Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Reading Update

Well, I didn't last too long with Isabel Allende. The House of the Spirits is back on the TBR pile. I've read her before and I like her; this one just wasn't working for me. In its place, I'm reading Colleen Gleason's The Rest Falls Away. Why did I wait so long to pick that up? It's a great romp and I'm speeding through it. That was purchased with a gift certificate for some freelance work I did -- along with a copy of the DVD of Persuasion.

I'm also reading The Introvert Advantage during my lunch hour at work. I wish someone would have told me to read this years ago. A lot of this stuff I've already figured out. But it sure is nice to see -- in writing, by a professional -- that it's okay for me to absolutely HATE parties. Now, a small group of people I know well? I'm fine. But get more than 10 or so people in a room and I start to look for the exit.

And despite my great haul from the secondhand bookstore about a month ago, I've got more on the way. The Monsters from the Quality Paperback Book Club. And for some insane reason, I decided to join The History Book Club. I could get four books for $1 apiece -- with no obligation to buy more! So four more books on topics ranging from Julius Ceaser to Mao Tse-tung are on their way. And (yes, I know, it's already too much), my interlibrary loan request for A. Scott Berg's Lindbergh has been filled and the book is waiting for me in our library. Plus they have a couple of other books on isolationist Americans during World War II that I'd like to check out (thanks a lot, Philip Roth).

Really, really need to buy some more bookshelves.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just Like a Real Library

Most of us book bloggers have fairly extensive libraries. And we all have our various methods of organizing. Here's a fun little item to make you feel like you have a "real" library. Library Shelf Labels from Levenger. They come with pre-printed titles like Classics and Biography. Plus extra labels for your very own categories. A set of six is $28.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale

I whipped through The Thirteenth Tale so fast, I didn't even get a chance to list it in my sidebar. The funny thing is I didn't really like the beginning all that much. I started it on Tuesday and read a couple of chapters before I went too bed. I didn't like the writing at the beginning; it seemed a little too "in the know" somehow, too self-reverent: oh, look at me, I'm the beginning of a dark and creepy tale." It just didn't do much for me.

But I guess the joke's on me, because I sped through the rest of the book in a marathon reading session yesterday. My eyes were really burning from a day of staring at a computer screen so I came home and took my contacts out. There's really not much I can do without my contacts except read (gee, what a shame!). So from about 5:30 to 1:30 the next morning, I just couldn't put this book down.

Now, it's not the best writing I've ever seen. And there just a few too many pointed references to Jane Eyre. One or two would have been fine; you don't need to beat the reader over the head with it. But it is a compelling, gothic story and moves along very quickly. It's fun to get so caught up in a book you don't want to put it down.


How cool to actually be sitting among your books as you're reading? It even comes with an LED light. This would be such a great room divider in a loft.

However, it costs about 8,000 Euros (that's nearly $10,700 USD) and doesn't ship to the U.S. But still -- it's cool!

Via Popgadget.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Plot Against America

I just finished Philip Roth's The Plot Against America yesterday. I haven't really digested it all yet. It's going to take another two or three reads to get enough out of it. The story moved along so quickly, I pretty much just kept reading as fast as I could to find out what happens next.

The story provides an alternate history, in which Charles Lindbergh, an isolationist who opposed America's involvement in the war in Europe, ran against and beat Roosevelt in 1936. The story is told from the point of view of 9-year-old Philip Roth, growing up in Newark with his brother, his mother and his father. The insidious anti-Semitism becomes more and more pronounced, and it's rather creepy to watch it happen. How it affects the life of the little boy and his family is profound.

Unfortunately, I have nothing intelligent to say about Roth's writing. This is the first book of his that I've read. I enjoyed it very much, but that's all I can say. I was reading far too fast to get much more than the basic plot. But I'm looking forward to reading this again and again and getting more and more out of it each time. And I'm definitely adding other Roth titles to my TBR list.