Friday, October 10, 2008

Blast from the Past

In an effort to make our blog a useful, book-choosing tool for all the land (read: an outrageously popular, lucrative endeavor), we've decided to post and comment about past books we've read. I'm starting with a book I chose a few months ago. Fantastic sorta-naughty title don't you think?

This non-fiction book tells the story of J. Maarten Troost, who at age 26 moved with his girlfriend to the far-off South Pacific island of Tarawa. He leaves the states expecting an idyllic tropical paradise and instead finds an rocky atoll (don't worry, he'll tell you what that word means) that could really use more frequent beer shipments and an island-wide sewer system. I think it will make you laugh.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Book Lover

O,kay, I can see myself in some of the observations made by my fellow lover of books, Jen. First of all, I don't consider it cheating to peek at the ending, I'm pragmatic, (hold on a sec, I've got to look that word up and make sure I'm using it correctly; okay, I am) I just want to make sure I am going to like the ending, or maybe not, and I don't do it on all the books I read. Also, I admit to reading several books at a time, and it can be quite confusing. Last month, in my quest to pick a GREAT book for this month, even though sometimes I wonder why I worry about it so much since sometimes we spend about 3 seconds discussing the book, and 4 hours discussing and fixing the world's/ ward's problems, I was reading several books that had the same situations going on in them. Two of them were centered around World War 2, and 2 of them talked about phrenology, and I started them getting all mixed up. But I still kind of like to have a couple of books going at once, just in case I start to lose interest in one of them, I can take a peek at the ending, see if it is worth my time, and if not, on to the next book. There are just too many books out there to waste time on a so-so book.
I'm starting to wonder if I have ADD! No, when I find a book I really like, I can give it my complete attention, sometimes too much. It is amazing how I can ignore the world around me when I am engrossed in a good book. Celia was talking about her kids tattling on her, and that has certainly happened to me too. I would hurry up and get all my work around the house done so I could sit down and read that book that was screaming my name. Books can be so compelling, I really don't understand when people say they don't like to read. What is wrong with them! And I'm talking about some of my own kids. I really believe that once they find the genre that interests them, everyone would love to read. So, get a good book, this month that would be The Lace Reader, forget about your troubles and ENJOY!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What Book or Books are on your Night Stand?

In other words...

I want to know what everyone is reading. Would you recommend it to your fellow book readers?  I know we went over this in book club last week, but I didn't write anything down!

Also, what books do you absolutely love and why?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What I Learned at Book Club This Month: vol.2

First, a story.

There are few combinations of words that cause more dread in my soul than these 10 evil words: "Mom, do you have an idea for a science project?" My first reaction is to want to roll my eyes and exclaim, "What! Do I look like Madame Curie?" But because I'm nothing if not the epitome of saintly motherhood, I pull out everything I've got. "Wanna make a white carnation turn blue? Wanna make a battery out of a potato?" And because my children can, on occasion, be a bit less saintly than myself, they will usually roll their eyes and mutter something about how potatoes don't fit in a gameboy.

A couple of years back, though, while lying in bed nursing a cold and reading a library book, I got a great idea. "How about you swab some library books and see what kind of germs turn up in a petri dish?" My own budding Marie Curie thought the idea was AWESOME!, presented it to her 8th grade science teacher, and was promptly shut down. The reason? "We umm...don't necessarily... umm...are actually afraid to find out what's growing on our library books." Why did I feel the need to tell you this slightly, distasteful story? It's that I realized at book club this month that I can put this fear of nasty library books to rest, because if there were frightening diseases lurking on the pages of those books, everyone in my book club would be dead. This is a group of sorta-naughty, really-voracious readers.

Book club this month was a lollapalooza of literary love. "What are you reading? What should I read? Have you read this author? When is the 17th book in the series coming out? How dare that author die before he finished his series?" On and on it went, notes were taken, books were exchanged.

But even more interesting is how I noticed that you can learn a lot about a person by how they read books. Do they stick with one book from beginning to end (loyal), or do they juggle three books at one time (playas)? Do they have to finish every book they start--no matter if they like it (unconditionally committed), or can they close the cover permanently after only one boring chapter (realistic breaker-uppers)? Do they hunger for a good horror story (brave), or do they plug their ears when someone discusses the frightening plot (big chicken)? Can they remember the plot and author of every book they've ever read (Susan), or do they struggle to differentiate between fictional book life and their actual real life (you know who you are). And the big dividing line...Do they peek at the ending of the book when only half-way through, or are they philosophically opposed to such a thing. (I'll refrain from categorizing these two groups but just to let you know, I'm in the latter group--cause I'm not a big cheater that's why).

So what did I learn at bookclub this month? I learned that while you can't judge a book by its cover you can judge a reader by their book.

And, lest we forget the most riveting info of the night; count your blessings that you can't catch MRSA from a book. Apparently contracting that particular virus is just asking for some serious rivers of unpleasantness.