Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gifts

 Booking Through Thursday asks:

What books did you get for Christmas (or whichever holiday you may have celebrated last month)?

Do you usually ask for books on gift-giving occasions or do you prefer to buy them yourself?

Yes, I did get books for Christmas and I got bookstore gift cards.   I always ask for books but I don’t mind getting gift cards and choosing them myself.   This year my favorite little independent bookstore sent out an email reminding us that we could make an online wish list, which I did.    Which made asking for books easy – I just gave everyone the web address.

The other day I was reading someone’s book blog (I wish I could remember whose) and the blogger mentioned that she had was trying to work through “reader’s block”.  That phrase kept coming back to me and I realized that I’ve felt like I’ve had reader’s block for a few months.   Ever since I was sick this summer, in fact,  and I couldn’t read.   Oh sure, I’ve read since then.  I finished War and Peace.  But it hasn’t felt fun and pretty much everything has felt like an assignment.

That’s why I took a break from all of my reading clubs, so I wouldn’t have any actual assignments and I could read what I wanted.  But I haven’t wanted to read much of anything.

I’m currently reading Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy which I’ve been working on for months now.  It was my “work” book that I take with me to the office.  I read it during lunch, but it’s been to busy to have lunch for a couple of months.   And now that it gets dark early there is no reading at stoplights.   At night I just don’t feel like picking it up when I’m at home even though I’m enjoying it when I do find time to read it at lunch.

I’m reading Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure, a very small book that is entertaining.  I started it six weeks ago, read to about the middle and haven’t picked it up since.  

That’s why I thought I’d ask for more books for Christmas.  Maybe new fuel on the fire will warm me up a little.

First, here was my current stack of books that I’ve bought but still not read:

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It’s a good selection including the bottom book which is AS Byatt’s new novel and a couple of Roman mystery novels by Steven Saylor. 

I also have a stack of books that people have lent me that I haven’t gotten to yet:

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Again, a pretty wide selection ranging from a Harry Potter “add on” book to a non-fiction book about the Cardinals. 

Here’s what I got for Christmas, either directly or with the book cards I got:

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The new Margaret Atwood novel, Julia Child’s memoir, a novel by Penelope Lively that appealed to me when I read the review, the Simon Mawer novel that was nominated for the Booker and a novel by Jane Gardam because I’ve been running across her name lately and when I asked the bookseller she gave me a thumbs up on her.

So hopefully out of all of these books I’ll find something I want to read.  And if not, there’s 2666.   And the library.