Sunday, September 09, 2012

Here's a fun little reading check-in from Kelly at The Broke and the Bookish

(I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, intended to take pictures--because blogs are better with pictures--and then got distracted by a little thing called the Start of the School Year. So: no pictures...but blogs are also better with actual posts!  I'll come in with italics at the end of each answer to let you know whether any of my thoughts changed after writing this originally.)

1. The book I’m currently readingA Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin.  This is the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I originally began this series in about 2001 when there were two or three books, and the series has gotten a lot of publicity this last couple of years because of the HBO series Game of Thrones.  This summer I have reread all five.  It has been eye-opening to reread them all in one fell swoop--details I never noticed the first time around are suddenly Really Important, and most of one whole book was a complete surprise to me, likely because I was so excited for it to come out that I read it too fast the first time.  

I've stalled out on ADWD, though, maybe because I'm reading it as an ebook?  I bought it for my iPad (through the iTunes store) because I was traveling to teach at a workshop and didn't want to hoss the huge hardback along with all of my teaching materials.  I love that ebooks allow me to fit a 1500-page hardback into the same package that holds all of the Internet and fun games and helpful apps and my magazine subscriptions; however, I have found that my reading concentration dwindles when I can wander away from my book into the internet simply at the click of a button.   

Update: Got back into and am still reading this. Still loving it. 

2. The last book I finished: An Obvious Enchantment by Tucker Malarkey. Meh. This is the kind of Literary Fiction that takes itself far too seriously and that I am in grave danger of picking up again in two years because I have completely forgotten that I Already Read It.  

Update: I already don't remember the story or the main characters' names. I gave it to Goodwill.

 The next book I want to read I started reading English Creek by Ivan Doig back in January after my grandmother died.  (Doig was one of her favorite authors, and I'd never read anything by him.)  I just didn't have the concentration at the time, but it's still sitting next to my bed.  I want to read it next, theoretically, but instead, I'll probably read...  

Update: still on the nightstand.  And now I'm reading The Dog Star by Peter Heller for my book club.  Sorry, Mr. Doig and Grandma Helen!

4. The last book I bought: Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg. I absolutely love Simon Pegg as a writer and an actor--you may recognize him from "Star Trek," "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz."  He is hilarious and self-deprecating in that way that only British humorists can be. Nerd Do Well will be my palate-cleanser after the high-intrigue, high-drama, high-violence, and high-rape world of A Song of Ice and Fire.  

Update: I read this on my iPad.  Quick, funny, interesting, and not as well-written as I'd hoped, but ultimately worthwhile, especially if you are a Sci-Fi nerd, which I am, and/or like Pegg and his oeuvre, which I do. It made me seek out his first show, "Spaced," on Netflix. In the memoir, he walked an interestingly fine line between TMI (didn't need to know about your teenage sexual shenanigans, thankyouverymuch) and clearly drawn boundaries (he's married and has a child but hardly mentions either). I also learned some new British slang, which sometimes my iPad dictionary knew and sometimes it didn't.

5. The last book I was given: The free table at the library gave me The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory. I'm not a huge historical fiction buff but I have enjoyed Gregory's books a lot, and having just finished Will in the World, a really engaging and thought-provoking biography of Shakespeare, I am excited to dive into the Elizabethan world in fiction again as well. 

Update: My principal gave me a book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Fable, which she thinks I'll be interested in, and which is giving me major flashbacks to reading Who Moved My Cheese? in the 90's when I worked in sales and the company bought a copy for everyone to read because they thought it would help us be better workers with less complaining about change. I'll skim it and give it back.