BTT ~ Time Is Of The Essence

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1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?
(I’m guessing #1 is an easy question for everyone?)
2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

When I’m in the zone (which can last for months, weeks, days or hours) I find that I read a ton of books.  But when I am not in the zone, it is very hard for me to commit to the time I need in order to read what I really need to read for reviews.  Right now I am not in the zone.  I think it is due to the fact that the holidays are upon us and the social calendar is a little more full than usual.  Because of that, when I am home, I just want to watch T.V. or surf the net. 

If I found more time to read, which isn’t really hard for me to do but dedicating myself to the time is the sometimes the hard part, than I might not feel as overwhelmed by the reviewing venture I set out on this year.  I am trying to remember to read for “fun” and not “requirement” every so often though.  I have made it a habit of reading in bed before falling asleep as well as taking a book with me when I’m going out for the day just in case I have to wait for someone or get stuck in line somewhere. 

What about you?  Do you read as much as you would like?  Do you feel like you need more time for reading in your day?

Our Everchanging World Of Reading & Books

A few interesting conversations are going on around the country right now about reading and books.  With the shift being made over at the L.A. Times in the book review department the question is being posed, “Is the printed book review losing the popularity contest to on-line book reviews such as blogs and on-line professional publications?” 

Are our humble little book blogs a threat to such great publications as The L.A. Times?  Now that the L.A. Times has published it’s final stand-alone book review section, only three newspapers have stand-alone book review sections that are printed; the Washington Post, the N.Y. Times and the Chicago Tribune.  You can read or watch more about this discussion HERE on PBS’s NewsHour. 

In the N.Y. Times Opinion section this morning, there is a collection of letters to the editor about what constitutes reading now a days.  Are you reading when the words are on-line?  Are you only reading when it is a piece of literature?  There are some interesting points being made HERE

What are your thoughts on these two topics?  Do you take pride as I do in your own book blog?  Do you respect and admire the bloggers whose book blogs you frequent and take into consideration the opinions that people like you and me have on books that are vying for your attention and money?  I think we live in a very exciting time when everyone can have a voice and be heard.  Knowing that people are taking their time to read what I have to say and leave comments is a huge thing and an immense compliment to me intellectually.

And The July/August Book Is…

                                   The Great Man

THE GREAT MAN by Kate Christensen winning with 64% of the vote!  Thank you to everyone who voted this time around.  Just to remind you what this PEN/Faulkner Award winning novel is about here is the summary:

THE GREAT MAN~ “Oscar Feldman, the renowned figurative painter, has passed away. As his obituary notes, Oscar is survived by his wife, Abigail, their son, Ethan, and his sister, the well-known abstract painter Maxine Feldman. What the obituary does not note, however, is that Oscar is also survived by his longtime mistress, Teddy St. Cloud, and their daughters.
As two biographers interview the women in an attempt to set the record straight, the open secret of his affair reaches a boiling point and a devastating skeleton threatens to come to light. From the acclaimed author of The Epicure’s Lament, a scintillating novel of secrets, love, and legacy in the New York art world.”

What did you vote for this time around?  Was it the winning title or another?  Will you read The Great Man after voting?  Will you read it if it even though it wasn’t the book you voted for?  What other challenges or book club selections will you be reading this summer?  Please let us know!

Booking Through Thursday ~ Definition

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What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is?  … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

A “reader” is many things.  They read books of all kinds.  They are an author’s audience.  They love books and they pride themselves in what they have read.  I think that the Internet has created a different kind of reader all together.  There are people who get all of their information from web sites of all kinds, be it newspapers, magazines, e-books, or blogs.  That is also reading.  I guess that since I would categorize Internet readers within this definition I must also bring attention to the avid newspaper and magazine reader.  My husband’s uncle reads at least three newspapers, front to back, daily.  This takes time and is such a plethora of information it cannot be disregarded as not reading. 

So, in conclusion, a “reader” is someone who spends time daily reading and taking in information from some source, be it books, the Internet, newspapers or magazines. 


Time To Vote For Planet Books’ JULY/AUGUST Book

Hello There!!  I am really excited about the nominated titles for the July/August book and I hope you will be too.  I spent a while reading book blogs,,,, as well as, and Barnes & and finally came up with three great books that I hope you will enjoy learning about and then cast your vote below.  Voting polls will close Friday, June 27th at Midnight EST!

The first title is Elizabeth Noble’s “The Friendship Test”.  I have read Noble’s “The Reading Group” and loved it and I think this one sounds great too.  Below is a summary of “The Friendship Test” from Elizabeth Noble’s web site.  You can read an excerpt of the book HERE

A Novel

THE FRIENDSHIP TEST ~ “One late wine- and gossip-fueled night, four friends on a lark create a fateful test of friendship — one that challenges the very principles and boundaries of their alliance. To pass it means to never, at any cost, betray one another. Twenty years later, they must face that ultimate test.
We meet them at the dawn of their camaraderie in the 1980s and already each woman is distinguished from the other: Tamsin, the compassionate mother hen; Reagan, the brazen and clever overachiever; Sarah, the seemingly perfect beauty; and Freddie, who despite being far from her U.S. home, finds strength in her friends. We forward to today, and as promised they are still firm friends… that is until a crisis occurs and the principles that define their friendship test are challenged. Exquisitely rendered by Elizabeth Noble, The Friendship Test is a powerful testament to the depth and capacity of female relationships.”

The second book nominated is “The Position”by Meg Wolitzer.  “The Position” sounds intruiging and spicy which I thought could make for interesting discussions if this is the book to win the vote.  Below is a summary of the book and as with all three nominated books, you can read an excerpt HERE

A Novel

THE POSITION ~ “In1975, Paul and Roz Mellow write a bestselling Joy of Sex-type book that mortifies their four school-aged children and ultimately changes the shape of the family forever. Thirty years later, as the now dispersed family members argue over whether to reissue the book, we follow the complicated lives of each of the grown children and their conflicts in love, work, marriage, parenting, and, of course, sex — all shadowed by the indelible specter of their highly sexualized parents. Insightful, panoramic, and compulsively readable, The Position is an American original.”

The last book on the list is Kate Christensen’s “The Great Man”.  I had heard an INTERVIEW with Christensen on NPR’s Fresh Air last month and became interested in this story of “…secrets, love, and legacy in the New York art world.”  “The Great Man”  won the PEN/Faulkner Award this year.  Below is a summary of the book and you can read an excerpt HERE.

The Great Man

THE GREAT MAN~ “Oscar Feldman, the renowned figurative painter, has passed away. As his obituary notes, Oscar is survived by his wife, Abigail, their son, Ethan, and his sister, the well-known abstract painter Maxine Feldman. What the obituary does not note, however, is that Oscar is also survived by his longtime mistress, Teddy St. Cloud, and their daughters.
As two biographers interview the women in an attempt to set the record straight, the open secret of his affair reaches a boiling point and a devastating skeleton threatens to come to light. From the acclaimed author of The Epicure’s Lament, a scintillating novel of secrets, love, and legacy in the New York art world.”

Sunday Salon ~ June 1st 2008

What a lovely way to spend the first day of June!  Eating, reading and napping.  This morning the hubby and I joined friends for brunch over on the Air Force base.  After filling our bellies with omelets, waffles, bacon and other yummies, we headed home for a day of quiet relaxation.  There wasn’t anything on tv so for about an hour, with country music playing in the background, we read.  The hubby finished David Baldacci’s latest book, “The Whole Truth” and I fell deeper into “My Best Friend’s Girl” by Dorothy Koomson
This book is very good so far.  It’s quick, to the point and full of drama.  It’s the good, juicy kind of drama too.  Kamryn is the main character and after writing off her best friend two years earlier, she finds out that Adele is dying of Leukemia and has asked her to adopt her five year old daughter.  Problem is is that this child is a product of a night of cheating against Kamryn by Adele and Kamryn’s fiance.  (LOVE IT!!!!) 
There’s a daring rescue from child abusing grandparents, flashbacks to let us in on the betrayal and character building that doesn’t take forever. 
Depending on how busy this week turns out to be (so far I have at least one thing on the calendar everyday) I hope to be done with this by the end of the week at the latest. 
After reading for a while, it was nap time.  The rainy season has set in here in Okinawa and on a dreary, muggy day there isn’t anything better than reading and napping and reading some more. 
I hope your Sunday is as blissful as mine has been. 

BTT ~ What Is Reading, Fundamentally? May 29th

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What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.

I believe that books, the internet, magazines, newspapers and e-books, comics and graphic novels are reading.  Audiobooks, not so much.  I think audiobooks fall under the “being read to” category.  It’s hard for me to stay alert and keep my attention on the topic when being read to as an adult.  When I was little I loved being read to by my folks though.  Maybe the imagination works differently when we are children to when we are grown?  I don’t have trouble listening to NPR but I’m pretty interactive and talk back to the radio or Podcast when I do. 

To me reading means that I am learning something by taking in the information through the “physical act of reading”.  I do believe that reading things on the internet does register as that.  I probably read more on the internet than any other medium, second being books and magazines.  I look forward to the day when I have a “Kindle” and will read e-books.  I love to read and always have.  I feel that lately I am always reading due to my new

So Much To Read… Sooo Much To Read

As many of you know (and are lucky enough to be in the same boat as me) I live in Okinawa.  I’ve been here with my hubby and doggie for the last twenty-eight months (HOLY CRAP!!) and have really loved every moment of it.  I have the time to delve into different groups, make a great amount of wonderful friends and work on things that I’ve always wanted to but didn’t have the time.  Reading is one of those things. 

When I lived in Maryland and commuted to work in D.C. for two years I found that I had at least two hours a day just for reading.  Riding the Metro bus and subway allowed me to devote time daily to reading and I read a lot.  Then I moved to Memphis to be with the hubby and I had to drive to work.  The only time that I seemed to have to read was before bed time but because I was tired I didn’t stay awake very long.  I slowly realized that I was not reading as much as I used to and it was taking forever to finish a book. 

Living here in Okinawa I find I have the same problem.  I have a ton of “To Be Read” books on my shelf but actually finding the time to read (I don’t count before bed because that only last for a few minutes before I drift off) is challenging.  Between reading stuff on the Internet, trying to read at least one article in The New Yorker that arrives weekly, reading my monthly subscription to Elle Magazine & O Magazine, flipping through the occasional quilting and stamping magazine and my two book club selections (I love my book clubs, don’t get me wrong) I just wish I had more time to devote to reading.  I love to read, but I also love to watch t.v., quilt, stamp, lunch with friends, play with the doggie, practice my singing and work on the newsletter that I have taken on this year for one of my groups. 

Being a fan of reading, learning and broadening my horizons can be very time consuming.  I wouldn’t change my life here, I just wish that I could manage my time better so I can get everything I want to do done.