge to thank for the incentive for getting many of those read. Of all the ones I read, I think "The Fluted Girl" by Paolo Bacigulupi was probably my favorite. "Ass-Hat Magic Spider" by Scott Westerfeld was really great, too, in a very different way.

But you know what may have been my very favorite reading of the month? The essay "Bugs in the Brain" by Robert Sapolsky. This is proof that reading challenges are a good thing for me. Despite the fact that I fail to finish so many of them, they do get me reading things I probably never would read otherwise. In this case, if not for the Essay Reading Challenge, I never would have had the guts to pull Sapolsky's book, Monkeyluv and Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals, off the shelf and actually read something from it. I admit it, I get totally intimidated by so many books. Both fiction and non-fiction. I didn't use to be this way. I actually have my own suspicions of why that changed, but believe me, that's a whole new realm of rambling you don't want me to enter. Anyway, back to the essay...not only did I understand it, I absolutely loved it! I'm now so very excited to read his book, A Primate's Memoir. It's one of Rich's favorite books, and though he has repeatedly assured me it is not "above my head," I still doubted.

So, what's on today's reading slate? Well, first of all, I do hope to do some blog reading...I've been so inundated with other things the past week that my blog reading has suffered immensely. Secondly, I hope to read a few more chapters in Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader. (I am really loving this book!) Would also be great if I could make a little more progress in The Scientists by John Gribbin. (I'm enjoying this one as well, but it's slow going. Partially because when I read something for homeschooling, I take notes and write down questions for discussion and whatnot.) If possible, I'd also love to read another story from Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese. (Can't quite get a handle on what I think of this book yet.) And if I'm really lucky, maybe a few chapters in In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD. Yeah right, who am I kidding...I'll never get all that reading done today, but it's nice to have goals, right?

One thing, on a reading related front, that we will be doing today is buying blinds for our little library. I'm sooooo excited! After we get those up, I'll have to share photos. We (or I should say "I") still haven't painted the walls (that's just going to have to wait until summer), and we (or I should say "Rich") will probably build some more shelves. But once the blinds are up, it's as done as it's going to be for the time being. And let me tell you, we are absolutely loving it!

***Okay, no complaining...I did warn you right off the top.


Literary Feline said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! I enjoyed your chatty post. :-) I didn't get too much into short stories this month, but I have a few collections here that I do want to read (not to mention they are on my challenge lists).

I am glad you are enjoying the essay challenge. I considered joining that one but decided against it since I already had so much on my plate. Sometimes these challenges do take us places we least expected, that's for sure!

Good luck with the blinds shopping! Have a great week!

Eva said...

I love your chatty posts! :) And "The Fluted Girl" was one of my very favourite of the sci-fi reads too. Sounds like you have a busy reading day planned! We have guests coming over for the Superbowl, so I'm cooking pretty much all morning (I woke up a little early, so I get to read my blogs! yay!) and then I think it'd be rude to read while guests are here! lol

gautami tripathy said...

Welcome to Sunday Salon! Chatty posts are ok. I liked yours very much. You feel just like one of us!

January was well...very productive

Irish said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! I look forward to reading more of your "chatty" posts in the future.

Nymeth said...

Debi! I'm so happy you're doing the Sunday Salon too. I love your chatty posts :)

I'd say that your January list is a bit better than "not that horrible" :P But I know what you mean about reading for obligation...even if the obligatory stuff is stuff I enjoy, I just want to rebel and read something completely different. Maybe it's the 3-year-old in me :P

That Bugs in the Brain essay sounds great! And you got me very curious about both Monkeylub and A Primate's Memoir.

Also, please do share pictures of your library! I can't wait to see them.

Melody said...

I enjoyed reading your first Sunday Salon post, Debi! (And definitely looking forward for more!)

Glad to hear you've been reading a lot this month. I need to catch up on my reading...

Trish said...

LOL! I LOVE the chattiness. I do enjoy reading others' reviews, but my favorite posts are the more personal ones--Funny because I don't tend to post as many of those myself. Glad you joined Sunday Salon so I can read more about your reading adventures.

Chris said...

I love posts like this too :) Some of my favorite posts are those when book bloggers leave books and give us a peek into their lives :) I think I do too much of that though, lol.

I can't wait to see pictures of the library!!! I'm like super excited for y'all.

N.Vasillis said...

I'm glad you joined the Sunday Salon! I love this post. I need to start reading more short stories myself. Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!