Thursday, May 07, 2009

Books I'm Part Way Through

I was responding to a month-old post over at Facebook about kids books, when I realized that I havent updated about books that I'VE been reading lately, and then I realized that's because I havent actually finished a book for a while. But I've started a bunch. Here, in no particular order:

Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg. Listening to this on tape in my car. Although this books is peculiarly plot-less, the characters are less developed than I like (the heroine, Lydia, is so gentle, kind, calm, and courageous for no apparant reason that it's sort of ridiculous), and it's about the Spanish flu epidemic (certainly not a very uplifting topic just now) -- I cant seem to stop listening to it. So Goldberg must be doing something right.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Well, of course, I really love this book. And you would too. I mean, what's not to love? I'm about 40 pages in, but it's so incredibly atmospheric, that I feel like I want to read it when I have a really long day to get totally immersed in the world of it. Which I dont have right now.

Birchbark House. I dont think you have to have had a Madeline Island childhood, which I did, to think this book is really fascinating. Fascinating historical detail, combined with very relatable family dynamics. Really good and cant wait to finish it.

My Stroke of Insight. This is that book about the brain specialist who gets a stroke and describes it in vivid detail. I really liked all the medical stuff, and her description of actually having the stroke is so astounding, I cant imagine anyone being un-interested. But then, I kind of petered out on it when she started getting into that part about remaking her brain. I have an allergy to that If You Think It You Can Be It theology, so I gave up on it. But Someone I Respect (thank you Don) advises it's worth finishing, so I'm going to try.

Animal Vegetable Miracle. What is WRONG with me? Every time I try to read this book, I get 4 pages in and then stop. I just cant make myself read it for some reason. Probably just feeling guilty that I'm pretty much a 100% packaged food eater right now.

Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun and Their Son.
I got this on a whim from an endcap at the library since the title is so eye-catching (yes, I AM that kind of reader) and I was just going to take it back unread when it came due (yes, I'm that kind of library patron, too) , but I accidentally read a few pages and the writing is so lovely, compelling, gracious, kind and truthful all at once that I was drawn right in. And of course, the story is compelling too. So I renewed it, and I'm going to read it after all.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
Why havent I finished this book? I have no idea, because every time I open it again, I am fascinated. But I've been on page 354 since January. Maybe it's time to get going on it again, and finally return it to the parishioner who loaned it to me last fall.

It's totally excusable that I havent finished Team of Rivals yet, though. I loaned THAT one to someone else. The truth is, I got kind of bogged down in the middle. But as soon as I get it back, I really intend to re-persevere.

And please dont think less of me if I tell you the book that I HAVE finished this week is silly, silly, silly dear old Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil. A woman's got to turn her brain off SOMETIME.


Sarah S-D said...

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was a really good listen- I don't know how it would have been on the page. Maybe try it that way if you're interested in getting through it. It is read by B.K., her husband, and her older daughter. Cute farm noises between chapters.

But if the guilt is too great. Hey, I get it.

cheesehead said...

You cannot imagine what a relief it is to me that somebody else does this. Thank you for saying it out loud. I thought I was the only one.

And I currently have two, TWO B.K books that I'm reading at the pace of about three pages a month: Animal,Vegetable,Miracle and The Bean Trees.

Songbird said...

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle only got as far as my bedside table. Like, two years ago. So you are way ahead of me!

Jen said...

I read AVM a year ago and really enjoyed it. I had previously tried to read Omnivore's Dilemma and absolutely couldn't do it - AMV is much interesting in my mind.

I just recently started re reading AVM again and had a hard time, so I skipped the first chapter and jumped into what they were trying to accomplish. Stephens sidebars are quite intersting, but have the ability to make you feel guilty - skip them!

Juniper said...

Cheese - I think we are soul-sisters when it comes to book habits. I think of you every time I go to library to pay my fines (oh, yes, and to return books and pick up new ones. what? everyone doesnt pay fines every time they go to the library?). Anyway - I think of you every time, and that story you tell about how you paid double in exchange for the librarian not scolding you. I LOVE that story!

RE feeling guilty - I'm all for reminders that I need to be transformed in my eating/consuming habits. Sometimes a little guilt can be a GOOD thing. But that doesnt help me jump into AVM with any more enthusiasm....