A little bit about books, a little bit about life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's on Your Nightstand?

I'm late....in the evening PST....in posting "What's on My Nightstand", but I wanted to go ahead and get it in.
Jennifer at "5 minutes for books" says this about participating:
it's a dangerous exercise, and I appreciate all of you who take the risk each month of exposing your to-be-read pile

It is dangerous for me, because my TBR pile is usually a MESS! LOL
and this time, it's not on my nightstand, but here in the chair in the family room.

It's a pile of books from which I want to choose one...just one....to recommend to my book club tomorrow night. If you read down, two posts below, you will see just how confused I am about which book to choose.

The Madonnas of Leningrad is also in this pile--which will be read for the February choice.
And Devil in the White City--which is Feb's choice for my 2nd book club.

Right now, I'm finishing up "Out of the Deep I Cry" ( A Claire Fergusson/Russ Van-Alstyne Mystery).
A funny story about looking for a book....a few days ago, I was wandering about the house, saying, "I'm looking for a book...I'm looking for a book", when my husband asked me what I was doing.
He got a confused look on his face, because...we have books/bookshelves in every room of our house. But I was looking for this particular book..."Out of the Deep I Cry". And I found it. Almost done. It's 3rd in a series of mysteries by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I love series mysteries.

I'll read Madonna's this weekend and then start on Devil.

What's on Your Nightstand?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Musing Mondays

I have to put a warning label on this post. A warning to my friends whom I really do let borrow my books....this wasn't meant for you! :~) Just those friend wanna be's. yep, that's it.
read on.....

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about lending books...
The question is....
A few weeks back we had a question about borrowing books, this week I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?

My answer is....
I had a friend once, whose philosophy on lending books was that if they never came back to her, the other person needed them more than she did.

I say...BULL-ONEY. It's my book. Mine. MINE. All MINE. I love my books. They are like old friends. I "make" myself lend to my friends. How can I be so rude to say NO? I hate it tho.
I have over 400 books catalogued on Library Thing... that is ridiculous. I need to be loaning some books out. I need to be giving some books away.
Every once in a while I will...and then I regret it.
One of my book clubs had a "white elephant book" gift exchange at Christmas time. I was responsible for getting the word out, (since it was my idea) but I fell behind on my duties, so I took a bag of books that I had read and liked in case someone forgot and showed up to bookclub without one.
There were about 4 or 5 people who forgot books, so I let them choose from my bag. It was Christmas and I felt in the spirit and that I really should "share" books I loved.
And now I REGRET IT. I lost 4 or 5 of my much loved books. It's a good thing these book club members are my friends, because I'll ask about my books. And see if I can coax them back when they are done reading them. LOL.

Technically, I am a "Book Crosser". But I've never actually left a book of mine all alone on a park bench or in a coffee shop. It makes me sad to think of them there all alone....abandoned.
I like the idea of Book Crossing. I love it. I am very excited at someday trying it.... but not right now. That poor little book.....forsaken, cast off, dumped like yesterdays garbage.

So there you have my answer. Short but sweet. So, you say you want to borrow a book? NO WAY! Well, okay..way. But I'm thinking of making people fill out a contact sheet and put a check out date on them.
*** I have an update for this blog.
from my friend Shelly...whom I DO LET borrow my books. LOL
from Shelly:
Ok, I read your blog and now will NEVER ask to borrow a book again. You may have a nervous breakdown or something if I do!
I had been really good about not ordering from B & N but broke down Friday night...those bargain books got me!
She's joking of course. I've even loaned her books to take out of the country. My books took a trip to Paris.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A choice to make#2

I have great news. Check it out here, at my other blog.

Yesterday, I wrote to my book club.... And as you can tell by the tone and informality of my letter, these are good friends who know "me" well, but... I'm not so sure if I can count on them to help me choose a book to read for the book club. so...I'm leaving it up to some of you fellow bloggers.
I have two different book clubs that meet once a month.
I get to chose the books to read in March and April for the two clubs. I'm stuck!
I want to make them get out of their box a bit, but don't' want the choices to be too "out there" that they won't enjoy them. They tend to go with the more safe choices, and I feel it's time for a change.

Please help.

here are my notes to my bookclub friends...

1st note:
Dear Bookclub friends,

as you know, I get to choose April's book. (not April our bookclub friend, but the month of April. I get to choose what we read for the month of April)
How far out on a limb are you willing to go?
I mean "out of your box?" for a book?

I've narrowed it down to a few....
you can vote

The Time Travelers Wife
Shadow of the Wind
The Thirteenth Tale
The Handmaid's Tale

I have read only one of these....I won't tell you which one.
They are all.... books not based on (or in?) "realism". Not to say that they are all fantasy or (dare I say it) Science-Fiction, but there is a common thread of "magical, futuristic, satire, and just some stuff that isn't your everyday book" in these choices.

Don't google them.... just tell me....by the title, what sounds good to you?

And we'll meet at my house next Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Book discussion for Wed: The Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Feb book: The Madonnas of Leningrad

March book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society


Today I sent them another note and wrote this:

Hello Book Club girls!

I've added two more books to my list to pick from, and I've spent all morning searching YouTube for video clips to link to for book reviews.
I don't know what order these clips are in, but you should watch them and then let me know what interests you.
Because... if it were left to me, I would pick them all. ( I'm going to pick one of them--one that we don't choose now-- for my other book club).
I own all of these books except "The Eyre Affair", which I don't think any of you will choose anyway.... (open ended sentence. I'm not sure why.... do you have anything to add?)

Two of the books are movies now. I will get these from Netflix when/if we read them for MOVIE NIGHT which will take place AFTER our April bookclub meeting, same night but after book discussion. And of course I'll have popcorn and Milk Duds for the movie.... a chaser after our more healthy book club fare. (fair? faire?)
The books that have been made into movies are:
The Time Travelers Wife
The Handmaid's Tale

As I've mentioned, the only book that is "normal" is American Wife (one that wasn't on the list yesterday), it is a "current event" book based loosely and fictionally on Laura Bush.
I promise that I will not add anymore books to the list. I know this is quite unheard of, the chooser asking the readers their opinion but please please, just please give me your opinion. I like to take them into consideration (and then do what I want. LOL )
Sway me, if you will. I'm open for bribes too!!

Lisa has said that she's always wanted to read "The Time Traveler's Wife"

from Lisa:
I always wanted to read the Time Travelers Wife..........I know that is the one you have read too!? right?


from Jean:
Wow, I love the sound of them all. But if I absolutely had to choose, it would be (drum roll, please) Shadow of the Wind.


from Shelly:
I’ve read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and liked it but don’t remember much about it…I’m thinking maybe that’s the one you’ve read too. I REALLY wanted to look the other books up, but didn’t. So, for April I will say “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

I had a drum roll going in my head..did you? And yes, I've read TTW, and really loved it.
You guys can google now if you want just to see what the critics say. AFTER, you watch these clips.... (get a coke/cookie/or coffee first)

The Eyre Affair

The American Wife

The Shadow of the Wind

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Thirteenth Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

So, if you bloggers have any good ideas what a good book for a group would be....that might be a little out of the norm for book clubs, please comment and let me know.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Booking Thru Thursday--Songs

Today's "Booking Through Thursday" Question is interesting...Good, but interesting. Because I love songs and this is about songs/music...

So, today’s question?
What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

I spent all day yesterday wrestling with idea of taking a class at our local college. The class is an upper-level humanities class. "The Beatles Across the Universe"
You can check out the syllabus here.

I love songs. I love music. I do admire the depth, meaning and playfulness of a song. And I enjoy a wide variety of music, from, well, the Beatles, to Jazz to the old crooners, to Nickelback, to the BareNaked Ladies, to Alan Jackson and Rascal Flatts.

Although, if someone asked me to recite the words to a certain song, I'm not so sure I could do it. BUT, in conversation, if someone begins, unaware, a lyric to a song, I will finish it.
For instance, my friends mother's name is Lola and she once said, "My mothers name is Lola." And I said "Was she a showgirl?" (from the Barry Manilow song...). I can't help it, I do it all the time. It annoys my husband to no end, but at least he knows what I am talking about, because believe me, there are times when no one has heard of the song/lyric I finish, and then I have to explain it to them. They look at me like I've lost my mind. I prefer to think they are thinking WOW, she is so smart! (kidding).

I guess I've meandered away from the question... a song with words that I love? I grew up in the 70's, my husband in the 60's. Those were eras of symbolism in rocks songs... everything was about sex and drugs. Which I didn't know or understand until I was way into adulthood, because I didn't "get" symbolism at the time.
I still have a real love for that music. It's a nostalgia thing. But it's hard to put into words why you like The Partridge Family's "I think I love you" or "Papa was a Rollin' Stone" by the Temptations. The Eagles, The Bee Gee's, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zepplin, Bad Company, The Beach Boys oh...and Meatloaf!!!!

I do think the lyrics and tune lived up to one another, in the good old days ..... I have a whole box full of 45's. One hit wonders. And a disco-ball and a lava lamp. Just waiting to have a party in my garage this summer.

I have TOTALLY not answered your question. Sorry. But I had fun reminiscing. Thanks. And I've made up my mind to go-ahead and take the Beatles class at the college.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Musing Mondays

I'm joining in. I'm not much of a book reviewer, ( I can never keep up with all these great bok bloggers) but a big book muser.
This is the first time I've joined "Musing Mondays", it is hosted by Rebecca at "Just One More Page". You should check it out, her blog is very nice.
The question this week is..
How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc? How do you think on these books now? What book were you 'forced' to read when you where in school that you've since reread and loved?

Don't hate me because I liked to read....but....
I actually liked to read assigned reading. I was always excited for it.
Read: nerd.
That was what I was, I guess.

I enjoyed the reading assignments in high school very much and also in the small community college I've attended. But my daughter in law is in graduate school at YALE and every third week, they don't attend class, instead they have "reading week" because their assigned reading is so monumental along with all other class work, that the school has made time for them to do that hard core reading schedule that they have.
I don't think that kind of assigned reading would be much fun. (neither does she, I'm sure)

My mind was opened up to whole new worlds thru the assigned reading we did in jr. High and high school. I liked Romeo and Juliet. I liked the Diary of Anne Frank. The Lord of the Flies, Animal Kingdom, A Wrinkle in Time!

I loved it.
And that might be why I enjoy bookclubs. I don't mind the assigned reading at all. It's fun to see what other people like and discover new authors, new ideas and new books.