Friday, March 16, 2007

Real moms have big dreams

Or, two memes in one! Thanks to Kristen at The Mom Trap for her Real Moms meme, and to Magpie Musing for the books Q&A.

My big dream is to finish this book. Or to read in general. I love to read, I identify myself as a reader, I was a double major in English and French literature, for God's sake. And yet it is a huge struggle for me to read one novel a month for book club, even when it's not a monster like this one (The Count of Monte Cristo, weighing in at 1400+ pages). Then there are the dozens of magazines I want/need to read for work, and the Sunday New York Times that thuds onto my porch every week (I should've taken a picture of that stack--some of it dates back to January).

But I refuse to believe I am not a reader. Someday, maybe when I'm stuck waiting around in my car for the kids, I will read at my usual rate again. Either that or I'll have to move back to New York and start commuting by bus again.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Trade paper, for portability without total flimsiness.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Usually brick and mortar because I wait until the last second.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? No Borders 'round here so B&N it is.

Bookmark or dog ear? Bookmark if it's the library's. Dogears in a book-club book (if I own it) where I want to be able to refer back to several passages.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? By author. Random would just Not Do.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Give away, usually. Sometimes via Bookins.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep. And I am so with Magpie on the uselessness of jackets for kids' books. Why?!

Read with dust jacket or remove it? Remove.

Short story or novel? Novel.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry. But that's partly for professional reasons. I look forward to reading the Lemony Snickets with my kids when they're bigger.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? At chapter breaks or, more usually, when interrupted.

Buy or borrow? Depends. I like to own the book club books at least until I know how I feel about them--then I might pass them on to someone else.

New or used? Used if I can get through Bookins. Haven't found a good used bookstore here yet.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Usually reviews (or other press coverage) and recommendations.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy please.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Nighttime is the only possibility. Usually while I am brushing and flossing.

Stand-alone or series? Stand-alone.

Favorite children's book? That's very hard to say. But our whole household loves 10 Minutes till Bedtime, by Peggy Rathmann.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Have you heard of that Rathmann book? Or how about another children's book, the totally surreal DeZert Isle by Claude Ponti?

Favorite books read last year? The Time-Traveller's Wife.

So far this year? I finally read Elie Wiesel's Night.

Favorite books of all time? A Prayer for Owen Meany. The Poisonwood Bible. The Little House series (as in ...on the Prairie). My Antonia. A Tale of Two Cities. The Age of Innocence. The Hours. Interpreter of Maladies. Charlotte's Web.

Least favorite book you finished last year? I didn't think Kite Runner was as fabulous as everyone else did. I thought the plot turned on a huge coincidence, which is a really lazy device.

What are you reading right now? The Count of Monte Cristo. Only 1100 pages to go.

What are you reading next? Whatever the book club pick for April is. (Also, it will be my turn to suggest a book club book soon--recommendations welcome!)


Lady M said...

We've got the "10 Minutes Until Bedtime" stage show marked on our calendars for next weekend. I wonder if it's going to be in real time, like the "24" tv show and last 10 minutes long. Probably not! But we love the book too, so it should be a good show.

Magpie said...

Hey - two more kids books that I didn't know about! Thanks for those, and for playing along!

Suzanne said...

I love the illustrations in 10 Minutes to Bedtime. Every time we read it I spot a new bit of cleverness.

Nancy said...

Ah, that's a dream of mine too -- to actually do some reading that's not work related or computer-based. Maybe when the kids hit college. (sigh).

Christina said...

Ooohh... I love The Count of Monte Cristo. It is probably my favorite book. I wish I had time to go back and read it again.

mothergoosemouse said...

What a fantastic Q&A! Since I usually read non-fiction, I've branched out and started borrowing fiction from the library. It has cut way down on the B&N bill.

Jerri said...

I'm tagging a few people in hopes of getting them to do this and link to my new blog,

Let me think, who needs a tag:

Tumble Dry, Taste the World, Mayberry Mom, Flailing in My Arms, Chick Chat

scribbit said...

I'd never heard of some of these, how wonderful to find new reads.

Wendy said...

I would identify myself as a trash reader. My college years were spent pushing aside my required reading as an English minor and reading Stephen King instead. I do miss reading, though. I have 2 books by my bed that are waiting for me.

Here is what I suggest, depending on their age why not read what you want to the kids. I am sure they wouldnt mind a little New York times while eating their breakfast. And then there is my favorite that I picked up from my grandmother and men everywhere, the toilet. Yes, it is 2 rooms in one: bathroom and library. I stay in a little longer just to read.

Good Luck in fulfilling your dreams.

movin'mom said...

...would love to comment BUT I am so not a reader!
the funny thing is all 4 kids always have their nose in a book.

I despise saying I like self help books BUT I love anything that has to do with how kids learn, how brains work, personality and birth order info. I find it such a waste of time to read something like The Notebook (which my friends MADE me read in Chicago.)


Lisa said...

I can't wait to hear what you think of The Count of Monte Cristo. I haven't read it. But depending on what you think... I might attempt.

Kelly said...

I wasn't big on The Kite Runner either, though I did think it was entertaining, and I did love the descriptions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

John Irving and Willa Cather are also on my favorites list. A Prayer for Owen Meany and The World According to Garp.

I love finding out what other books people love, and what they are currently reading. So interesting!

Julie Pippert said...

Love love love book talk.

If you love Poisonwood Bible, go over to Gwen at Woman on the Verge (err, can't link in the comment...but umm, she's on my blogroll at my blog). She has one of the best discussions of it ever, probably. :)

Have you read Purple Hibiscus?

I am currently and it's...well, I will recommend it. Liberating, heartbreaking...good (lame word).

I will not bore you with my endless list of "oh and have you read...?"

Also a big bibliophile here. :)

Tried to start a book review blog but it has languished due to neglect...just can't manage two.

L.A. Daddy said...

A Prayer for Owen Meany is the best. I recommend that book to everyone I can (and sometimes buy it for people.)

Girl con Queso said...

I'm so right there with you. And I love the Q and A!

PunditMom said...

I really miss having more time to read, but I try to get in a couple of pages at bedtime, even tho' dear hubby would prefer I turn out the lights!

binkytown said...

That's an awfully big book. If you finish it, tell me what happens because I certainly don't see myself even attempting to read that one. In this decade, anyway.

Her Bad Mother said...

The Count of Monte Cristo is, seriously, one of my all time favourite reads. And you absolutely DO want to read the full-length original, because the abridged versions cut out all of the good stuff - the lesbian affair, not least.

Keep at it. And then read the Three Musketeers!

Tree said...

I concur with Kite Runner and my list of favorite books includes Owen Meaney.

I need to check into the children's books!

Damselfly said...

Big dreams, no kidding! That is one huge book! I kind of miss reading as much as I used to before my baby, but now I read more blogs!

nonlineargirl said...

Interpreter of Maladies is on my all time favorites list.

I liked Kite Runner until the scene (near the end) in the hotel room. That just pushed it over the edge for me.

How do you alphabetize? My shelves are weird sizes maybe, but when I try alphebetizing I end up with tall books that won't fit, and incomplete alph. bugs me more than no order.

BlondeMom said...

I used to be a voracious reader and sadly I barely manage to skim a magazine article lately. Hmmm...perhaps too much time spent online? Nah.

I love the Little House series. My grandmother gave them to me when I was little. I also loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Madeline L'Engle's books. In high school my favorites were "The Once and Future King," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "Catcher in the Rye."

I have "The Secret Life of Bees" in my bedside "to read" basket. That's my pitch for the book club.