Booking Through Thursday: Bookcases 2

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

I’ve always considered that my bookcases give a pretty fair representation of me as a person—they show my interests, what kind of things I like, that I have a curious mind, the kinds of things I study … all that. But with the increase of e-books, that litmus test of personality is going by the wayside. Unless someone takes my Kindle and browses through it, there isn’t an immediate, visible display of my interests … am I the only one who finds that kind of sad? Going forward, about the most we’ll be able to tell about someone is that they OWN an e-book reader … but no real idea of what they actually read. I’m going to miss that.

This is a follow-up to last week’s question, and it’s definitely something that I’ve thought about, particularly at the moment as I’m going through the process of packing up my library of books. I’ve realized that I only want to hang on to physical books that I either have a sentimental connection to or which I know I’ll read again–for one time books, it just doesn’t make sense to me to keep them.  For that reason, in many ways I think my bookcases are less of an “immediate, visible display of my interests” than a real glimpse into what’s important to me. The fact is that I’ll read almost anything once, but to keep a physical book it has to matter to me.

What about you?

Booking Through Thursday: Bookcases

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

When you visit a friend’s house, do you find time to browse their bookcases? Does it shock you if they don’t have one?

I love this question because I always wonder what people think when they come to my house. We have lots of prominent bookshelves and just about every kind of book under the sun. Between my love for both genre and literary fiction to my husband’s fantasy series and Dragonball Z collection, we must look very schizophrenic! We just love books, period, as a family.

When I’m at someone’s house I definitely check out the bookshelves, but not in a judgemental way. Mostly I’m looking to see if there’s something I want to borrow! :)

What about you–are you a bookcase browser?

July Wrap-Up

Hello *waves wildly*! I promise I’m still here, in body if not in spirit. We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Atlanta to try to find a house to rent and get some preliminary business done. It’s a frustrating and stressful time, but I know we will get through this and It Will All Work Out. That’s my mantra these days.

Despite all that other stuff, I’m reading. I finished six books during the month of July:

  1. Three books from the Spymaster series by Joanna Bourne. Schmaltzy schmaltz, but well-written. I loved the first half of My Lord and Spymaster, in particular.
  2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m still not sure what I think about this book. I liked the idea behind it, then it went a bit Twilight-y, then it got really far out by the end. I liked it enough to have the second cued up on my kindle, so I guess that says something.
  3. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. I think I wanted to like this book more than I actually did, and my anticipation of it was probably a bad thing because I ended up feeling disappointed. Very atmospheric but ultimately anti-climactic.
  4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Just as much fun as everyone says. Not a perfect book, but it was the perfect choice to read on my stressful non-vacation to the U.S.

I’m in the middle of lots of different stuff. I read up to chapter 13 for the first week of the East of Eden read along but I haven’t picked it back up since. I found it highly readable but depressing as heck, so I’m not sure I will continue. I need to finish up three other books that I’ve started, including The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, which I’m finding quirky but good.

I hope your July was a good one, and hopefully by the time I do another one of these updates, we will be settling into our new home in Atlanta. Fingers crossed!


High Summer Readathon Starting Line

high summer ratTechnically, the readathon started yesterday, but I’m just getting around to posting about it. Here’s what I’m hoping to get through while I’m home on vacation this week:

- finish The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne  DONE!

- finish More Than This by Patrick Ness

- read through Chapter 13 of East of Eden by John Steinbeck: Currently on Ch. 6 and it’s going well (for me, not for Adam…)

- start 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pyjamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

I would love to be able to finish Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as well, but it will depend on when I can check it back out from the library. And as we’re leaving for the U. S. on Sunday, there will be one or two things to get done beside reading this week as well!

Happy readathon to all who are participating, and enjoy your reading week regardless–

UPDATE: I’m not sure if I’ll have another chance to post before the end of the readathon as we’re leaving for the U.S. on Sunday, so I’m updating this post with the progress I’ve made so far.

Readalongs and Readathons

Hello, all! I think it says something about my current state of mind that when I feel like blogging at the moment, it’s mostly just to chat. I don’t have anything particularly profound to say about books or the state of the world or anything other than my own naval. So be it–I may need to keep my focus inward for the next little while, and that feels okay.

I’m getting ready to participate in a couple of reading/blogging events that I thought I should mention. Besides Paris in July which is going on right now (I haven’t posted anything yet, but that should change this week), I’ve decided to participate in the Estella Society’s readalong of East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which officially starts on the 21st.  The only Steinbeck I’ve read is The Red Pony, which scarred me for life at the tender age of 12. Hopefully I’m mature enough to handle this one (ahem).


Finally, I’m going to join in the High Summer Readathon from July 21st – 27th, as I will actually be home from work that week and should have some time to read. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to read for it, but probably a combination of my reading for the other two events and some fun, spur-of-the-moment stuff.

high summer rat

But enough about me. How are you? :) Are you enjoying your summer? Doing anything new and exciting? Reading anything so fabulous that you just have to tell the world all about it?

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

all-the-birds-singingFormat: E-book galley

Length: 240 pages

Publisher: Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

Source: NetGalley

From the publisher:

Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something—or someone—picks off one of the sheep and sets off a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. But there is also Jake’s past—hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back—a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.

Here’s what I thought:

This book both was and wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. The story moves between the past and the present in the life of Jake, a mysterious and aloof young woman who raises sheep on an island. There is never any clear indication of the time and place is which a certain section of the book occurs, so I found myself often confused about when particular events happened and how the different sections related to one another.

Jake’s character is revealed through her interactions with other characters and her reactions to the events that take place. The ‘flashbacks’ to her past help the reader to understand how her current self, with all its peculiarities, developed through various difficult experiences she lives through while a teenager living in Australia. The defining moment of her life is only exposed at the end of the novel, and although tragic it wasn’t at all what I was expecting and thus its revealing felt very anticlimactic.

All the Birds, Singing is well-written and suspenseful, with an interesting main character, but I can’t say that I really enjoyed the book overall. I found it very hard to relate to Jake and was left with the impression that I was missing something–some underlying meaning to the events of the story–that would have tied things together in a more satisfying way.

Thanks so much to Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book.

Musical Monday

Hello all–hope your summer is treating you well. Things are stressful here, although little by little I do think we’re making progress on our big move. The girls finished up school last Friday and are off for a few weeks of quality time with the grandparents.

One of my stress relievers of choice is music, and I’ve been listening to a lot of good stuff lately. On this rainy Monday morning (here in France, anyway), I thought I would share a few of my recent favorites. Enjoy!