Friday, June 14, 2013

read it, reading it, will read it

This post is linked up to Modern Mrs. Darcy's June "Twitterature" post, in which she shares short reviews of books she's read. 





I've just finished ...


.

 ... Booked:  Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior.  In this book the author talks about the significance of books in her life journey and how particular books (from Charlotte's Web to Jane Eyre to Gulliver's Travels, and more) shaped her family, her faith, and her soul.  This book could have used more editing to eliminate repetition and some truly cringeworthy typos (I know, I'm probably overly picky about that stuff); but that ultimately didn't diminish my enjoyment of Swallow Prior's reflections, mainly because she's an honest and thoughtful writer and because she went into such depth in discussing the books and their impact on her.


I'm currently reading ...


... The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch.  (Richard surprised me with this book for our anniversary on Sunday; we don't usually exchange gifts, so this was an unexpected treat.)  Welch and her husband Jack Beck left the fast lane and moved to Big Stone Gap, Virginia, to realize their dream of opening a used bookstore.  This book tells of their experience making friends, making mistakes, and making a home for themselves and their customers in a small town.  So far I'm loving it:  it's funny, touching, and quite informative about the world of book sales as well.

Next I'll read ...



... Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  I haven't read Rubin's first and more famous book, The Happiness Project, but I've read her magazine columns so I have some sense of where she is coming from, and I enjoy her reflections.  This book caught my eye at the library, maybe because I'm a homebody.  (Whether that's what the book is actually about or not, I'm not sure, but I'm looking forward to finding out!)

13 comments:

  1. Now you've piqued my curiosity, Jeannie. Which parts of Booked did you consider repetitious?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for asking, Tim -- I have to support my argument, just like I expect all my essay-writing students to do! I'm not so much talking about repetitive content as style:

      p. 75:
      "...some joker tuned the radio to a country station intead of the usual classic rock. We didn't know anyone who actually listened to country music.
      No one listened to country music."

      p. 162:
      "There was a moment, though, alone one night in bed before falling asleep, when I committed to myself no turning back. Lying there in the dark atop my twin matterss on the floor of the small bedroom in the apartment I shared with my college roommates, I committed then -- to myself and to God, even before I made my public profession before a community of witnesses at the altar -- that I was making this commitment for life."

      I think these and other passages needed a firm hand: take out that second country-music sentence. Reword "I committed ... that I was making this commitment" and "I committed to myself no turning back"; they just sound strange. As I said, these things in no way spoil the book for me, but I do think it could've used another going-over, editorially speaking.

      Delete
    2. I completely missed those when I read it, Jeannie. (Good thing you're the writing instructor and not I!)

      Delete
  2. Great book features here - I've heard about 'Booked' and wondered if it was worth reading, so thanks for the info! (Your review showed me it's probably not a book I'd love). I've seen the Welch book, and been curious - now I definitely want to check it out at the library this summer! I'm such a fan of these 'twitterature' posts - thanks for your words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by! I hesitated to say even one negative thing about Booked because it really is an excellent read, but ... I just had to be honest! :-) As an avid reader I love reading about books that shape people's lives; another interesting one is A Jane Austen Education by William Deserewicz (sp?) -- a guy telling how he was shaped by JA's books. So if you're a Jane Austen fan that's a good one too.

      Delete
    2. Sarah, here's my take on Booked (if you have any lingering thoughts about it). this is a great literary/spiritual memoir, if that's to your liking.

      http://timfall.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/hooked-by-booked-literature-in-the-soul-of-me-a-review/

      Delete
    3. I'm glad you added that, Tim; I knew I couldn't do justice to the book with a "Twitterature"-length review.

      Delete
  3. Love your picks. I NEED to read Booked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I thought after hearing about it from so many people, and I'm so glad I did.

      Delete
  4. I keep debating about reading Booked - I've read some reviews that had me anxious to get it TODAY, and others that don't inspire me all that much. Yours makes me think I really should read it, even if it doesn't need to be today. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just what I think: whenever you do get to it, you'll be glad you did. It also made me want to read everything in it that I haven't read, like Great Expectations and Death of a Salesman. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Happier at Home is GREAT for homebodies. (Speaking from experience here.)

    The Little Bookstore ... sounds good. I love to read about people making big, often scary changes to follow their dreams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shana -- I'm looking forward to getting into Rubin's book even more now. Thanks for stopping by. I took a look at your list too; our book club was going to do A Sense of an Ending this past month and then the leader had to reschedule, so I hope we get back to it soon.

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from readers, and I always reply!