Why I Almost Never DNF a Book

I’ve only quit before finishing three books in my adult life.

The first was Gulliver’s Travels. I realized about halfway through that not only was I not enjoying it, I had no idea what was going on. It’s a satire, and I didn’t have a historical context for it, so I was lost. Tossed it aside and didn’t look back.

The second was A Tale of Two Cities. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Dickens, but this book sounded so intriguing that I picked it up anyway. Again, I got halfway through and realized I didn’t have a clue what I was going on, or even who the characters were. This was after like, a month, by the way. I put it down intending to finish it later, but never came back to it. Maybe in my retirement or something.

The last was Anna Karenina. After reading 50 pages of Russian agriculture and never even meeting Anna yet, I decided 800 pages was not worth it. I watched the movie instead.

And that’s it. Only three. I almost never give up on a book. I’ll read it to the end even if I’m not really enjoying it very much. Why? Continue reading

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The Great American Read Recap

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Last night PBS launched a new mini-series called The Great American Read. They have compiled a list of the 100 most popular books in America, and over the course of the summer have asked viewers to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned Americas Favorite Book. The 2-hour launch was last night, and they touched on all 100 books. They featured some books over others, interviewing celebrities and authors about their favorite books.

Here are some of the books they featured:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Harry Potter
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Color Purple
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Dune
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Invisible Man
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Tales of the City
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby

I loved listening to people talk about why they love a book and how it impacted their lives, sometimes in huge ways. Because of the show I’ve added several books to my tbr, and I’m itching to re-read a few that I might not have completely understood in my younger years! Continue reading

The Great American Read

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This week I stumbled on an ad for a new show: The Great American Read on PBS. It airs this week on Tuesday, and I’m so excited! They’ve picked 100 favorite books, and assembled a bunch of mini-documentaries about the books, why we love books, and how authors write books. Then we get to vote to choose America’s favorite book! YAY!

Based on the preview, the list looks like it has a lot of variety, from classics to very new, YA, kids, adult, science fiction, fantasy, a little bit of everything. I’m really looking forward to whatever the show has to tell us about these books, listening to favorite authors talk about their favorites, and (of course) casting my own vote!

Here. Watch the preview.

Continue reading

Must-Haves for a 5-Star Book

It’s a rare thing, that 5-Star book. They only come around a couple of times a year, if we’re lucky. I know I’ve had years where I didn’t read any. So what makes those books so special? Is it a certain je ne sais quoi, or can you define it?

For me, personally, it’s a little of both. My favorite books, for the most part, have very little in common with each other. They’re from a variety of genres in different styles. A lot of times if you asked me what made them so special I would be at a loss for words. They just … are. But there are definitely some characteristics that a book must have in order for me to love it that much.

Note that this is my list, not a universal one.


Must-Haves

Outstanding Writing

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I’m discovering that I’m a bit of a literature snob. High-quality writing is important to me. That’s not to say I can’t enjoy a book with flaws, but if I’m in any way distracted by the writing style I probably won’t give it 5 stars. Continue reading

One Year Blogoversary

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Oh my gosh! It’s been one year!!!!

I can’t believe it. So many great things have happened to me in the last year, and this blog is definitely one of them. When I started I figured I might meet one or two people to chat with, maybe get 100 followers eventually. Instead I have been completely blown away by this community.

Instead of talking about myself and my blog, I want to say thank you to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings thrice a week. To say thanks to the people who read, like, and especially who comment. I have loved getting to know you all, and getting the chance to finally TALK ABOUT BOOKS! Those of you who have other readers in your life just can’t possibly understand the struggle.

So to say thanks I wanted to give a shout-out to some of my favorite bloggers that I’ve met over the past year. If you’re not following them already, give them some love and hop over to their sites! Continue reading

I’ll Never Read Them All

I’m feeling kind of sad this morning. A little down. You see, yesterday I went through my goodreads tbr and deleted the books I’m not particularly interested in anymore, as well as a hand full of duplicates. Now, my tbr is smaller than the average book blogger’s, only about 75, and yesterday I eliminated 10-15 books from it.

And as of today I have ADDED about 10 books.

Because new books are being written and published all the time. Books that sound fascinating and amazing! There are so many books that I want to read!

But I average about two books a month.

There’s no way I can keep up. No matter how many books I read, my list of books I want to read will always be getting longer and longer and longer because there are always more and more books. Which is wonderful! We are so lucky to live in an age where books are so readily and easily available and there is such a variety that we never have to worry about getting bored.

But I’m feeling sad. Because I realized.

I will never be able to read them all.

Continue reading

Our Family’s Favorite Picture Books

My oldest son, Matthew, is three, and he absolutely loves books. Proud mama, right here! He’s always been pretty into books. In fact, I have a great picture of him looking at the pictures in a book as young as three months old. Usually this book love takes the form of picking ONE book that he is obsessed with and reading it over and over and over again. (Sound like anyone we know?)

Over the last three years that book has changed many times. But I thought it might be fun to share some of those favorites with you all. I’m adding Amazon links in case you see one you like. I’m not an affiliate or anything, just want to spread the love!

So here they are, in more-or-less the order he enjoyed them in.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

51vTMFD5q9L._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_What a classic! When my son was about six months old this was the only long book he would sit still for. The rhyming patterns and frequent repetition make this a great book for small children. As a bonus, I also really enjoyed reading him this book every day. Unlike some kids books, it never got old. Continue reading