Sunday, August 23, 2009

Status update (aka, what the heck is this blog for, anyway?)

I began an ambitious goal to read a book a week this year when something occured to me that scared me to death - as a 33 year old woman whose life expectancy is 79, my life would run out before the books I wanted to read did. The pace I was reading, erring conservatively, was about one a month. That would leave approximately 552 books left to read in my lifetime.


Faced with the notion that a person has a limited amount of time left in life, their immediate thought is probably not "I won't be able to read all the books I want!" Yes, I realize I am a total geek for admitting this. Oh well - this is my blog and not yours, neener neener.

So if you've made it this far, you may be wondering whether I still feel a book a week is a good goal, or where the heck I'm going with this, so I'll put together a quick FAQ for the remainder of the year.

How many books have I read so far this year?
31, counting 8 full length audiobooks

How many have I started and not finished?
4: Mary by Janis Cooke Newman, Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott, and Jane Eyre, all of which I intend to finish at some point, and Middlesex, which I do not.

Are you still on target for reaching your goal?
If I read 5 books a month I'll have made my goal. It's still ambitous, and I'm a bit behind where I wanted to be, but audiobooks should help.

Any advice for someone who wants to have a reading goal?
Audiobooks are a great way to get some reading in during times that you can't read (like when you're driving), join Goodreads or another online book club for inspiration, and keep your eye on the goal.

Adventures in David Sedaris, part 1

When You Are Engulfed in Flames When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
You could probably guess that I am the ideal audience for David Sedaris. For starters,

I listen to NPR regularly.
I love humor laced with sarcasm.
I have an overdeveloped sense of urgency around for gay rights.
My interest for living in the US is waning, and finding American citizens living abroad is more and more enticing.
I love a great story laced somewhere in between these topics.

David Sedaris meets all those things and more. There were times during the audiobook where I literally laughed out loud in my car, then looked to see if anyone was watching me make a fool out of myself. Yet there were other times when his voice became whiny and monotonous when I had to turn off the book just to find - ironically - he was the special guest of the day on NPR.

The part of When You Are Engulfed in Flames dedicated to David's journey about quitting smoking, while interesting, dragged on endlessly. His love of spiders was not entirely enduring either. I mean, who loves spiders above people and - ghastly - above puppies?!

I'm not done yet with David Sedaris, but I hope my next experience doesn't make me want to put down the book. Or worse - turn off NPR.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Dreamland Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this, my very first Sarah Dessen book. Dessen's ability to create characters with complexity was refreshing, especially for this subject - an abusive, co-dependent relationship with a girl you really don't expect to be "that" girl.

The book made me look at teenage relationships in a different light. Should be required reading in health class, although I can't think that any teenage boy would use the book as anything other than a flyswatter.

View all my reviews >>