A little over a year ago I moved my blog to a self-hosted site. I paid WordPress to forward my traffic from this blog to that one for one year. I just realized that the year has been up for a little while and if you’re still subscribed to my old feed you’ve missed about 2 months worth of new posts! Please either click over to my new site or update your RSS subscription!
Please update your readers to http://www.devourerofbooks.com. I’m not sure that the forwarding is working with the readers as it is supposed to be. If you leave your subscriptions at devourerofbooks.wordpress.com, you’ll miss out on all the new stuff!
SoManyPreciousBooksSoLittleTime is hosting an ARC reading challenge. I’ve never actually participated in a blog challenge before and I have a bunch of ARCs that need to be read, so I might as well participate!
1-3 ARCs, pick at least one to read and review
4-6 ARCs, pick two to read and review
7-9 ARCs, pick 3
10+ ARCs, pick at least 4.
I debated whether to only include ARCs that have yet to be released, all ARCs I have, or all books I’ve been sent to review. I think I’m going to go with all ARCs I have, although the ones that haven’t been released yet probably have priority anyway.
Here’s what I’ve got (although I think more are on their way):
- Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
- Water Keep by J. Scott Savage
- The Spirit of the Place by Samuel Shem
- The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
- The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colon
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett
- The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- White Mary by Kira Salak
The last one is only theoretically coming, but I’m sure even if it doesn’t I’ll end up with at least one more ARC by September. Honestly, I’m hoping at I’ll have all of these (at least other than 6, 7, and 9) read by mid-September, because most of them were sent to me to review and I don’t want to get way past the release date. “Water Keep,” in particular I really have to read, as I’m participating in the blog tour. All that being said, here’s my list of ‘must reads':
- The Spirit of the Place
- Water Keep
- The Lace Reader
- The Glimmer Palace
These are chosen based on how long I’ve had them/how strong I feel my obligation to get them reviewed is.
Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?
I am a part of a unique book club that is actually a book/wine club. We discuss first the wine, then the book. I’ve talked about the book club here and here. We only pick our books one month out because evidently we aren’t nearly as organized as a bunch of the other book clubs out there. Basically people just come with suggestions of things they want to read or have recently read and would like to discuss. One time I even went through my wishlist of books and tagged some of them ‘bc rec‘ (book club recommendation) so I would buy something I already wanted anyway, instead of getting something completely different. Our book club founder Kelly usually at least starts off our discussion, but (again) we aren’t one of those organized book clubs. We don’t have a list of questions or anything, we just start talking; normally that could be a problem, but not after tasting 6 different bottles of wine!
I am generally able to go into my book club books with an open mind so that my level of appreciation doesn’t differ one way or the other depending on whether or not a book is for book club. I’ve even read (and loved) some books I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, like “The Glass Castle” and “Middlesex“. I will admit, though, that there were a couple of times that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to book club and I was glad, because I had no intention of reading the chosen book. The only thing that changes about a book for book club, is that it will be finished by a certain time. It will not be put off to read ARCs or for theme reads, because it will be complete by the time book club night rolls around again.
Potter-mania is alive an well. The prequel that J.K. Rowling wrote for a charity auction just sold for $61/word. Read more about it here.
I just had an experience that made me smile.
I was just sitting here at my desk when a high school kid walked by. I’m guessing he had just been to the library about a block away because he had a book in his hand. He wasn’t just carrying it, though, he had his nose pressed into it like there was nothing in the world but him and the book.
This is the first time I’ve seen any evidence of the kids from this high school reading, they’re usually much more interesting in SCREAMING! cuss words at each other or throwing a hackey sack back and forth across a crowded street. Seeing this kid reading as if his life depended on it made me happy.
It must be an epidemic! Another group of kids just walked past me that included two girls huddled together pointing things out to each other in a book. I may have to see if this library is brainwashing kids or something, and then volunteer to help.
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Oksuta
This was my second time reading “When the Emperor Was Divine,” and I found it just as moving as my first time.
“When the Emperor Was Divine” is the haunting story of a Japanese-American family from Berkeley during World War II. The father is taken from their house shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for a loyalty hearing. He is then kept in an internment camp in the desert. Not long after, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 and the rest of the family must pack up their house and let themselves be taken to another camp in the desert.
This story is told from five different points of view, although there are only four characters. The first three points of view are all third person limited omniscient, focusing first on the mother, then the daughter, and finally the son. This spans from the time the “Instructions to all persons of Japanese ancestry” are posted through the end of their time in the camps. Once the war is over, we see first person narration from the son, followed by almost first person stream of consciousness from the father.
The switch in narration is beautifully done to reflect the shock and dehumanization felt by the family. The book holds you at just the right distance to witness of the confusion and disbelief experienced by the people taken from their homes, called disloyal, and relocated to camps in the American desert. The father’s narration shocks and shames and contains more feeling than the rest of book put together.
I think this is an extremely well-done book on an important topic, and I highly recommend it.
Today’s question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?
My tagging methods have changed somewhat over my year at LT. When I first joined, I used my tags as a basis for organizing my physical library. Basically I was using hierarchical tags, but I was not calling them that. A set of tags for a book might be historical fiction, Europe, England, 16th century. Books were organized alphabetically by each successive tag. Historical fiction was after just fiction, but before history. Historical fiction from England came right before historical fiction based in France. It was a somewhat cumbersome process and was sort of annoying to have to think through every time I added a new book to my library.
After having to pack and unpack all of my books, I decided to abandon my tagging organization – mostly because I didn’t want to have to meticulously order all of my books again. Besides that, I think tagging is more interesting when there is some content tagging, as opposed to mere genre/subject tagging, like I was doing before. This helps me see the cross-genre connections between my books. All my books dealing with immigration, for instance, books that wouldn’t necessarily be shelved together.
This subject-based tagging is definitely a work in progress, but it is made so much easier by LibraryThing’s new tag page, which easily lets me tweak my tagging so that I don’t have two similar tags.
Last night, as I was getting ready to go out and run an errand, I asked Brian if he could please feed our cats because I had noticed their food bowl was low (but not empty). He grunted in a noncommittal way that led me to assume that he would do it.
When I got back from my errand, he struck up a conversation.
“What book are you reading now,” he asked.
“Dolphins Under My Bed.”
“Did I see that one? That sounds like something I would remember.”
So of course I had to go off to get my book to show him the cover, all along explaining that this was one of the books I was reviewing for ReaderViews. After showing him the cover and getting a sort of “oh, okay,” from him, I of COURSE flipped the book open. What I saw was this:
I guess he didn’t want to feed them after all!
What odd things have you found in your book? Notes people have left you, strange things left in used or library books.
Or, what odd things do you use for bookmarks?