Musing Mondays (April 20th)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you use your local library? What do you like (or dislike) most about it?

Answer:  I definitely use my local library! It is a small and delightful library, and it is connected to a consortium of 19 public and academic libraries where I can take out books, DVDs, and anything else I want. I can order them to be delivered to my “home” library, or I can pick them up at the other libraries (which I love doing because seeing other libraries is fun), and if I want I can return them to my local library when I’m finished! This gives me a wonderful chance to find interesting books and movies. 

Also, these libraries have many interesting events on their calendars — book clubs, author visits, Toastmasters, knitting groups, yoga, movies, games, etc. in which members can participate.

Weekly Roundup – April 18, 2015

This is a weekly roundup of literary news, great magazine articles, and other reading-related stuff. Not all if it is new. 

The New York Times talks about how The Dictionary of American Regional English will probably be shut down due to lack of funds – unless you have about $500,000 to donate to them? 

Mental Floss ponders 10 Awful Words and the People They’re Named For. 

Newsweek speculates on Why Vinyl Has Made a Comeback

The New York Review of Books asks if Agatha Christie influenced John le Carré in The Art of Deadly Deception

The New Yorker explains The Bizarre, Complicated Formula for Literary Fame.

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Title: Me Before You 
Author: Jojo Moyes 
Format: Kindle 
Year Published: 2012 
Source: I purchased this book. 

Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You has been labeled a romance novel or chick-lit. 

However, the book tackles some very serious issues: What if your life is irreparably changed in an instant? What if you suddenly have no control over any aspect of your life? 

Louisa Clark gets a job as a caregiver for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor. Will was a man who lived big – he was a financial wheeler-dealer, he climbed mountains, jumped out of planes, and loved traveling the world. All that changed when he was hit by a speeding motorcycle and his life was changed forever. 

At first Will and Louisa don’t like each other. Will is understandably bitter – the former daredevil now only has very limited use of one arm. He needs care 24/7 and is completely dependent upon others.

Will was a corporate type and Louisa is more of a free spirit, at least in the way outrageous ways she wears clothes, but is far more careful in her personal life where she prefers things to be simple and safe, due to a traumatizing personal incident that happened years earlier. 

But as they get to know each other, Will and Louisa learn to understand each other more than they thought they would. Will is intrigued by her kooky dress sense and her warm spirit. Louisa gets to know the charming, playful side of Will that he rarely displays to anyone anymore. They grow to care for each other and depend on each other. But is it enough? 

What I Liked: Even though the subject matter is so sad, I thought that the book was well written and was completely immersed in it right from the start. I was curious to see how the book ended. I liked Louisa very much – she’s spunky and fun, but she does need to expand her horizons. 

What I Didn’t Like: At first I didn’t like Will very much. He is very, very bitter, which is completely understandable in his case. He has made a certain decision that will not be changed by anyone else. He also never really tells her how he really feels until the very end. 

His mother is rather cold, but that may just be her way of handling trauma. We all have different ways of handling stress and tragedy in our lives, and that just may be her way.

Also, as some feminists have pointed out, why does Louisa need a male figure to expand her horizons for her? Can’t she do it herself? 

However, because of the dark incident in Louisa’s past, she needs to learn to get past that fear and learn to live again – to live big. Will helps her to do just that.

Conclusion: I believe that this book is worth reading. It does raise serious issues that need to be discussed, which is why I believe this book is a favorite of book clubs.

Musing Mondays (April 13th)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Who, in your life, are you best able to share your love of reading with?

Answer: I used to share my love of reading with my mother, but she passed away last year. We shared a deep loving of reading and would read the same books at times (not always!) and discuss them thoroughly.

I also used to talk about books with my mother-in-law, but she really can’t read books anymore. My husband doesn’t read the same books I do, nor is he as obsessed with reading.

That is one of the reasons I started a book blog: to share my love of books. However, I really want to be able to discuss books face-to-face, too! I now intend to join at least one book club in my area. I can’t wait!

Celebrate Drop Everything and Read Day!

Today is Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R.)!

Why was April 12th chosen for this honor? It is because Beverly Cleary, possibly the most beloved writer in America, was born on April 12, 1916.

Beverly Cleary turns 99 years old today!

Cleary first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. She was inspired by some schools celebrating reading during the month of April. Since she wrote about it in that book, it has become a nationwide movement to celebrate it on her birthday.

Here she is in 2006 when she was a mere 90 years old! 

Even though today is the official day, the celebration is meant to last for the entire month of April. 

Now we can have an excuse to not clean the house, not go to the mall, and not watch television. 

We can read! 

You can read more about it here.

Weekly Roundup – April 11, 2015

This is a weekly round up of book news, great reads, and other literary related stuff. Not all if it is new. 

The Millions this week published an article (adapted from a January New York Times article on love) about falling in love with a reader

The New Yorker has interesting articles about James Merrill, the poet, and Chris Krause, the novelist. 

Editor and Publisher wonders: Is the Party Over for Social Media?”

The New York Review of Books has a blog post by Charles Simic about reading late at night

The New York Times has an article about why “Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A.” by Cecilia Capuzzi Simon.

Also, Atticus Lish has won the prestigious Pen/Faulkner Prize for his first novel “Preparation for the Next Life.” This book was published by a small independent press, Tyrant Books. Mr. Lish expresses his disbelief in winning the award in a New York Times article.

Friday Finds: April 10, 2015

Friday Finds is a weekly blog meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm.

I recently scored great books at area book sales.

From top to bottom of the stack:

  • An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden
  • Dear Life by Alice Munro
  • Collected Stories of John O’Hara
  • Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life by Evan Hughes
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • Shore Chronicles: Diaries and Travelers’ Tales from the Jersey Shore 1764-1955 edited by Margaret Thomas Buchholz
  • The Story of Cinema by David Shipman
  • The Illustrated Brontes of Haworth by Brian Wilks
  • The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland edited by Dorothy Eagle and Hilary Carnell

Some of these books I have read before (McCullers, Knowles, Sinclair) but not for a long time. The Oxford Guide I have wanted for awhile, and the Illustrated Brontes is interesting because I own the DVD of the British series of the same name, and the Brontes are a fascinating family.