Sunday Salon: Post-readathon and the last week of National Poetry Month

I don’t know about you, but the day after Readathon has been pleasantly rainy and relaxing. I am finally feeling better. I had this cough for over a month and last week it became clear that it was not getting better, in fact it was getting worse. After going to the doctor and being diagnosed with bronchitis, I settled in for a weekend of antibiotics and rest. I came home from work on Friday and essentially passed out, sleeping for a couple hours, before waking up only to rest on the couch. I haven’t been this sick in a long time, so it’s been hard to make myself sit still and recover, but I’m finally there, thank goodness.

Today I have done a whole lot of nothing, except sit and read and watch many episodes of Supernatural, my current television obsession. I also needed a comfort read, so I’m rereading The Golden Compass, which I haven’t read in almost nine years. Falling back into that world has been lovely, but I’m a little annoyed that I can’t get Nicole Kidman out of my head. I don’t remember much from that abysmal movie, but I do remember Nicole Kidman and her creepy monkey. I have the lovely Everyman Library copy, which will be too heavy to take on the subway, so I think I’ll take my ereader and read some galleys. I have Gone Girl, which I started reading and really enjoyed. I’ve heard great things about it, so that will be my to and from work book. I’ve been in the mood for YA fantasy lately. Do you have any suggestions? I have Pandemonium to read and I’ve requested Hex Hall from the library.

This week is the last week of National Poetry Month! There will be a poem every day, just like the rest of the month, but Tuesday is also the April edition of the Read More/Blog More Poetry event! I hope you’ll consider participating. This month, the Mr. Linky will be hosted at Kelly’s blog. I also thought I’d give you some prompts, just in case you needed something to talk about:

1) Talk a little bit about National Poetry Month. Did you notice a lot of campaigns for National Poetry Month, either on the web or elsewhere? How visual was National Poetry Month for you? What did you think of the efforts? Do you have any suggestions?

2) Choose a poem and talk about it. What do you think about the poem? You don’t need to analyze it, though if that’s what you’d like to do you totally can, but just tell us how it makes you feel.

3) Where do you get your poetry? Last month I blogged about finding poetry on the web, from Twitter to blogs to other online poetry resources. Do you read poetry in books, primarily online, in magazines?

4) How do you think we can teach kids to love poetry?

Feel free to talk about whatever you like this Tuesday, but if you need some inspiration, there you go! I hope to see you here discussing poetry Tuesday.


TSS – The Dog-Ear Manifesto

I always get a lot of flack for being an unapologetic dog-earer of book pages, library and personal copies alike.  (I can hear you all gasping right now, as I type.)  But please, hear me out.  I have here for you today, The Dog-Ear Manifesto.  The top six reasons that dog-earing a book should not only be accepted, but embraced!

1) You have a bookmark wherever you are!  No more tearing up old receipts or your child’s school art project.

2) When you dog-ear a page, there’s never any fear that you will lose your place!  Your bookmark can’t fall out when it’s part of the page.  Even if the page becomes un-dog-eared, you can still usually tell where you dog-eared a page.

3) It does little to no real damage to a book.  So the page is bent a little, it’s not the end of the world, but usually you can’t even tell!

4) Instead of writing in a library book, or using up a ton of paper, I can mark a page with a fabulous quote without hurting the book.

5) It saves the environment! You don’t have to make extra bookmarks, there’s one built right in to your book!

6) Whenever I see a library book that has been dog-eared, I immediately begin thinking about that other reader.  Are they a kindred spirit?  What did they think about this page, why did they stop here?  Was it just a good place to stop or did something interrupt their reading?  Did they find something particularly moving on this page?

A dog-eared book is a well-loved book.  Pass it on.

TSS – A little meme for your morning

Most recently seen at: I was a teenage book geek & Bart’s Bookshelf.  Answer the questions with book titles you’ve read this year!

In high school I was: Waiting (Ha Jin)

People might be surprised I’m: Born Round (Frank Bruni)

I will never be: The Maze Runner (James Dashner)

My fantasy job is: Flight (Sherman Alexie)

At the end of a long day I need: Love is the Higher Law (David Levithan)

I hate it when: Flyaway (Suzie Gilbert)
I have lots of flyaways. 

Wish I had: A Year By the Sea (Joan Anderson)

My family reunions are: Remarkable Creatures (Tracy Chevalier)

At a party you’d find me: Runaways (Brian Vaughn)

I’ve never been to: Palestine (Joe Sacco)

A happy day includes: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Alan Bradley)

Motto I live by: A Good and Happy Child (Justin Evans)

On my bucket list: Mendoza in Hollywood (Kage Baker)

In my next life I want to be: The Great Perhaps (Joe Meno)

TSS – 22 August 2010

Isn’t it always just perfect when two books you are reading speak to one another?  This week I’ve been reading On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (which I adored – review to come tomorrow) and Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture 1875-1945.  One of the things that I know I have taken for granted over my lifetime is that the concept of youth and being a teenager is something that it is a relatively new contribution of Western society.  How fitting that the two books I randomly chose to read this week dealt with this concept.  I love the combination of a non-fiction history book and a novel about the same topic.

In On Chesil Beach, there are several quotes that so perfectly address this state of in-between that had yet to be named.  Here are a few examples:

Almost strangers, they stood, strangely together, on a new pinnacle of existence, gleeful that their new status promised to promote them out of their endless youth – Edward and Florence, free at last!

The term “teenager” had not long been invented, and it never occurred to him that the separateness he felt, which was both painful and delicious, could be shared by anyone else.

It was in theory open to them to abandon their plates, seize the wine bottle by the neck and run down to the shore and kick their shoes off and exult in their liberty.  There was no one in the hotel who would have wanted to stop them.  They were adults at last, on holiday, free to do as they chose.  In just a few years’ time, that would be the kind of thing quite ordinary young people would do.  But for now, the times held them.  Even when Edward and Florence were alone, a thousand unacknowledged rules still applied.  It was precisely because they were adults that they did not do childish things like walk away from a meal that others had taken pains to prepare.  It was dinnertime, after all.  And being childlike as not yet honorable, or in fashion.

As someone who grew up when being young is known as the best time of your life, this idea is wholly alien to me, but not entirely repellent.  Now that I’m leaving being a teenager behind, I find that my friends are dreading what comes next, that each year brings us closer to something resembling responsibility and adulthood.  I wish there was something in between that both exalted our youth, relished in middle age, and respected old age.  In any case, I’m excited to continue reading Teenage, a book that discusses this transformation of youth from something you grew out of into something desirable.

As Savage claims in his introduction:

This book, therefore, tells the history of the quest, pursued over two different continents and over half a century, to conceptualize, define and control adolescence.  Apart from the dialogue between American, Britain, France and Germany, it contains several different elements that encapsulate the tension between the fantasy and the reality of adolescence, and between the many varied attempts to exalt or to capture this fugitive and transitory state. (xviii)

Teenage is already adding books to my TBR, like the diaries of Marie Bashkirtseff.  I might have to keep On Chesil Beach out from the library just a little bit longer to see if I can understand the lives of Florence and Edward even more after finishing Teenage.

Any happy book connections in your reading lately?

TSS – 8 August 2010

Books  read this week – reviews pending:

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier & The Color of Heaven by Kim Dong Hwa

Posts this week:

Fat Cat and Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande

Currently reading:

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Happy Sunday!

TSS – 1 August 2010

Okay, nothing is going right this morning.

WordPress was down.  Now the Sunday Salon badge is NOT working.  But you guys know what it looks like.

Nothing is going right in the reading department either, unfortunately.  I was definitely digging Her Fearful Symmetry and then… I left my book at work.  I forgot to get it again on Friday and now I have spent the whole weekend without it.  But I am seriously loving it, so I can’t wait to get back to it on Monday.

So instead, I started reading Fire Study.  Now please, step in here and say, “But Lu!  You never posted a review of Magic Study!  Why are you holding out on us like that?”

Because I never read it.  I thought Fire Study was the second book in the series, but it is not.  It is the third.  The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking, “Wow!  That’s a weird decision to just start the book after so much time has passed. Why would Snyder decide to do that.”  Um, unfortunately it didn’t click until 100 pages into the book.  Now I don’t even want to continue reading the series.  I’m so bummed out.  Dear publishers: PLEASE make it clear the order of a series.  Nothing is worse than reading books out of order.

I did read the graphic novel The Color of Water today and I liked it, but not as much as The Color of Earth.  It definitely suffered from second book syndrome.  It really just felt like a connector between The Color of Earth and The Color of Heaven. I’m looking forward to reading the third and final book in the series.  Fortunately I read them in order.

I hope your reading goes a bit smoother than mine did.  Happy Sunday and Happy August 1st!

TSS – 18 July 2010

I always think of summer as the finish line.  I am done with school, I have countless hours to read by the pool, on the beach, or just on my couch in the air conditioning.  Every winter and spring this is my mantra – just get to summer, you’ll be reading more then.  But the truth of the matter is that I never read more in the summer than I do in the winter and I always end up baffled by why this is.  I suppose it’s really not so complicated though.

This summer, I have the first full time job of my entire life.  I don’t think I noticed because the job I had last summer was so mentally demanding that it felt full time and I often ended up working from home when I wasn’t in the office.  This summer my job is so much fun, though occasionally stressful, and even though I’m working really long hours, I love it.  I come home and by the time I work out, eat dinner, spend some time with the people I love, I’m exhausted.  I end up going to bed around 10:30 every night, with little time for anything else.  This doesn’t leave much time for reading, unfortunately.

I have found a little time each day to pick up a book though, so I am reading, just slowly. In the mornings I read Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier while work is very quiet for half an hour.  After 7, all the kids arrive and I can no longer read until I get home.  Usually I try to read some more in the day, but some days it just doesn’t happen.  And you know?  I’m totally okay with that.  I don’t really have anymore blogging commitments now that my round of Nerds Heart YA is up and I’ve just been enjoying the leisurely reading.  It’s really what summer is supposed to be, right?  Nothing telling me what to read or when to read, just the pleasure of reading what I want when I get a few minutes.

You know what I have missed though?  Continuously blogging.  With no books to review, I’ve struggled to come up with posts that fit into Regular Rumination.  Though I have not shied away from writing about my personal life here in the past, the posts I’ve wanted to write simply haven’t fit into what I have created as Regular Rumination’s standard.  I know that I could change that in an instant, but honestly I really felt like for the posts I wanted to write I needed another blog.  I used to write in a journal daily, but have lost that as the years went on.  Now I have started a new blog, it is called At the Bridges and it will be a completely personal blog.  If you’re at all interested, I’d love for you to stop by.

Starting At the Bridges was greatly inspired by an email I received a week or so ago from Vicki at So Very Vicki.  She had really enjoyed my letter to Elizabeth Strout that I used as a review for Olive Kitteridge and asked if she could reprint it (with credit, of course).  At first I was wary, it seemed like a strange request!  But I thought, let’s check out Vicki’s blog and see.  I loved it!  It was a complete and total inspiration.  She is wonderful and the things she posts about are simply divine.  (One of my favorite words is joy too, Vicki!)  The things that Vicki had to say about Regular Rumination and my review of Olive Kitteridge were so amazing to hear.  She’s really wonderful, so please go check out her blog!

I made it my goal at the beginning of the year to find the simple, joyful things in life every day.  With school and exams and commuting, that was difficult and I eventually gave up on that.   Vicki has inspired me to start that over again.  I really feel like I should record the wonderful things that are happening, and even the not so wonderful ones, so I have them somewhere.  Everyone needs to be reminded now and again that there is joy in this world and we encounter it every day.  I won’t lie, I have my melancholy moods, but slowly reminding myself to enjoy what is beautiful about each day has been remarkable the past few days.

So enjoy your summer reading and enjoy the wonderful things that life has to offer!