Sunday, January 9, 2011
TBR Update and Two Book Group Selections
Well, we're into the second week of the New Year, and I've already fallen off the TBR wagon -- I came home from vacation with three library books to read for my real-life library discussion groups! Maybe I should say that I haven't even gotten on the TBR wagon yet, because I had already committed to these. I really could not bear to schlep three hard-cover library books in my carry-on luggage, and I wouldn't have had time for them anyway. Besides, when I first committed, book group selections were the exception. Yes. That is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
And now I must admit to another small transgression -- the no-buying book-ban for three months. Sigh. I was not going to purchase any new books for three months, until April 1. However (hangs head in shame) I did put in a purchase for some new Persephones on January 1, so I guess I've broken that rule already. But I do think I have a pretty good excuse -- I got some Christmas money that I really wanted to spend on Persephones, and I seriously didn't have time to purchase the books safely before January 1. I was a little squeamish about making an online purchase at a public computer at my hotel, and I had so little time with family I didn't want to be rude and start shopping on my sister's computer. So I was delayed slightly. Internet security is a good excuse, isn't it? Oh, I hope I can forgive myself. I will extend my book-buying ban until April 2 as punishment. I promise.
As far as the library book-checkout ban goes -- I only checked out three books, and all of them were allowed according to my previous rules: one of them, Eleanor and Franklin: An Extraordinary Marriage, had been on hold before the ban started (of three total) and two were book group selections. One is a play, A Raisin in the Sun, and the other is a reread, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
So -- I reviewed my first book group selection, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, in yesterday's post, so I'm quickly going to mention the other two. The first one was Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey. Yes, a Western! My first authentic Western, for my classics book group. But I just could not get through it. I read about 84 pages and I really had no desire to go on. I know book groups are about expanding your horizons, getting out of your comfort zone, etc., but I got really bored with the endless descriptions of canyons. It seemed extremely predictable, and I felt like I'd expanded my horizons enough for one week with Oscar Wao. So that was one abandoned book I can cross off my to-read list forever. I felt a little bad because I was the one who suggested it, but life is too short.
The book club has six members and six monthly meetings, and the novel is really six intertwining stories which are loosely related to a Jane Austen novel. It took me a little time to figure out the connections, and I liked that. I think the author did a good job of not making it a literal reinterpretation. Plus there was a lot of background and quotes about Jane Austen, which I also enjoyed. Our group is supposed to watch the movie adaptation next month, but I'm not as interested in that because I've heard there were a lot of changes from the novel -- plus some of the actors are much too young which changes the whole dynamic of the book, and I find that irritating.
So -- on to the TBR challenge now that I've crossed the book club selections off the month's reading list. I've already started Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber, which I've owned since 2004. It's starting out slowly but I'll give it time.