Making random conversation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It's been about a week since I blogged, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'm feeling inspired enough to post yet. It's one of those slow phases, you know, when neither reading nor blogging seems to rejuvenate me. Like softdrink, I figured it might just be better to make a stab at a return and then things should probably just look up. There's just been some crazy stuff going on, as always, and on top of that, work isn't slowing down either. I always knew things were going to heat up at the money-churning place this year, but that doesn't make me feel any better.

This year, I slowed down on the review copies I accepted (I haven't had an ARC turn up at my door in at least a month) and it feels really good. I guess part of the reason is because of how much more impulsive my reading has become that it feels nicer not to look at the calendar and mourn about all the books I haven't read. That said, I still have quite a few books I accepted earlier, which are yet to be read, and there are the NetGalley copies as well, which because I can't see them, seem to be absent from my memory as well. And worse, I have a tour date next week, but I haven't got the book yet (I fear it may have gone to my old address). I had been looking forward to reading this one so much that I'm hoping it will turn up somehow.

In the meantime, I have been picking up dystopian / apocalyptic / science fiction books that I had been meaning to read for months. Since I had hoped to read more of such books this second quarter, I have been looking for recommendations as well (sound one below if there's a particular one you liked). It's weird because just this morning I dreamt that I was in an apocalyptic world where people got infected by a strange something and that turned them purplish and murderous, and obviously yours truly was a heroine in the setting and trying to save the world from certain destruction. At some point I did wake up but I found the dream pretty fascinating and started to manufacture my own plot points for it. If only I didn't have to leave for work. Maybe I should write a book, capitalize on the whole dystopian craze, ya know?

Right now, I'm reading Fahrenheit 451, one of those classics that have some really thought-provoking stuff, but also some really crazy passages that are making me roll my eyes. What is it with half these scifi writers who preach too much and write terrible similes? Subtlety, folks, subtlety. Anyways, the concept of the book is making for fascinating reading, although I can't quite imagine such a world (where people just choose to stop reading? Really? Let's see what the news industry or the internet world have to say about that) but in 1953, it was definitely something you could easily imagine.

Some crazy stuff have happened while I was away though. Thu Pulitzers didn't choose a winner for Fiction and J.K. Rowling's releasing The Casual Vacancy this year (and generating too much nasty controversy, as only hype can.)

26 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm sorry you're feeling unmotivated.

Doesn't it feel good to read whatever whenever?Hope things are betters soon.

Aly said...

I'm going through this at the moment. It is suckish :/ hope you get out of the funk soon :)

bermudaonion (Kathy) said...

I'm the same way with e-books - I can't see them so they're not there.  You should take that dream and right a book for sure!

Jenn said...

My Advanced ESL class is finishing up Fahrenheit 451, so I read it before the semester began and am reading it with the. Preach on. There is some really crazy stuff in it. The ideas, yes, but the preachiness? Yeah, that drives me nuts.

Hope all is well and that you get back in the groove soon.

Judith said...

I love reading dystopian-type books, but with all those review copies I have... Yes, you're right to cut down on those. I'm trying to do that, but constantly run into nice new books that I can't pass on. Or so I think.

I want to read Fahrenheit 451 too. Glad you like it, more or less!

Kim said...

Fahrenheit 451 has been on my TBR list for some time - sounds interesting! As far as sci fi / dystopian / apocalyptic book recommendations, I recently read and enjoyed Glow by Amy Katleen Ryan, and I would also recommend Blood Red Road by Moira Young. I also really enjoyed Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series.

Helen Murdoch said...

Great post and I can really relate right now. I am not getting reading done, am turning down review requests (mostly), and each day have a moment where I almost panic because it isn't all flowing well. Work is insanely busy to top it all off. Tonight I go pick up my books for World Book Night and maybe I'll get rejuvenated by the event!

zibilee said...

I am sorry to hear that you are overwhelmed right now, and hope that things get back on track for you soon. I also can understand you opting out of review copies, because there is a sense of pressure attached to them. I also think your dream sounds neat, and there have been times when I am dreaming that I wish that I could turn around and write it out into a book, but alas, I am not that talented, and haven't done so yet! Feel better over there, my friend, and take things slowly.

Alyce Reese said...

I completely understand the difficulties of creating balance and maintaining enthusiasm. I have greatly limited my acceptance of ARCs this year in order to read more freely too. I hope that the pace relents for you and that your reading is filled with fun and excitement.

BuriedInPrint BuriedInPrint said...

I read dystopias in the middle of the day and only on sunny days, but I'm still quite the sissy (even though part of me loves them too). One of my all-time favourites is Jean Hegland's Into the Forest, because it's as much about the relationship between the sisters as it is about the situation they find themselves living in. I've also heard good things about Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now, but I haven't read it yet myself. 

It's been years since I read Fahrenheit 451; I've been thinking of re-reading. I think, given the political climate in the U.S. in those years (the devastation wrecked upon so many people's lives because they held opinions that were not sanctioned by the government or were simply rumoured to have held those opinions) that Bradbury would have felt compelled to use different language and a more seemingly didactic style. I loved it as a teenager, but I doubt I was looking for artistry; I'm curious whether I'll enjoy it now!

Athira / Aths said...

It definitely feels wonderful to read whatever I wish. I hope to make that the way most of my reading goes.

Athira / Aths said...

I hope you get out of it soon too. The funk definitely makes you feel so dull!

Athira / Aths said...

I'm trying to get better at remembering the ebooks I have. It doesn't help that I don't like reading ebooks much, so that's also a factor.

Athira / Aths said...

This one is sounding just like Brave New World - madness in the characters, an intense character surrounded by dumb ones, and a truck load of preachiness. I guess it is recently that preachiness is not favored even by authors, but it's funny that books of a certain age used to be full of them.

Athira / Aths said...

Oh I cannot pass up on good books either.. I'm just opening less of such emails and links. Not willingly, but simply because I'm not getting the time to do that anymore. Dystopian books are calling to me right now, so it feels good to read a few from this genre.

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks for those recommendations! I am going to check out those books. Fahrenheit 451 is a pretty good book, if you can get past all the stream-of-consciousness. 

Athira / Aths said...

I can't wait to hear how the World Book Night goes! You should post a picture of all the books! It will be wonderful! I hope it brings back the reading fever!

Athira / Aths said...

It would be really wonderful if every morning I woke up to no major plans than translating my dreams into stories and novels. Sigh, such a life is not to be, so instead, I'll try to find time here and there to focus on writing.

Athira / Aths said...

I am definitely finding that the lesser number of review copies I am obliged to read, the better I feel. I try to make a system that I can stick to, but that's a hard thing to do when a really awesome book comes calling you. Still, I feel that taking on lesser commitments this year has helped.

Athira / Aths said...

If you reread it, I will be curious to see what you think of Fahrenheit 451. I can see how even I will be enamored by this book as a child. It has all the elements that can invigorate the teen mind - revolution, war, bans, control, lack of freedom, etc. But as an adult, I guess I tend to read it more objectively. Thanks for those recommendations! I will be checking them out.

Ryan St.Onge said...

I love Fahrenheit 451 but I think it is rooted in the time it was written, in the heyday of radio and the early days of television. I think there was a read feeling that books had had their day. Bradbury was really onto something, though and there's a lot to be said for the novel and how things have turned out.

Diane@Bibliophilebythesea said...

I can really relate to much of what you've shared.  I rarely request ARCS anymore, but for some reason eBooks do not get added into my mix -- oh yeah, the unread eBooks are accumulating as well. 

I seem to go through phases -- mostly it is that my reviews get backlogged as I find them time consuming and never enjoyed paperwork--LOL

We are thinking of you:)

softdrink said...

So has that softdrink recipe worked for ya? 'Cause it's still hit and miss with me. :-D

Athira / Aths said...

LOL, the review backlog never gets emptied right? Some times I just decide not to review a book or two because I can no longer remember much about the finer details and then I just don't feel motivated about reviewing it.

Athira / Aths said...

It didn't ;) I guess I tried the technique a few days too early. LOL. See, I'm just getting to the comments.

Athira / Aths said...

I agree with you there. I do feel it was set in a different time and therefore a lot of what he says in the book could make me raise my eyebrows too high. I think I didn't have an issue with most elements of the book but for the preaching.