Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon: The joy of choosing what to read

The Sunday 
Salon.com

Good morning Saloners! It's been a few weeks since I've done any kind of blogging, though I did have a strong desire to post my I am Malala review this past week. I am slowly beginning to recover from my one-hobby-only obsession phase (knitting this time) and doing other things too. My husband loves to say that when I get involved with a hobby, I am fully involved in it - there is nothing else I can direct my attention to. I always take that as a compliment, though I know he is trying to tell me that I need to focus on my other responsibilities (I pretend I don't know that's what he is actually trying to tell me). Still, it's good to be over that phase and just try to be more disciplined with my hobbies. Knitting during Fall-Winter only is what is getting me re-obsessed during these months.

Anyways, it is nice to start thinking of books. I decided that the books I had borrowed from the library had to go back right away and that I need to ignore my read-now shelf (ARCs, e-galleys, planned books). I also decided to stop all my currently-reading books that have remained... currently-reading... and just pick the first book that catches my fancy from my shelves. I have some ideas on what books I want to read - mostly books or authors I have been hoping to read but never got to, such as Oryx and Crake, Cloud Atlas, and A Fine Balance. I have also been thinking of re-reading the Harry Potter books, mainly thanks to playing HP trivia in my phone's Quizup app, but it's been years since I last read those books and they always feel to me as the perfect Fall season books to read. I actually have visions of sitting in a stone tower with a nice warm fire in the hearth and a cup of hot chocolate beside me and reading the books. Yes, I'm borrowing this scene heavily the HP books themselves.

Luckily, I am listening to audiobooks every day and that makes me feel that I am still reading. I am almost finishing up Switching Time - a fascinating account of a psychiatrist's treatment of a woman with Multiple Personality Disorder. This woman had 17 alters, all born to help her deal with child abuse, rapes, and harassment by religious cult members. It's horrifying listening to all the ways she has been tortured - it made me wonder whether it is all invented, but a person doesn't create 17 alters out of pure fun. The book could have benefited from some better editing but it makes for great listening. I will be talking more about this in my review, but I have been itching to mention this book here for a while because of how much it has intrigued me.

I don't have any major plans for today. We woke up feeling the season's shill. Our thermostat is still set to the AC mode but it isn't running since it's too cold most of the time. I'm happy to welcome the cold (hey, I'm knitting, aren't I?) but I feel that it has been a really short summer. I'm expecting this week to be very busy at work, and next weekend we are driving to New Jersey to meet some friends and drop the husband's father closer to the NY airport. For the rest of the day, I'm hoping to catch up on my Feedly, do some knitting, and start reading something. How's your day/week going?

Comments

bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
Our air conditioner is still running but I'm not complaining. I'm not ready for summer to end. I've been reading whatever I want whenever I want for a few months now and it's so refreshing.
Day so far, so good except for my mouse isn't working and I'm having to use a touchpad, but if that's the worst this day brings, then I'll take it. The week? I should be knitting as cold as it is getting, but do have the windows open in the house right now and it feels kind of good. I'm hoping to finish a book this afternoon too. Nothing complicated, just a Kathy Reichs' Bones book.
Aw yeah, reread the Harry Potter books! I love rereading them, though for me, the season for them is summer. I used to reread the whole series before a new book would come out, so May/June always feels like the time for Harry Potter.
bellezza said…
I know what you mean about tending to focus on one hobby at a time...we do that to give it the full attention it deserves, right?

I haven't read Harry potter since my son was a boy at home, years ago, and I think I would like to revisit them, too. Which isn't to say I don't also have A Fine Balance and Cloud Atlas on my lists...
Lisa Sheppard said…
My middle son read Atwood's trilogy and has been supposed to bring me Oryx and Crake since he finished because he insists I need to read it. Hope to soon!
Ti Reed said…
I've had a good year with reading what I want to read. I do have ARCs in the mix but they are only ones that I would have read anyway on my own.

This morning it was 53 degrees and a little chilly for me. The weather report said it will be 100 degrees by the end of the week again though. I am so sick of the heat. I want to take out my fall stuff but it just doesn't feel right when it's so hot and you've got candles burning.
literaryfeline said…
Sometimes I have so many ideas of what I want to read that I can't actually seem to settle on anything. :-) I also know what it's like to get so single focused that other things fall by the wayside. That isn't my problem right now. My problem is wanting to do so much all at once . . .


I hope you have a great week!
Vasilly said…
It's good to see you around! :-) I'm trying to focus on reading SOMETHING right now but it hasn't happened lately. I hope you share pictures of your knitting with us.
Sheila DeChantal said…
I am thinking about re-reading Harry Potter this winter too... we should discuss this... maybe make it a thing :)
Athira / Aths said…
I agree with you. I think I am going to try refraining from commitments for a few months and see how it goes. I like making plans but the plans change to work soon.
Athira / Aths said…
Do you knit too? What do you like to make?
Athira / Aths said…
The HP books are usually Fall-Winter for me because the books start in the Fall. Whenever I think of each of the books, I remember the beginning more than the end, so somehow the book is associated with Fall/Winter.
Athira / Aths said…
Too many books, too little time...

I should try to read more from my bookshelves and rotate them so that I feel more like Too little books, too much time.
I don't knit. That was autocorrect. I really don't know what I was trying to say, but what I did say was funny. Hope this message makes it without any autocorrect. ;)
Athira / Aths said…
I haven't read anything by Atwood, so I hope I will get to this one soon!
Athira / Aths said…
We got a bit of warmer weather last week and I haven't been happy about it either. I am ready for the Fall and the Winter!
Athira / Aths said…
I can drop whatever I am currently reading only if I haven't been reading it in a long time. Otherwise I try to plod on. Or I don't read it for a long time so that I can guiltlessly drop it, haha.
Athira / Aths said…
Oh yeah, the two extremes! Both are equally annoying. One keeps you away from all other things, the other gives you very little opportunity to enjoy it all.
Athira / Aths said…
I'm hoping to start reading SOMETHING soon too. Maybe Atwood or David Mitchell. Definitely Harry Potter. We'll see.
Athira / Aths said…
Yes, we should! I am definitely in. I did start with the first book but haven't gotten past the first few chapters. Are you planning to read it? We should do a yearly readlong.
Athira / Aths said…
Your sentence as it is makes so much sense that my head is refusing to substitute words and make other sentences. Oh well. To me, you are probably always going to be a knitter, lol.
Oops, looking back at your post,in context, I was being a smart ass as in it's so cold that I should be knitting a sweater.
I go with my son to Harry Potter World the end of this month. I would like to kick off a read-a-long in November and maybe work our way through the books between then and March or April. I would like to think of a fun meme logo to entice others... feel free to email me if you want to team up on this -journeythroughbooks@gmail.com. I think it could be fun!
Helen Murdoch said…
The 17 personalities book sounds fascinating! I remember readying Sybil and seeing the movie starring Sally Fields (I think) and being amazed. I love the images you conjured up about the HP books; it still makes me feel good just thinking about them!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …