Sunday, June 13, 2010

In My Mailbox: 13 June 2010

Mailbox It's been a month since I wrote an In My Mailbox post. In that time, I have certainly received a number of books through both swaps and purchases. And that doesn't count the electronic books I've downloaded onto my Kindle, Sony Reader, or BeBook.

This week has brought a bonanza of books into the household. I was away most of the week, so when I walked into the house about 11pm on Thursday night, there on my kitchen table were two big boxes and four envelopes full of books. I had a ball opening them on Friday morning and making journal entries at BookCrossing for each and every book. Of course the hubby starts muttering about the direction that books are flowing. He would like to see more going out and fewer coming in. (And, of course, he forgot about the big post office run we made a couple of weeks ago with 8-10 packages of books mailed to the guys at BookObsessed.

So here's what came in this week:

Book Blogger Hop #3

The weekend is almost over and I'm just now finding time to update this reading blog. The Book Blogger Hop is almost over, so although I'll visit several [new to me] blogs, I don't expect many return visits this week. Unfortunately, those who visited me in prior weeks may have discovered that there were no new posts this week and decide not to be a regular reader of this blog. And, that's OK by me. I created the blog for me as a way of keeping track of what I read and occasionally posting what I think about the books that I read. If anyone else finds it interesting or useful, that's just a bonus.

So, who did I visit last week?

  • Life with Karma—Amy blogs about her life in Baltimore and books
  • Emily's Reading Room—Emily is celebrating her first anniversary as a blogger and has some awesome gifts that she's giving away.
  • Bookend Diaries—where Kelly posts reviews and recommendations for book clubs

In visiting the blogs of various readers this week, I discovered that I have missed out on Bloggiesta, a week-end to be spent spiffing up one's blog. Interestingly, I actually spent much of yesterday doing exactly that—copying my 2003 posts from the 50 Book Challenge community at LiveJournal, so that I'd have the book reviews readily available right here at Reading in Texas. Although I didn't officially join in Bloggiesta, I guess I anticipated it and participated in spirit.

If you're stopping by from the Hop, welcome! Leave a comment. I'll certainly visit your blog in return.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Again

Participating in the Book Blog Hop last weekend seems to have brought a few more visitors to my blog. While I'm not not one of the bloggers who is "monetizing" the blog or approaching it as a business, it is nice to know that I'm not just talking to myself here.

The Hop is all about visiting other book bloggers, which I am enjoying doing. In the past week, I've read various posts by Jennifer at Crazy for Books, Mel at The Reading Life, and both Leah and D at Our Year in Books.

I'd like to call attention to Mel's post on 1 June where she says, “ I overcame a life time aversion to reading short stories.” I think that's just too interesting in light of yesterday's post where I clearly stated that I didn't like short stories. So I stayed around to read more about what Mel had to say. I'll admit that I have read some very good short stories, but it's going to take a lot to sway me away from my current passion for long novels or series toward short stories. In the past 10 years or so, I've only read the occasional short story, and those most often in a book of short stories about the same characters—serialized short stories that together tell a coherent story.

The Hop goes on through the week-end and I plan to visit several more readers to see what they have to say.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

BTT: Long and Short of It

It's Thursday and time again to look at what Laura at Booking Through Thursday suggests for a blog post this week. For me, it's a very easy question:

Which do you prefer? Short stories? Or full-length novels?

There's no question about it. I definitely prefer full-length novels over short stories. I figure that after I've invested time and attention—and maybe even affection—on the characters, I want the story to go on for a long time. In most cases, the longer the better.

Next best to big books, aka “Chunksters”, are series. Some of the series that I am currently enjoying are the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels by Charlaine Harris, and Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith.

I'm so much a fan of thick books, two years ago, I signed up for the “Chunkster Challenge”, challenged to read at least four books during the year with at least 450 pages each.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June's reading plans ...

12x12 reading challengeThis month's 12x12 Challenge is being hosted by Stephanie at Misfit Salon. I'm signing up for June. As a reminder, the 12x12 challenge is actually 12 monthly challenges, each hosted by a different blogger. Rules, as posted on Home Girl's Book Blog are simple:

  1. Must Be A Novel. Works of fiction only, please. Memoirs, non-fiction, how-to books, and Garfield collections don't count.
  2. Memoirs Aren't Novels. No matter how made up the story, anything ostensibly true isn't a novel. Also known as The James Frey Rule.
  3. Start and Finish in January June. I guess if you got some cool books for Christmas, Hanukkah or some other gift-giving event and jumped the gun, you can't be blamed. But I only count books I start and finish within the 31 day window.
  4. Re-reading Doesn't Count. Try something new. Read something by your favorite author or try an entirely new author or tackle that novel you have always wanted to read.
  5. Have Fun. Nobody is grading you or paying you or judging you. Read what you like and like what you read.

My June goal is going to be 10 books. It was almost a stretch for me to finish 10 books in May, so I'm not going to set my goal any higher for June. BUT. I'm not going to count it a success unless I've read either The Warden by Anthony Trollope or The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I'd like to read both of them this month, but realize I might not manage both of those as well as the large list of books which I have promised to book-swapping friends at BookObsessed.

July's People by Nadine Gordimer There are 26 books which I have offered in Swaps or Virtual Book Boxes at BookObsessed but I have not yet read. Since there's a six-month grace period, I should have no problems catching up ... unless I get distracted reading something other than a book that I'm using in a swap. Right now I'm busy reading two of the owed books: July's People by Nadine Gordimer and the book that I am playing with in this week's non-fiction swap. As my book hasn't been revealed, yet, I won't post the title here.

And here are some of the books that I need to read in the order that they need to be mailed out:

  • July's People by Nadine Gordimer; to be mailed by 19 June to Lisa
  • Daughter of Elysium by Joan Slonczewski; to be mailed by 30 July to Fotini
  • The Widows Club by Dorothy Cannell; to be mailed by 31 July to Cindy
  • Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier; to be read by 19 August to Dana
  • Gob's Grief by Chris Adrian; to be mailed by 22 August to Azuki
  • Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld; to be mailed by 28 August to Tanya
  • Map of bones by James Rollins; to be mailed by 28 August to Dana
  • Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs;to be mailed by 28 August to Lisa

While I probably will read most of these books during June, I probably won't read them in precisely this order. I'm going to slip a couple of other books in there just for fun, and as I've already mentioned, I plan to read either the Trollope novel or the first of the Wheel of Time novels.

Books mentioned in this post:

July's People by Nadine Gordimer Daughter of Elysium by Joan Slonczewski The Widow's Club by Dorothy Cannell Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier Gob's Grief by Chris Adrian Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld Map of Bones by James Rollins Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs