What are you reading?

I thought I’d take some time today to tell you what I’m reading currently.

In the car, I’m listening to Rabbit Hill – the 1945 Newbery Medal winner. Times are very different now. I can’t imagine anything as slow-moving as this book becoming popular in modern times. I have a hard time focusing. At first I thought maybe I just wasn’t okay with anthropomorphic animals, but then I remembered Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. So I’ve determined that it really is that this book is spending a lot of time on characterization and building suspense about the “new folks” coming to the hill, and I just wished they’d get there already. (I’m far enough along now that the “new folks” have arrived, yay!)

I’m almost done reading Ghosts of Albion: Accursed, which I’m reading in preparation for my upcoming interview with Amber Benson. (Thanks, slayground!) I don’t think I’ll be done with all three of her books in time for the interview, as I need to send the questions on in the next day or two, but I hope to have read them before I post it and then have a few reviews to post as well.

From the library, I’ve got No Sheep For You, a knitting book for people who can’t use wool. My sister is allergic to wool and this book has a lot of yarn-related info for crocheters that’s just as valuable as it is for knitters, so I thought I’d check it out and see if maybe I’d like to buy it for her. (She’s a knitter; I don’t crochet with wool on principle because I want my sister to be able to touch the things I make.)

I’ve got a whole host of Newbery winner audiobooks to keep me company on my daily commute, and I’m also working my way through a list I made of YA novels written by members of Romance Writers of America. Finally, I’ve checked out a book called You Grow Girl, which I hope will tell me what I need to know to get into urban gardening.

What about you? What are you reading now or getting ready to read?

Name Your Character Based on Her Personality

via Lifehacker:

What a Lovely Name is a new website that lets you select multiple tags for personality traits associated with a name, as well as a gender if you wish, and it will suggest names for you. I selected romantic, creative, wise with no gender and got 12 names, the most boring of which was Jacqueline. Highly recommended if you’re looking for character names and don’t want to do lots of searching of baby name sites by meaning.

ubi est lectitans? (That’s Latin for “Where is lectitans?”)

Where have I been? Where am I going?

Life gets in the way. Work makes me tired, and various projects capture my imagination at different times. And every once in a while, a book tricks me into thinking I don’t like reading.

So, my enthusiasm for the kid lit world has actually been dampened by attempt to keep a commitment to it. You see, I read this one book for The Edge of the Forest, and now owe Kelly a review, and I really liked that book. The book took me a while to get into, but after a little while I was really invested. So I thought, okay, I will move on to the next one of the books she sent me to review a year ago. (I am all kinds of slacker.)

Well, I’m on p. 130something, and I am just finding the book so dull. It’s not bad exactly; I just don’t care what happens to the characters. I thought, “Well I’ll get through and review it anyway,” but I thought, “What will I say about this book?” And quite honestly, were I to write a review it would go like this:

I thought this book was boring. I didn’t care what happened to the characters. I was never drawn into the world. I can’t even provide a reasonable explanation of what was wrong with it, as it was well-written enough. It wasn’t bad or anything. It just bored me.

I thought that wouldn’t be a very useful review; with books I don’t love I still try and figure out who would like them, for whom they’d be suited. But the fact of the matter is, if anyone was going to like this book, it was going to be me. It’s a fantasy set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe. (Dragonlance, for those of you familiar with the series.) It’s about sisters, and the sisterly dynamic is a big part of the book. But it just can’t hold my attention.

So I said, “Self,” I said to myself, “you need to try a different book, and see if you like it better.”

So I picked up Tim Lott’s Fearless, and that is a book I got into right away, and I will review it here at lectitans when I am done with it.  

Thank goodness I still like reading.

 

 

 

 

Gaining Expertise

Let’s say I wanted to gain expertise in a certain area of children’s/YA lit.  Say, I don’t know, modern books about the ancient world – especially Greece and Rome.  Mythology and history both.  How would I go about staying abreast of new releases that would fall into my area of expertise?  Catalogs?  Reviews in the Horn Book?  Something else?  All suggestions are welcome!  Also suggestions of older books that fall into this domain are GREATLY appreciated.  (Already know Percy Jackson etc, plus Nobody’s Princess and related books.  Oh, and Iris, Messenger.)

Fascinating Insight

If you haven’t been watching it, you should check out the LiveJournal
community . This is a community for writers
of urban fantasy/horror. Recently they’ve focused their discussion on
the topic of why they write about the creatures they do. I’ve really
enjoyed reading their responses.

Miscellaneous Reading-Related Thoughts

1. I officially have the patience for novels again.  Yay!
2. I got to go to Kerry Madden’s release party for Jessie’s Mountain.  It was awesome to meet Kerry.  It was ironic that I had to go all the way to California to find a vanilla moonpie to bring back to North Carolina for my boyfriend.
3. I kind of want to do a general survey of sci fi, i. e., reading old classics and such.  Then I want to take notes on the women in these stories.
4. I’ve decided my goal for books read this year is 48.  Last year I read 35, almost 3 a month.  So 4 a month should be doable.
5. In that case, I need to finish 2 books in the next 2 weeks in order to catch up.
6. I’ve got The Lightning Thief waiting for me at the library.  Maybe I’ll pick it up tomorrow.
7. I also am going to get cracking on my TBR pile full of ARCs/not A but just RCs.

Where have I been?

I have been out and about.  I haven’t had the attention span for fiction in weeks.  So I’ve been reading non-fiction.  I recently finished Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco.  I’m reading The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine by Rozsika Parker.

I think to get me out of my refusing-to-read-fiction rut I need something familiar, but still new enough to maintain my interest.  I prescribe Piers Anthony: Vale of the Vole.  Just requested it from the library.

Random Ramblings

In a numbered list, no less!

1. My reading goal for the year was 30 books.  I’ve already surpassed that, if audio books count, and am at 34 right now.
2. Today I bought Twilight as my airplane book for my Saturday trip to Florida.  (I’ll be there a little less than a week.)  Thanks to everyone who expressed opinions on it and other books.  I’ve been meaning to read it a while now, and the library wait is quite long, and it was just looking at me there on the shelf in Target at $2 off cover, so, now it is mine.
3. Re: Last week’s bad day – it was mainly because of a sinus infection I was developing, which today was diagnosed and antibioticized.  So in a few days I should be having much better days, both because the sinus infection will be clearing up, and I’ll be on vacation in the best state in the union.  i. e., Florida.  The Sunshine Except For That Thunderstorm At 3 PM State.  Thanks for all the bad day book recommendations.  I think I ended up just getting in bed, sadly.