Book Talk for Enduring Shameless Yet Guilt-Ridden Whining

Before I dive in to the bulk of this post, I need to waste a few lines complaining.

I’m about to show my Southern roots when I say this, but this cold weather is kicking my tail, and I need vitamin D in the most dramatic sense possible.

I know.  I’m setting myself up for criticism from those who live in more frigid climates.

I KNOW.  The chill I’m experiencing is NOTHING.

I KNOW.  I KNOW.  I KNOW.

I also feel compelled to remind myself that it could be SO much worse.  I can’t begin to convey how thankful I am for a warm house and money to clothe my scrawny body, but for real, y’all.  I am NOT built for these temperatures.

Okay.  Thank you for tolerating my pathetic, cold, privileged ass.  This rant is officially over.

I want to talk about books.  I’m having trouble finding and focusing on good reading material these days.

Perhaps this is because I’m working so hard on those damn resolutions that I was so motivated to make just days ago.

I’m cleaning, tossing, and organizing.

I’m kissing. Gil doesn’t know what to make of me.  Ten seconds minimum every day.  Try it, my friends.  The benefits are vast.

I’m inverting and getting my downward dog on, though I haven’t made it to the new yoga studio yet.  I’ve been staying warm and practicing in the comfort of my toasty bedroom.

Normally I read a lot.  It’s one of my very favorite activities, and if it were possible I’d climb deep inside whatever book I’ve chosen at the moment.

In 2013 I read 26 books.  Seventeen were fiction and nine non-fiction, no specific genre, and I sample a bit of everything.

I think I’m the last creature on earth to actually read Harry Potter.  I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by the amazing J.K. Rowling this year, and I plan to continue the series at some point.  I loved the writing, the characters, her take on good versus evil.  I thought it was super-smart and intriguing, but I must admit, it was fairly easy for me to put down.  Because of this it took me longer to finish than it does most books.  I started reading it aloud to my boys.  Piers who just turned six liked it, but he’s more of a mover than a reader at this stage, and it was a little mature for him.  He found parts of it scary, and then I got tired of reading out loud while he soared from his bed to his brother’s, so I gave up on the family fun around Chapter 5.  Then I put it down for a month or so while I finished up a selection for my book club, and by the time I returned to that charming wizard I had forgotten all the enchanting details.

The best book I read in 2013 was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.   It combined many of my interests — religion, race, gender, strong characterization.  It’s not a quick read, but I didn’t want it to end.  Kingsolver weaves this remarkable story together from the points of view of a mother and her four very different daughters.  The book begins in Georgia in 1960 and takes the reader to the African Congo via an idealistic and determined Baptist minister along with his wife and four young daughters.  The book spans nearly three decades and takes the reader through trials, heartache, coming-of-age, famine, rivalry, rebellion, and this is merely a glimpse.  If you haven’t experienced this masterpiece, just go read it.  Just…wow.  I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on the book.  It was one of my book club’s selections, and not surprisingly, it did not sit well with some, but revisiting it here reminded me how much I loved it. The book was published in 1998, so it’s been around a while but this was my first time reading it, and I’m declaring it my all-time favorite book of 2013.

Reviewing books is not a skill at which I’m most adept, but I simply love books and hope to discuss them more this year.

What are your favorite books?  What do you plan to read in 2014? 

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7 thoughts on “Book Talk for Enduring Shameless Yet Guilt-Ridden Whining

  1. I can’t say I blame you for complaining about being cold. There’s no way I’d trade living in So Cal for living in Chicago right now. I have to resist the urge to tell people how warm it’s getting here during the day, and only in the low 40s.

    Last year I couldn’t read. I think I read 6 books. It’s weird having ‘readers block’ I’ve always been such an avid reader. Sometimes reading 2 books at once. Once I finished an 8 book series in 4 weeks. I am finally reading again. Right now I’m reading 7 Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Herrer, the one they made the movie about. Very interesting story. After this though I am going to read one of the other books about his experiences. One of my favorite books is “Wave” about rogue waves and the ocean. I don’t think I’ll ever step into the ocean again – lol. Another great one is “The Shelf” (or maybe “Ice Shelf”). The book is how this mountaineer fell down a crevasse, his partner is killed in the fall, and he’s stuck some 30 feet below the surface. He uses all his skill to escape. Amazing story. I’ll read almost anything written by Jon Krakauer. It’s so nice to be reading again. Thanks for sharing your book stories!

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    • Glad to hear you’re reading again. Those are interesting suggestions. I saw the movie Seven Years in Tibet but don’t remember much about it so I’ll have to check out the book. I am still struggling with finishing anything as far as reading right now. My writing (non-blog stuff) on the other hand is going well, so I can’t complain too much. It’s still cold, but I must be getting used to it. All in all, life is good. Thanks for chiming in. Hope your new year is still going well.

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  2. I love your title and hate being cold. As for books, I have just read “419” a crazy look at how people are scanned over the internet for money. A plus – written by a Canadian. 🙂 I will get John to download your rec’s. Thanks!

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