Sunday, February 01, 2009
***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.