Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Schizophrenic Reading Life

I used to read one book at a time.  
I remember being in awe of people who could read numerous books at one time...thinking I would never be one of those people.
And, then, I became one.

My sidebar holds the book on my Nook, one on my Kindle, one on the nightstand, one in the classroom, one for my new book club, one in the car, one with the youngest, etc., etc.
I've never in my life been accused of only doing something halfway...if I'm going to do it, it's going to be done completely and to the very best (most exhausting) extent possible.
Essentially, I went nuts with the reading more than one book at a time thing.

The youngest and I read every night...but only a chapter or that read is an extended but ongoing one.  My goal is not to "complete" these reads...just enjoy them :) We switched last night from Junie B.  (review link) to some Hank the Cowdog.

Hank reminds me of the houd-dog Lafayette in the movie The Aristocats in the following clip:

Tina Fey's book Bossypants can be read in snippets...and I wasn't a Saturday Night Live fan at the time of her involvement with the while I've enjoyed her humor, I don't feel like I "can't put it down."  Hence, the "in my car" thing...
Parents do the strangest things in the pick up line, don't they?
At least I don't fall asleep like one mom did one afternoon...yes, really, this happened.
The rest of us just drove around youngest said please, please, don't ever do that, Mommy.  I promised her I would try.

I remember vaguely where I am with my Nook book, Sworn to Silence, ...but from the very first pages, it was intense and probably needs to be read alone...without distractions from others.  There's a sadistic and violent murderer on the loose...

My nightstand book, The Children of Henry VIII, feeds my Henry VIII addiction, and I like to savor it...a chapter at a time, then thinking, looking up stuff on the internet, etc.  Alison Weir is incredible with presenting history in narrative form...the text is deep, but it never feels muddy or clogged...No telling when I'll finish it...and I don't really want to ;)

I'm ashamed to admit that I joined my new book club 2 months ago...Townie was last month's selection, and Freedom was this month's...I've missed both meetings :(  I don't know what next month's selection is, and I'm almost embarrassed to ask.
I'm such a book club slacker. :(

The two books I'm focusing on right now are The House of Seven Gables and Cold Mountain.  I began The House of Seven Gables as a group read...but missed the group discussion.  I'm still reading it though bc it's a great Fall read...spooky, gothic, creepy and cold...I'm about 1/2 finished with it and can't wait to see what happens next to Hepzibah, the old maid who lives alone in her family's ancestral home until Phoebe, her young, pretty, happy cousin comes to live with her, and her damaged brother, Clifford shows up out of the blue one day...Last night while reading, I got my first clue as to who might be the instigator of something sinister...cue the eerie wind whistling through the trees....

My students in Comp II and I are reading Cold Mountain together...after doing the same old same old routine in this class semester after semester, I either needed to make some extensive changes or just go ahead and bash my head into the desk.
I decided (thank goodness) to make the changes.
Our research project spanned until midterm, and after midterm, we began our contemporary literature project. Cold Mountain was my selection; I've never read it and never seen the movie.  I wanted something like this so that I could have a genuine exploration of the novel and first responses right along with my students.
This class is a hybrid class with only 15 students remaining...we moved into one of the conference rooms today so that we can have nice cozy discussions on the pre-decided sections over the next four weeks (the class meets on Wednesdays only).
Since it is a class and they do get a grade, I let the students help me come up with the criteria for the discussions and the structure we'll follow...just in case there's a slacker I haven't spotted in the bunch :)
I've only read the first section of the novel so far...I've been introduced to Inman and was reminded of the novel March  (review link) by Geraldine Brooks.
I'm excited about this project and will be updating next week after our first discussion :)


  1. I loved Cold Mountain but I couldn't accept the ending! There's great discussion material in there. I'll be interested to hear how you and your students like it.

  2. I love that there are others like me who have so many different books in progress at one time...LOL House of Seven Gables is on my list. In Salem, Ma - the actually house is a very cool place to tour.

  3. I am a one book reader usually. Maybe I need to try your approach. Sworn to Silence was intense. It is not my usual type of read but I was fascinate with it.

  4. Oh my, you are very ambitious aren't you? A few of these look like things that I need to read, but I am doing my own little bit of book polygamy with two print books and two audio books going right now!

  5. Trish, I'll have to try hard not to look ahead now...I'm a sneaky "read the end first" kinda gal when I get too ancy...

    Diane, I've been to Boston but we didn't have time to go to Salem...I wanted to go soooo badly..

    Beth, Sworn to Silence got my attention from the first night I downloaded it...I think I got it for a special price. I realized quickly that it was one I would get hooked into pretty quickly and need an uninterrupted amount of time to finish it. Have you read any of the other books by Castillo?

    Zibilee, I love your "book polygamy" description ;) Reading for me is kinda like a buffet...sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach :)

  6. Your reading list is impressive and eclectic! I never have more than two going! I never thought of a "car" book! LOL!!! You'll love Cold Mountain!