Back!

We had an amazing trip and time away in Mexico. It would have been nice to read more but we ended up spending the time relaxing.

Now, I’m assistant stage manager for The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde for St. Marys Community Players. This is a group I’ve been involved with for a number of years. While the show is on I don’t have the time I would like to read either but after it’s over next week I’ll have more time to focus on my reading again.

However in the next week or so I’ll have a few reviews ready to post. Looking forward to diving right into more books too. I’m also considering hosting a reading challenge as well.

Booking Through Thursday #36

Booking Through Thursday

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

This a really difficult question to answer but here is my best shot!

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird 
  2. The Book Thief
  3. The Gargoyle 
  4. Wild Geese
  5. The Hobbit
  6. Animal Farm
  7. Charlotte’s Web
  8. An Appointment With My Brother
  9. Dracula
  10. We Need to Talk About Kevin
  11. Maus I
  12. The Politics of Jesus
  13. Ragtime
  14. The Cellist of Sarajevo
  15. We Wish to Inform You that We Will be Killed With Our Families

Booking Through Thursday #35 – Gluttony

Booking Through Thursday

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I’m definitely one that buys more books than I could possibly read.  I hear about books and rather than keeping a list I go and get the book.  In fact, I have two books that I need to pick up at the store now that I’ll get on my way to work.  I’ve been trying to curb my book buying but it’s proving to be a difficult task.  The only way to really curb the book buying would be to stop reading reviews and not enter the book store.  

I don’t know about you but it is almost impossible to walk past a book store while walking through the mall or down the street.  Are you also the type that must walk in when you see a book store?

Booking Through Thursday #34 – Graphic

 

 

Booking Through Thursday

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

– Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
– How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
– Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

Yes, I read graphic novels regularly.  It’s a relatively new genre for me but I’ve really gotten into it.  I really lie them because it’s a different way of telling a story.  The images in a graphic novel are just as important, if not as important, as the text found with this the little bubbles we associate with comics and graphic novels.  

I’m finding there is little difference between comics and graphic novels.  I say that because most books that are considered graphic novels started out as comics and have been compiled to form the graphic novel.  That’s not to say that there aren’t books that were originally intended for this genre.  The more important point to make here is that style or type doesn’t matter as much as the tale that is being told.  If the story isn’t good it doesn’t matter if it’s comic/graphic novel/fiction.  

I would definitely say that Fables is the must read series.  I suggest that one because I’m still getting into the genre and learning more about it all the time.  I really enjoyed Walking Dead as well, I’ve only read the first book but I’m really looking forward to getting the other ones.  A great Canadian work would be Pyongyang about Guy Delisle’s trip to North Korea to work on an animated show.  Yesterday I picked up the first book in the Sandman series and I’m really looking forward to reading that one, I’ve only heard good things about it.

Booking Through Thursday #33 – Worse?

 

Booking Through Thursday

 

 

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

 

I must say I’m truly stumped on this one.  It’s probably because I’m way to judgmental when it comes to reading.  So, if I love a book a lot I tend not to read anything else by the author for fear that it will be terrible and thereby taint the book I love.  And if I don’t like a book by an author it’ll take a lot of convincing to read something else by them.  I guess I just don’t know why I would want to put a book I love into jeopardy by reading something else and maybe not liking it or disliking something else and torturing myself because if one was buy what are the chances I’ll like something else by them?

But then you get favourite authors who write with varying degrees of greatness.  Take Douglas Coupland for example.  I love Douglas Coupland and enjoy his writing.  Some of his novels I enjoy more than others – jPod (loved) Miss Wyoming (not so much) – but that doesn’t mean totally disliked the novel.  And there are other examples of this I could talk about but I’m sure you get my point.  I didn’t enjoy the book as much as ones I’ve loved but I also wouldn’t say it was terrible.

I guess this is another answer I’ll have to chalk up as one I just don’t know the answer to.

Now that I’ve gone back and read the question after that very long rant I guess I’ll really answer the question (oops).  I would have to say it would  worse to find a book I love then hating everything else they read.  That’s why if I love a book I generally don’t read anything else by that author.

Booking Through Thursday #32 – Symbolic? or Not?

 

Booking Through Thursday

My husband is not an avid reader, and he used to get very frustrated in college when teachers would insist discussing symbolism in a literary work when there didn’t seem to him to be any. He felt that writers often just wrote the story for the story’s sake and other people read symbolism into it.

It does seem like modern fiction just “tells the story” without much symbolism. Is symbolism an older literary device, like excessive description, that is not used much any more? Do you think there was as much symbolism as English teachers seemed to think? What are some examples of symbolism from your reading?

 

I think I’d have to agree with your husband on this one.  Sometimes closing the door is simply closing the door.  Not everything has an alternate meaning or hint of symbolism.  Now I wouldn’t say that is always the case.  I think there are some books that contain symbolism, that’s what fairy tales are all about, but I don’t it’s something we should be hunting for while reading a book.

This was a discussion that came up regularly while I attend university at CMU and discussed the Bible.  As a believer I wouldn’t say that the Bible should be read and taken exactly as it’s written.  There is symbolism in the Bible but there are other times we shouldn’t take any more from what is written than what is on the page.  

In the literary world there are times when the author is attempting to say more than what appears on the page.  Nothing is more obvious than when we read a script.  Playwrights need to be telling us more than just the dialogue. The action and the words combined often have a deeper meaning than what we see.  Take for example Shakespeare (who by the way is celebrating his birthday today!) if we take A Midsummer Nights Dream literally you’ll be missing the whole point.  And in case you didn’t already know faeries aren’t real and the chances you’ll enter the forest and get an asses head are at zero.  

I think I should stop here because I’m just rambling on and on saying essentially the same thing over and over again.  This is a great question by Barbara, thank you for the great question.

Booking Through Thursday #30

Booking Through Thursday

For something different, I’m borrowing a question from … here! One of the very first questions ever at Booking Through Thursday. Back from 2005 when Laura owned the blog but, because it was so new, it didn’t get as many responses as it does now … so, why not revisit?

Here’s the question:

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

  1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
  2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
  3. Is this normal for you?
  4. Where do you keep your current reads?

I usually have several books on the go and right now I think I have 4 of them on the go.  This is the norm and I often switch between them with ease.  I like that I have options when it comes time to read so I think it’s a great system to have a number of books on the go at once.  And I usually have these books all over the house, it’s all dependent on where I last read the book.

With having a number of books on the go at one time it’s important, for me at least, to ensure the books are different so that I don’t get confused with what is happening in each book.  I used to read a number of similar books at the same time and it just became too confusing so I changed the system to make sure I could keep everything straight while reading.

There are even sometimes I put a book of the back burner for a while and come back to it later.  Some books need the time to digest before moving on while others just need the time to sit before I can become interested or engaged with the book again.  I currently have a book in this category right now.

Booking Through Thursday #29

Booking Through Thursday

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

These are some great questions, which should elicit some interesting responses.  It’s been a long time since I’ve used a library, not because I don’t like them it’s just that I prefer owning my own books, which can be a rather expensive hobby.  For me the problem is being told how much time I can spend with a book, that particular boundary is what holds me back from taking advantage of the services that a public library offers.

As for the library being replaced by the coffee shop/bookstore I’d have to say no.  This is yet another option in the source for books.  Each serve a different function and so one cannot replace the other.  One serves a purpose the other doesn’t, unless this happens I don’t think it will ever replace the library.

spl

I did visit the library as a child but not very often because my parents weren’t readers.  I was actually the only one that did any reading the house and so could only use the library when my class would go or once I was old enough to go myself.  But once I was old enough my use of library services changed because I had cash to spend on books and nothing is more satisfying that purchasing a brand new book and opening it up and experiencing that book for the first time.

Since I live in a theatre town I remember the theatre room that my public library has.  I don’t remember the name but it has a huge collection of theatre related books as well as a video collection of Shakespeare films.  It’s a great room that you can use and sit and read the books in this collection or sit a watch one of the videos.

I much prefer the older darker libraries.  There’s something an old building that houses novels and the mystery that comes with older buildings.

Booking Through Thursday #28

Booking Through Thursday

The opposite of last week’s question: “What’s the best ‘worst’ book you’ve ever read — the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?”

To be honest I cannot think anything that would answer this question personally.  Usually if I hear enough negative about a book I avoid it because I don’t want to waste my time on something that I wouldn’t enjoy.  I cannot even think of something that I read and enjoyed  that I later found out others really didn’t like.

I’ll be interested to see what everyone else had to say on this subject.

Booking Through Thursday #27

Booking Through Thursday

How about, “What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

I think this is perhaps the easiest question to answer in recent history.  I read this particular novel last year and promptly wrote the review for it because I just needed to get off my chest how much I didn’t like this particular novel.  And as I stated back then it is a little embarrassing to say that I don’t like the book because so many people have said that they love it so much.

The book I’m talking about it Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I found the the novel to be difficult to get into and really didn’t care about any of the characters. There were actually times I almost gave up on reading it.  But I persisted in hopes that it would get better and that I may end up liking it in the end.  No suck luck.

I guess you cannot like them all can you?  I’m really interested to see what everyone else had to say on the subject.  I recall reading reading a review this week (and sorry but I don’t recall who it was that wrote it) of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and they really didn’t like it.  I must say that I enjoyed most of the novel, except for one part in which the narrator has an experience in another persons body.  It was truly bizzar and almost enough to completely ruin the whole novel for me to.  But it seems like a novel most people loved.

I’m looking forward to see what others have to say.  Happy reading everyone.