Monday, February 08, 2010

Guilt-free book list

In a recent discussion with my fellow yogalilans,   a few remarked sadly that they were immersed deep in academia and didn't have time to read fiction.  For a little while, I felt a bit guilty because I wasn't saying the same thing - but, I can't help but read fiction, no matter how busy I am. I need it because there's a point where my academic brain just puts down its toys and refuses to play anymore. Or, because its tying itself up in knots and going nowhere fast - I almost need to read fiction, or draw, or knit, or paint, just to break it out of its unproductive pattern. 
I love talking about books, and am fortunate to be part of a wonderful reading group.  We've been together for nine years - long enough to actually see babies grow to be readers themselves. But I love talking about reading, so if anyone else throws out a few questions, like Tammy recently did at Daisy Yellow - well, I'm all over that!
  1. What is on your reading list for 2010?  
  2. Do you keep track of the books you read? 
  3. How many books (fiction + non-fiction) do you read each year?  
  4. Has the number of books per year increased or decreased over the last 5 years?  
  5. Do you read more than one book at once? 
  6. Do you read more fiction or non-fiction? 

portable pile o' tinder

I'm slowly working on the books above, except for Quo Vadis.  I had already read an old library copy over the Christmas holidays, but bought a new copy and modern translation for my husband.

Fiction, hard copy:

The Blythes are Quoted, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Whiteoaks of Jalna, Mazo de la Roche
Finch's Fortune, Mazo de la Roche
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
The Outlander, Gillian Anderson

Fiction, on the Kindle:
note - I'm one of those excited Canadians who jumped on this almost as soon as it became available up here. We really only have two choices, this one and Sony. Would I have still bought it after the Amazon/Macmillan debacle? It's likely, given the current lack of players in the Canadian market.

The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Espresso Tales, Alexander McCall Smith
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
Anne of the Island, Lucy Maud Montgomery

What it is, Lynda Barry
Yoga for Pain Relief, Kelly McGonigal
Landscape and Memory, Simon Schama

That's a very modest list. But enough for me, and it could well take me into summer.

To answer the rest of Tammy's questions:

2. I sporadically keep a reading journal. I should keep it up. I was trying to explain to someone a while back why I couldn't finish Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, and had a hard time remembering why. Then I  found my journal, in which I wrote. "...and the idea of the obese, gout-ridden Henry VIII as the love interest was just not doing it for me".  Oh yeah, that's why.

3. I have no idea. I don't always finish what I've started. And as for non-fiction, I almost never read those all the way through - I often use them as references, in which case I read some parts over and over again, and the rest, never.  Also I don't think it counts that I sometimes pick up a well-loved book (eg. Pride and Prejudice) and read bits of it again.

4. Definitely decreased since I went back to university.

5. I'm incapable of reading one book at a time.

6. See #3 :)


HereBeDragons said...

Anne of the Island is one of my favorite books of all time. At least, it was 10 years ago. I read it yearly. I haven't read it recently though. It might have just been one of those times in my life where a book hit me where I was at.

Sophie_vf said...

It's been literally decades since I read it, so I don't remember it at all.

I'm revisiting the Anne books because of the recent republication of "The Blythes are Quoted", which apparently is more complete than earlier editions, and was the last manuscript submitted by LMM before her death.

also, because my daughter is now reading them, having seen the movie :)

Glad to hear it was meaningful to you. Some books are just good friends to keep coming back to.