Friday, November 30, 2007

book clubbing in November

It's the end of November, I can hardly believe it. Where has this year gone?

Like I mentioned yesterday, my book club met on Wednesday. This time we discussed The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue, a book inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem of the same title. Of course, I left my copy of the book at work so I don't have it with me to reference as I write this post (but, c'est la vie).

I first heard of The Stolen Child when a read my friend Janelle's review of the book. A number of us wanted to read the book, but I scheduled it far in advance in hopes that it'd be more readily available after it came out in paperback. Because of that time lag, I didn't remember much about the book. In fact, I didn't remember the most important thing about the book, which is that the faeries/hobgoblins/changelings in the story are creatures who were originally human children (in all the other changeling stories I've read -- most recently The Moorchild by Eloise Mcgraw -- the human children are stolen by beings of a completely distinct fantastical race). That twist on the changeling myth gives the novel much more weight. [I got pulled away to watch a movie on TCM]

In any case, my response to the book fell pretty much in line with the response of my other book club members. I (we) found the book compelling, but quite disturbing at times (it's hard to discuss details without including spoilers). The book was a challenging read, but definitely worth it (though I probably would not recommend it to parents of young children). There is so much detail, that the novel makes great discussion fodder for a book club. My one criticism of the book is that there are some completely unnecessary coincidences (two big ones), which made (at least for me) the story a little less believable.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Booking Through Thurday - Rolling (and apologies)

Yes, I haven't been posting. Things have been crazy here with catching up after jury duty and the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm sorry for neglecting the blog. I really am going to try to get back on track. Tomorrow I'll have the monthly book club report (we met yesterday) and with any luck I'll be able to eek out another post over the weekend. Thanks for being patient with me.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?
I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that... Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors...

Yes, I guess this does happen to me sometimes. In fact I have been know to read a bunch of books from a series in a row (though not from beginning to end, or at least not that I remember). Other times I get in the mood for a type of book: I'll feel an urge to read only mysteries for a week or two or have a real hankering for historical fiction (though I won't usually restrict myself to a particular time period). Usually, though, I try to mix it up. I do read a lot (last year I hit 200) so I find that when I read a bunch of the same kind of books in a row they tend to run together in my mind and I can have a hard time making distinctions between them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Booking Through Thursday - Preservatives

Re. writing notes in our books: Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

When I was in college, I took great joy in underlining and jotting notes in the margins of my books, but I don't really do that much anymore. Now (when I'm reading a book to review) I tend to take notes on a pad of paper and sometimes use little Post-it flags to mark particular words or lines.

While my college books were not disposable (I always planned to keep them all in my library), they were to some extent "working" copies. My highlighting and note-taking were part of my close reading of the texts and preparation for class discussions.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

jury duty

Yes, that's why I haven't been posting lately. I just haven't had much time to be on the computer (and I've been too worn out do much more than catch up on email when I have snuck onto the computer at home). The trial I'm on should be done by next Thursday so things should get back to normal at the end of next week.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Booking Through Thursday - Oh, Horror!

What with yesterday being Halloween, and all... do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?

I don't tend to read horror (though I did go through a phase in middle/high school where I did). Of course I do come across books that keep me up at night, but they don't necessarily belong to the horror genre. Sometimes things that happen in literary fiction (for example) can be just as if not more disturbing than things that happen in horror.

Speaking of Halloween, I did receive a couple spooky books this week as part of a secret exchange: My Haunted House and The Sword in the Grotto by Angie Sage. They're not horror, but they're still perfect fit for a Halloween exchange. Because I've been thinking of getting this series for my niece (she's a voracious reader and I've really enjoyed Sage's Septimus Heap books so far), I actually read them both right away so I can assure you all that they are wonderful little books for younger readers (they're targeted toward 7-10 year-olds, I think).