March 29, 2011

I can't help myself

If I keep up this habit, booklove Sunday is eventually going to move through the whole week and wind up back at Sunday again. But I'm still here, and still reading. I'm just really busy again in the times I'm not reading. There was a weekend trip, which is why Sunday passed by, and then today is the Boy-Creature's birthday, so I was making cupcakes last night. The good news is that the busy should really only last for about another week. So here goes booklove Tuesday morning.

Still meandering my way through the Bill Bryson, and surprisingly, still reading The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite as well. I get distracted easily. That's my only excuse.

Plus, I've added a third book. I can't help myself. It's a sickness.

Because of that weekend trip I mentioned, I grabbed one of the new books I'd bought recently. And since said trip consisted of twelve of us crammed in a van, I was trying to pack light, so I literally just grabbed the smallest of the stack. Which, luckily, turned out to be marvelous reading. It's Michael Chabon's The Final Solution, and even though I only started on Friday night, I'm already about six pages from the end. Really, I should have just finished it last night, but my eyes kept dropping shut, and I wasn't retaining anything. Plus, this book is good enough that I really want to actually read what I'm reading. It really is wonderful. I've said before that The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, his most well-known book, is one of the best I've ever read, and this one is just as enjoyable. If you haven't read any of his books, go do it. They're some of the best, most interesting books I've read in ages, and the language is completely lovely.

So after tonight it'll be back down to two. Of course, after that, who knows.

March 21, 2011

More to add to the pile

The entire last week has been nuts, so sadly there has not been a lot of time for reading.

The high point was the Irish car bomb cupcakes I made for Saint Patrick's Day and brought to the office. They were incredibly delicious.

The low point is how awful my allergies have been. The only slight consolation is that everyone is suffering through them alongside me, even the Boy Creature, who tried to claim that he didn't have allergies, and his itchy eyes were just because they were dry. He stopped saying that when his nose started running as badly as mine has been.

So I've been a little bit crabby lately, cupcakes aside. Although the allergies actually have led to a bit more reading, since my sinuses seem to calm down a bit if I'm lying flat on my back. And there's not much else I can do in that position but read. So I have been. Which is good because I went back to that Borders that's closing and bought six more books and three CDs, all for less than the first trip.

I'm still meandering my way through the Bryson, which is still just as enjoyable. But the other thing I'm reading is called The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins.

I tend to love books like this, that are either lists of interesting things, or sort of faux-anthropological studies, like Laren Stover's Bohemian Manifesto and The Bombshell Manual of Style. Those are two of my very favorite books, and always will be. These sorts of books make for pretty light reading, but they're so enjoyable. So far with The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, I've read about the history of fanfares, and elephant-shaped buildings, and the one-time trend in Asia of keeping crickets in tiny, baroque cages as pets, among other things.

I started the book yesterday, and I'll probably be done with it by tomorrow or the next day, but at the moment, I am liking it very much.

March 17, 2011

Just not my thing

For the first time in my life, I am working in an office where women are not in the majority by a huge margin. For some reason, I just kept ending up surrounded by women in offices. But now there are guys around. And apparently it's basketball time.

March madness started this morning, and every guy on our hall is in on it, and they were talking about it all day. Apparently there was an upset. Or something. I didn't care.

I didn't care to the point that when my friend asked me if I wanted to fill in a bracket, I just gave him a blank stare until he slowly backed out of my office.

I so don't care about sports. Any of them.

March 14, 2011

The other ones

I do realize that I didn't do my booklove post. I pretty much counted the whole day as a loss. It was lost to daylight savings time, and the birthday party the night before, where we suddenly realized that it was two thirty in the morning, and we were still playing cards. Which was actually three thirty in the morning. So when I woke up at ten something, it was actually eleven something. So we called it a lazy day and spent it in our PJs, watching Doctor Who and whatnot.

But I did have books to talk about. Last week I mentioned that I managed to limit it to two- sort of. I didn't get around to explaining the sort of.

I'm still working my way through the Bryson. It's fascinating, even though I'm up the part where he's telling all about how easily we could all die when a huge volcano explodes, or when a massive meteor smashes into the planet, or something else dramatic and unpreventable like that. I'm really enjoying it. And I have since finished The Lost Art of Reading, so now it's actually down to one- sort of.

So here are two that I'm sort of reading now, plus some bonus tangentially related booklove.

I did start reading A Novel in a Year, and Heather Sellers' Chapter After Chapter. Heather Sellers' other related book, Page After Page, is probably my favorite book on creative writing that I own. It's the one I always go back to when I'm feeling stuck, or when I feel like I need to kick my own butt to get back to writing. Chapter After Chapter is focused on novel writing.

See the pattern?

I say I'm sort of reading them, because I'm reading them each one little section at a time. While I work on my own little bits of fiction, which I hope will add up to a novel. I doubt that'll happen in a year. Novels take lots of time, especially when you've never really written one. But I hope that at the end of a year, I'll at least have a pile of raw material that could be worked into a novel.

Wish me luck.

March 6, 2011

Adventures in nonfiction

There were years and years when I had a really hard time getting interested in non-fiction. Those days are most definitely gone, as I seem to be in yet another stretch where it's all I'm reading. At the moment, I've managed to limit it to just two. Sort of.

The two I'm reading fit into my plan for the sorts of things I wanted to read after I finished school. I figured the books I'd read would be my way of continuing my own education. So far I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job of it.

First of all, I'm finally reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I bought it nearly three years ago, right after we graduated college, and I was in San Diego for a short visit with the Boy Creature. Somehow, even though I was the one that had just bought the book, he convinced me to leave it in San Diego with him, so he could read it.

That took him a year. He's not even that slow of a reader, he just only reads every so often. Not every single night, and for several more hours on the weekends (usually), like me. So he finally finished it and gave it back, and for some reason I'm only getting around to it now.

And it's great. Go read it. It's full of really fascinating science and history, and not remotely boring, ever, because Bryson is such a great writer.

The other book I started is not Views from the Loft, like I expected. Although it'll probably be next up. Instead, I'm reading The Lost Art of Reading, and I'll be done with it in no time. It's a very slender volume, as they say, and I zoomed through about a quarter of it today, before I fell asleep. Afternoon reading naps are my favorite kind of naps. Still, I'll probably already be done with it by tomorrow. And then on to the Loft! I think. We'll see how I feel when it's actually time. I never know if I feel like starting a new book until it's just time to start. But it's worked so far.

March 5, 2011

Someday, I hope

I've started a writing project this week, and it's been the main thing on my mind. In lots of different ways.

Now I want one of these to use as one of these.

I just have to figure out where to put it. I don't think it would fit in very well in our apartment complex.