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Search tags: The-reading-life
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text 2018-11-25 20:23
24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 - Mawlid, Task 1 (Book-Related Prophecies)

My two prophecies for 2019 are:


1. Audiobooks have become an indelible part of my reading life in the past couple of years, and have greatly contributed to the amount of books I have consumed per year.  I'm very much enjoying the ride, and discovering more and more great audiobook narrators.  I predict that this trend will continue in 2019.


2. Book hoarder that I am, I will likely continue to acquire more books over the course of 2019 than I can possibly read in that same year.  And each new book acquired is likely going to bring new pressure on my shelving situation ... not that that is going to stop me from buying them anyway, however.


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text 2018-05-10 20:07
That Moment When...
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells
Saga Volume 8 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples


You are doing a happy dance because both of your latest holds at the library have arrived, wayyyyy ahead of time! Then you realize how bogged down with great books you already are. What a problem to have, right?



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text 2017-07-23 09:01
It´s this time of the year

Last week has been my first week at work again after having had a three week vacation. And as every year this week has been an exhausting one. And as every year, I´m hitting a reading slump after my vacation (and for that matter an internet slump as well). I haven´t picked up a physical book in over a week and the only thing I could manage was listening to audiobooks.


Still Life - Louise Penny  A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny  


I´ve finished Stil Life last week and started the second book in the chief inspector Garmache series right away. These are the perfect books in my present state of mind. A mystery set in a quaint Canadian small town, with a likeable main character and with a cozy feel to it.


And to ease myself back into reading physical books, I picked up another one of my Agatha Christie books. I hope this one will be the perfect palate cleanser:


The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie


Keeping my fingers crossed that I can break through my slump.

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review 2016-10-06 04:49
How Reading Changed My Life
How Reading Changed My Life - Anna Quindlen

For a such a slim volume, this book left me with many, many thoughts.  I think it would make an excellent book club read because the issues it raises are many and conversations could go on for hours.  TL;DR version: it's good and worth the read.


My personal feelings about this book jumped around like a yo-yo: at the beginning I was saying to myself "she's describing my childhood!" and in the next breath I was saying "Oh stop making sweeping generalisations about things you don't know!" and then back again to "yes, that's precisely the point!".


This slim volume consists of 70 pages of Quindlen's musings concerning reading and the importance of it to her life thus far (and so many of us).  


She makes some generalisations about gender that I didn't agree with (why women read what they read vs. why men read what they read).  My feelings (and I recognise they are just my own) are that she's trying to give meaning to something that doesn't need to have it.  Knowing what MT gets out of reading Bosch and what I get out of reading Kate Daniels isn't going to give any great insights into my marriage.  The important insight is that we share an enjoyment of reading.


Quindlen also touches upon the great upheaval concerning The Canon and the collective wig-out pretentious idiots around the world are having at the inclusion of female and culturally diverse authors.  I found this part pretty amusing, because both camps are right and wrong but ultimately doing exactly what they should to move things forward.  Do women and culturally diverse authors need to be part of The Canon?  Yes.  Are there people who want titles accepted as part of The Canon not for merit but because they are diverse, or financially successful?  Yes.  But this acrimonious tug-of-war is exactly what literature ultimately needs because the titles that survive the brouhaha are the ones that will actually deserve to be called great works of literature, regardless of color or gender.  So while I think the fight is ultimately silly, I think it's ultimately vital too.


I was also amused by her attempt to argue the merits of reading for pleasure and entertainment; I agree with her - I wholeheartedly do, but her attempt to relate to everyman fails spectacularly.  She uses her own guilty pleasure read as an example, to say that it's ok to read 'low brow' books.  Her guilty pleasure?  The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, who by-the-by, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.  Now, if I was someone who suffered self-consciousness about what others thought of my reading choices, I don't think her Nobel prize winning guilty pleasure is going to make me feel vindicated or proud about my love for Deborah Harkness.


What I do think she nailed perfectly is the subjective mire of book banning and the importance of educational reading lists that focus more on instilling a love of literature and less on Important Books that contain Important Thoughts.  She deftly handles the digital vs. print debate (spoiler: both will win) and she definitely, perfectly, describes the sheer joy of reading: for knowledge, for entertainment, for understanding, and for the places it can take you without ever leaving your chair.  A worthy and thoughtful read.

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review 2016-09-05 23:37
A moving and timely discussion of end-of-life medical care
Hope for a Cool Pillow - Margaret Overton

Rating: 4.5* of five


My essay on the publishing house Outpost19 and Margaret Overton's deeply moving and supremely timely memoir is live at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud: My Reading Life.


This slim book should, in a properly ordered world, ignite a nation-wide conversation about the events at the end of our lives. It is a wonderful book. 

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