Happy Easter, everyone!! It’s going to be a lovely, clear day today here in Mobile with temperatures in the high 70s. Perfect for Easter.
What’s new, oh, let’s see… I found a book club I’d like to go to and the second book they chose was Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84!! That’s a book club I think I’ll enjoy. I’m excited about it. The meeting is tomorrow evening and I have about 200 pages left. No sweat. In fact, I’m enjoying it so much that I’ll have finished it in about 3 1/2 days. I had ordered the book way back in October and the club really gave me that push to start (and finish) it. It felt great to turn off the stupid TV and get back to reading again.
The fact that I’ll have completed a massive chunkster lately gives me some inspiration to tackle other fatties I’ve been wanting to get to like War and Peace and Midnight’s Children. I’m thinking of joining the readalong for the latter if I can find my copy.
I’ve also been watching a lot of documentaries lately. I never dreamt I’d get into that, but when real people’s lives are involved it’s just fascinating. Sort of like reality TV but oh so much better. I hope to review some of these films on the blog. There are several that are must-sees.
I’m really looking forward to the Pulitzer and Orange shortlist coming up. Any predictions? Also, I’m sooooo happy that Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka won the PEN/Faulkner award. It was a 5 star read for me last year. Now I just need to get to the NBA winner, Salvage the Bones. I’ve been meaning to read that for forever.
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Before I get into the film, here’s what I did last week.
Four book reviews:
- How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
- Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
- Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi
- Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi
Also finished: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown () (I’ll have that review tomorrow), and now I’m halfway through Amsterdam by Ian McEwan.
I watched and reviewed an excellent Japanese film, Departures, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. Loved this film. Loved it.
And, I participated in the Villette read-a-long and made plans to participate in the Atlas Shrugged read-a-long. I’m loving Villette so far and I’m excited for Atlas Shrugged. I’d like to finish it before the movie comes out on April 15.
(Caution, spoilers ahead.) I had $5 in Amazon video-on-demand promotions so I used it last night to see Never Let Me Go. First of all, I could have done without Keira Knightley in the film. I’m not a fan of hers, and the only movie I’ve ever liked her in was the first Pirates of the Caribbean. (And don’t get me started on why the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is infinitely better than the Knightley version.)
Other than her being in it, I LOVED it. The scenery and the music were so beautiful. Carey Mulligan was fantastic. And the film affected me way more than the book did. Ishiguro is a terrific writer, but at the end of the book I really did question whether they had a soul or not. The way the characters were portrayed on film erased that question in my mind.
I highly recommend this movie, but I would hope that you’d read the book first.
Book info | DVD info
I sooooooo want a lampost…. (Neil Gaiman’s post ‘Once you’ve got a lampost‘)
This week was a really good reading week. Being able to do nothing but lie and down and watch TV or read helped. I finished up On Beauty, read Crooked Letter Crooked Letter in one sitting and then read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (which I loved) in just two days. It really feels good to be reading again. I don’t know if any of you noticed, since I didn’t really come out and say it, but I didn’t read (I should say complete) anything for the last 6 months of last year. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. I picked up several books and read a few chapters or maybe halfway through, and one book even 3/4 of the way through. Just couldn’t finish anything. Like I said, it was a bad year. But I’m off to the races now and it feels good to be back in the saddle reading again.
Today I decided to participate in The Big Game’s On Readathon, hosted by Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves. I’m actually a football girl. I love it. But this year I didn’t really watch it at all, mostly because the Denver Broncos were out of it so early. Sooo, while I’ll probably watch it and have it on mute, I am going to be reading during the game (and before and after it as well).
Here’s my lineup (hee hee) for today:
- Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (this year’s Newbery winner)
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (this year’s Printz winner)
Hopefully there will be a couple of touchdowns. (I couldn’t resist.)
Happy reading to all the other readathoners today!
This week I had surgery on Wednesday, so that day and Thursday and Friday were spent mostly sleeping and recovering. However, I still had enough reading time to finish Small Island by Andrea Levy, and I hope to finish On Beauty by Zadie Smith by January 31. Both are Orange winners, and while great reads, I was disappointed that neither of them were in the 4.5 or 5 star range. I suspect Home by Marilynne Robinson will be, though, so I’m considering reading that in February.
Even though Orange January is over, I thought February could be Book Award Month for me. Aside from Home, I want to read the latest Newbery winner, Moon over Manifest, and the latest Printz, Ship Breaker. I might also try to read the Pulitzer-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. By reading that book, I’ll have read the last 12 Pulitzers. Not sure what I’ll read if there’s any time left in the month after that. I might just break into fantasy award winners.
Is anyone else reading in a theme for February?
Hope everyone had a good weekend!
This week I finished up Larry’s Party and Heaven is for Real, started on a A Small Island, and worked on my blog during Bloggiesta. I’m also beginning to watch some Oscar winners for Best Picture in anticipation of the Oscars next month. On Friday I was watching The Last Emperor on Netflix because it was the last day it was available. Wouldn’t you know it, I had about 30 minutes to go and my internet went out for the night. Checked to see if I could still watch it in the morning, but no. At least my library has it so I put it on hold along with some other Oscar winners. I’ve also started watching The Big Bang Theory series, and I’m nearing the end of the second season. Sooooo hilarious, especially for a geek like me.
For the Bloggiesta, yesterday I put in dedicated ‘facebook like’ and retweet features on every post. Even though I already had an all-in-one social plugin for this, it seems you score better on some SEO ratings if you have dedicated facebook and twitter buttons.
Then today, I mostly just tried to figure out why my page was taking so long to load. I used Pingdom and some other sites to try to alleviate some of the bottlenecks on my blog. I don’t have it where I want it, but my site is quite a bit faster than it was at least. I’m also attempting to back up my blog so I can update to the newest wordpress installation. Always a scary scenario as I lost seven months of posts awhile back, which was a trying time, to say the least.
This coming week I’m having surgery on Wednesday, so I may be absent for a few days. Nothing serious, just a partial hysterectomy. I probably should have had this done years ago, so I’m happy it’s getting taken care of. At least when I’m recovering I’ll have no excuses not to read!
Have a great week, and happy reading, everyone!
I was out of town this past weekend, and I’ve been thinking that when I miss posting a Sunday Salon I might do a “Midweek Musings” post instead. If someone else is using that phrase, sorry, it’s just the best name I could come up with.
Anyway, I finished a long audio of The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova and should have a review of it in the next few days. I really liked The Historian so I thought I would give this one a shot. I definitely liked that the audio had different narrators, and I do love Kostova’s writing style, but this one seemed to just fizzle out in the end a little bit. I’d definitely read another novel of hers, though.
I also finished up Larry’s Party by Carol Shields yesterday. This one was probably my least favorite book of hers that I’ve read, but the final chapter made up for a lot. It probably took the book from a 3.5 star to a 4 star book for me. We’ll see, I’m still waffling on the rating.
Now I’m on to Small Island by Andrea Levy, another Orange book, and I’m enjoying it so far. With the emphasis on Orange books this month, I’m thinking that I might do my reading in themes for the entire year. Next month I’m considering Canadian fiction or dystopias, and in March I’d like to do some Pulitzer reading in anticipation of the new prize being announced in April. I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now and I just think that if I focus my reading during this time, I might have better results than I did last year. Other monthly themes might be young adult, books in translation, Booker prize winners, etc. I’m also thinking of expanding that into movies I want to see, such as Oscar winning films in February.
Any other suggestions for themes? I’d love them!