Kind of a Boring Post, This

June 24, 2010 @ 6:33 am | Filed under: ,

The cold is passing; has mostly passed. Thanks. I’m cleaning closets and the refrigerator. The Children’s Book still has me in its grip. Last night I didn’t even start thinking about dinner until about ten minutes past dinnertime. I threw together a slapdash meal of the last foodlike substances I could find in the house: some broccoli, some ramen noodles (lightly seasoned, no broth, the world’s cheapest side dish), and thin slices of deli ham fried on the pancake griddle. We had a big laugh, because it turned out to be the tastiest meal we’ve had all week. But then, you can’t go wrong with ramen noodles.

I am going to have to stop making To Be Read lists because they seem to doom the books to limbo. Most of the books named in my summer reading plan are books that appeared on a TBR list here on the blog at some point; all of them are books I actively want to read, or finish reading. I do this meta thing where I talk about wanting to read them but don’t actually, you know, READ them. And then eventually I do.

But anyway, I mention this because the TBR list has swollen again. Phoebe and I read the same James Sturm article at Salon (was it Salon?) and were intrigued by his mention of M. T. Anderson’s novel Feed. I read the first chapter via Kindle-for-iPod’s “sample this” option. Phoebe actually read the whole book, and she recommends it. I’ve got it on hold at the library.

Which is, of course, the reason for my Always TBR, Never R list…the books on that list are books I own. I wind up reading the books I’ve requested from the library, because there’s a time limit on them. Which ought to be a cautionary lesson for me.

My current library stack includes Enchanted Glass (the new Diana Wynne Jones), Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, two Kathi Appelt novels, another Hope Larson graphic novel, the Guy Appelt book we were talking about here the other day, Shannon Hale’s Calamity Jack, and, of course, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Which titles, along with the Byatt, themselves comprise a pretty fine summer reading list. Not to mention I have a new Lois Lowry (!) and a new Linda Sue Park (!) in my giant pile of review copies.

(Digital review copies, those two, which can only be read on a computer—since I don’t own a Kindle. The Kindle-for-iPod app is no good, here. This is an annoyance. I badly want to read these books, but I loathe the idea of reading a novel on my laptop. Ugh.)

    Related Posts


12 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Christine M says:

    We were just talking about this the other day – how the TBR pile grows, because we own those books, and the library books need to be returned. I guess having too many books to read is the kind of problem I don’t mind having.
    And I just got The Children’s Book out of the library, based on your raving about it!

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    Christine, it’s gripping, to be sure, but I don’t know, yet, if I *like* it. This is one of those times where “talking a lot about” doesn’t necessarily connote “raving about,” if you see what I mean.

  3. feebeeglee says:

    It was Slate, actually, not Salon.

    I love dystopic and post-apocalyptic fiction very much. I majored in Philosophy and we did a whole semester on dystopias. Great year.

    I have The Shallows up next. My mom is reading it now – she says it reminds her of The Tipping Point and Outliers, very engaging read with fascinating side trips. After The Shallows, I’m diving into the huge pile of medieval fic and history I just got for our next high-tide foray. Whee!

  4. MFS says:

    In March 2004, Mr., Master (now PFC), and I read Feed as for our family book club.

    We *still* refer to it.

    I wrote a little about the experience (see link at end of comment), including the observation that while we’re not pretending this is great literature, it’s definitely “Oh? Wow! Thing!” *

    Best regards… and I’m glad to read that you’re feeling better.


    * Which will make a lot more sense after you read it. My advice? Set aside the Byatt for a couple of days and read Feed. It will likely (re)shape the landscape of your imagination.

  5. Joann says:

    Glad to see that you are all recovering quickly. Novels aren’t awful on the laptop.

  6. Faith says:

    I hate not finishing books. I am about 2/3’s through A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Whenever I pick it up and read it I enjoy it, but for some reason I never want to read it. And then I found this really good intro to Thomas Aquinas and suddenly I’m not in the mood for fiction. So I was lecturing myself today about how I needed a little discipline. My decision is to speed read/skim the Twain book through to the end this weekend and then reward myself with Thomas Aquinas.

  7. Melissa Wiley says:

    Phoebe, SLATE, right! Thanks. That’s what I get for being too lazy to look up the link.

    Joann, the Adobe Digital Reader interface isn’t so bad (that’s what I’m using for these review copies), but you just can’t curl up with a laptop the way you can with a book. Or an iPod Touch, for that matter. Or the iPad I covet.

    And for the kids’ sake, I don’t want anything new to draw my attention to the computer, you know? Too many temptations in that direction as it is. I’d so much rather they saw me reading a book. I even have this guilty/defensive thing I do when I’m reading a book on the iPod—I’ll find myself announcing “I’m reading a book, by the way!” to the room at large. “An actual book!” Like there’s something less respectable about reading blogs or checking mail.

    Faith, I used to read only one book at a time, but it seems like homeschooling rendered that impossible. Or maybe just motherhood. All those read-alouds going for kids of different ages…all those times I sat down to nurse a baby and realized my current novel was in another room, but something else interesting was close at hand…

    Anyway, I always like to have at least one fiction book and one nonfiction work going simultaneously. Sometimes I want story. Sometimes I want fact. (Or opinion, heh.)

    Melissa, you’ve intensified my interest in FEED. I hope the library obliges quickly.

    The Byatt. I’m deeply immersed. Her prose is, as usual, breathtaking. And the history, the look at art & culture: fascinating. The transition from the Victorian era to the Edwardian.

  8. Toni says:

    Hooray! I was doing some Charlotte Mason searching on the web this evening and came across an old blog entry of yours regarding habit training (are you still doing this with your younger children? The habit training AND Charlotte Mason method).

    I so loved your writing and humor, then noticed the date and thought, “Oh no, tell me she’s still writing.” I was so pleased to discover that, yes, you ARE writing and, WOW, you are a successful published author as well (my dream as well…loving sigh).

    Adding your blog to favorites and will look forward to stopping back often.

  9. Toni says:

    Okay, one more thing. I just read your note about “How I blog” and couldn’t help but see the similarity in what I wrote under “What is the purpose of my blog?” on my own blog. That’s all for now. Carry on.

  10. Melissa Wiley says:

    Toni, how kind, thank you! Welcome!

  11. yvonne says:

    Read the Lois Lowry. I read a review copy a while back and enjoyed it. Fast and delightful. Wonderful illustrations if I remember correctly.

  12. Sara says:

    I read that L.M. Montgomery book, whose name escapes me now because it’s late, on my ipod touch. You have to get the Instapaper app and you can save any webpage to read at any time, even if you don’t have wi-fi available. I was able to read the Gutenberg “copy” that way.

    Would that help? Again, it’s late–I may have misread your post.