Friday, July 24, 2015

My My July

How do people 'bookworm' in the United States? It's such a distracting place! So much is coming at people all at once, over and over. I'm still reading (with both eyes and ears) but it's by sheer force of will. I will be a bookworm, dammit! I will!!!

Here's what I'm reading now:

Bossypants - Tina Fey. Audiobook. I could've read this a few years ago, but someone told me that the audiobook was the way to do it. Thanks, whoever you are! (Teri?) That was good advice! Even better: I've finally made (early morning!!!) exercise and reading fit together. Was it that hard? Well, awkward is the word. I feel like a chimp at my first fire.

Wish You Were Here - Stewart O'Nan. My Stewart O'Nan summer nearly floated out to sea, but I reeled it back in. There is also going to be a Stewart O'Nan autumn.

Coco Chanel - Justine Picardie. This book is gorgeous. So many photos. Drool.  I love how Picardie is so obsessed with Chanel and she's not afraid to let it show.

Here's what I just finished reading:

Hissing Cousins (Sorry, blanking on co-authors, and I'm not going to stop to look because I will finish this blog post; I will be a blogger again, dammit! I will!!!...wait! I've got it: Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer. Whew.) - A puckish biography of Eleanor Roosevelt and her first cousin, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who was Theodore Roosevelt's oldest child. Cleverly and clearly written and no history is left behind. I loved this book so much!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo. I've read it twice on my Kindle. I bought a copy for my bookshelf of greatest hits. For my third outing with Ms. Kondo, I audiobooked it. Round and round the apartment complex I went, sweaty and illuminated. This book never gets old. There's something so dear and fresh, even in repeated readings. Excuse me. I need to go fold the things in the dryer.

Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight - Peter Walsh. I've already been thoroughly Kondo'ed, so this book felt a little repetitive and there wasn't that piquant charm. Still, I appreciated his breaking it all down step by step. I took one of his flow charts to heart. There's also a soft spot in my heart for his old show Clean Sweep.

Here's what I'm not going to read:

Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee. I'm not going to go into all my reasons here, but I will say that the book has made me feel uncomfortable from the moment last year that all of this came to light.

Here's what I'm going to read pretty soon:

What To Do About Alice? - Barbara Kerley. A children's nonfiction book about Alice Roosevelt that was the genesis for Hissing Cousins. My library lost/misplaced their copy, and I got all Veruca Salt and decided that I must have it NOW!!! I'm expecting a package from Amazon in a couple of days.

I know this post looks like my bookworming is still full speed ahead, but that's not what it feels like. My book group dream went belly-up earlier this month, so I've got to start from scratch again. Carving out a life here often feels more like the space is being carved for me and I must find a way to fit in it. I have to believe that bookworm power will prevail.


Anonymous said...

I've never really considered your opening question before. I think many of us American Bookworms find reading in a crowd natural. I like going to a busy coffee shop, having a cup of coffee and reading. It's almost easier than reading in a quiet space on my own. I've also used books as a kind of shield on the bus and on the train. Reading a book kind of allows me to block out a good portion of the world in a socially acceptable way.

Vasilly said...

I feel the same way as you about the new Harper Lee book. The Kondo book can be repetitive, but it works!

You're right, it is hard to be a bookworm in this country. I can read in a waiting room or somewhere that I have to wait at, but other than that, I don't read in public. It can be too distracting.

Sam said...

You really do have to work at finding the spare time to read here in the States, that's for sure. It's a lot different for me than all those years I spent in the Sahara Desert and depended largely on books to maintain my overall mental health. I do enjoy reading in coffee shops and sandwich shops a lot, and do that two or three times a week.

I finished "Watchman" last week and plan to write a review this weekend that will be posted in a couple of weeks. I found the first 100 pages or so to be very slow reading. The "set-up," if you will, was too long and I was starting to get pretty bored with the book when it seemed to take off all of a sudden. Not a lot of physical action..mostly about relationships, etc. and I ended up liking it more than I expected to. I'll look forward to seeing what you think of it.

Care said...

Yay! A Bybee post!! I am not interested in GSaW, either. Just doesn't feel right. I now want that Coco book. And I bought the Kondo book and am having trouble getting into it.