Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Reading

"Just the knowledge that a good book
is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier."
Kathleen Norris

One of the unexpected benefits of the recent writer's strike was that I turned off the TV. I think it was after I finished watching "Rock of Love" one evening (and trying to shake the disturbing feeling that I now needed a shower) that I finally came to the realization that perhaps my time could be better spent elsewhere.

I love to read. But for some reason, it was always hard to motivate myself to do it. It was just easier to collapse into the couch, pick up the remote and shut my brain off.

When I fell sick with the flu back in December, I caught a spot on the local news about a website called Paperback Swap -- where people were freely exchanging gently-used books. I'm all about free books -- so I logged on and signed up. I've received 10 books to date, mailed out about 10 of my own, and have several more books on my waiting list.

Books I've read recently include The Other Boleyn Girl (very good), some great non-fiction on Tudor England (not the lightest reading, but really interesting nonetheless), The Kite Runner (terrific), and Peace Like a River (some of the best writing I've read in a while). I attempted Atonement by Ian McEwan, but I couldn't get into it. Slogging through it felt like a chore and, at the end of the day, I didn't have the energy for it. I'll rent the movie.

As spring approaches, my bedside table is growing crowded with more books waiting to be read. I have a couple fiction works in the pile, including The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Supposedly, Setterfield wrote it with a nod to Bronte and du Maurier, two of my favorite authors. (If you've never read Rebecca, you need to.) I've started reading It's a Boy: Understanding Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18, which is offering some great insight into what makes my son "tick" and how best to parent him. I've been wanting to read Kevin Leman's Birth Order Book for over a year now and if I can squeeze in Donna Otto's How to Get More Done in Less Time, I may be able to finish even more books before summer hits ;)

So, what's on your spring reading list? What books have you heard people raving about? What have you read lately that you've absolutely loved or hated?


Kristen said...

NHL lockout inspired us to get rid of satellite and we've never looked back. Writer's strike made me watch a whole lot less TV too.
Currently reading: Loving God with all Your Mind by Elizabeth George.
Checked out from library: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen.
On the shelf: The Grand Demonstration by Jay Adams.
In May I hope to read Phillipians every day for the whole month. I think it'll be life changing.

Anonymous said...

How funny that Kristen mentioned "Sense & Sensibility." Because although it hasn't been extremely recent, I wanted to post about both "S&S" and "Pride and Prejudice," two Jane Austen novels I read a little while ago. I am amazed at the underlying passion/sexual tension underneath the uptight Victorian and proper English mannerisms. SO well-written -- I need to read or re-read other Austen books as well.

LOVED the Kite Runner -- looking forward to reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by the same author.

Last summer (I know it was a while ago -- but I'm a sleep-deprived mom of a 5-month old -- what do you expect?) I really enjoyed "Water for Elephants." I didn't think I'd like a story set in the Depression-era about a travelling circus, but the characters were so vivid and I was really caught up in the plot. Check it out.

I was reading Jodi Picoult novels, too -- a little more popular fare. not bad. "Light" reading but with some actual heavy moral topics. interesting.

HATED: Falling Man. It was listed last summer on Amazon's Top Books of the Year (So Far) so I thought I'd check it out. It was really about a New Yorker living in the aftermath of 9/11 and picking up the pieces of his life. I thought it was such pretentious drivel -- it was hard for me to get through the whole thing. I don't know why i feel the need to finish something that I don't like.

Other things I'm reading?? E-mail, blogs, mindless parenting magazines (another good blog topic, right, Michelle?), and of course children's books -- most notably all the Barefoot Books I sell. Here's my shameless plug: check out

Happy Reading!

mah-meeee said...

i need to find time to read.... seriously, i dont' think i've read a book for about 3 years now. so sad....

The Daileys said...

I've just discovered a great website called Shelfari ( where you can go and exchange reviews of what you are reading, what you might like to read and get some great opinions. Then I log on to my local library website and request them a few at a time! You can check out what I am reading now (or "what's on my shelf" on my blog! Happy reading!

Oh, and I cannot wait to read the Kite Runner and The Other Bolyn Girl! They look great! If you haven't read any books by Jodi Picoult, look her up! I have yet to read a snoozer by her :)