Stuff I've Been Reading

3 years ago

I'm reading Ten Years in the Tub, a collection of essays by Nick Hornby.  Hornby is one of my favorite authors; I've read all of his books and they're really funny.  This book is a collection of ten years of his "Stuff I've Been Reading" column for The Believer magazine.  It is what it sounds like, and it's great.  Really funny and relatable.  This got me to thinking - I haven't managed to blog about anything close to every book I've read, but maybe I could do it once a month?  You guys know as well as I do how stuff like this has worked out in the past, but let's give it a shot?

 
Unlike Hornby, I'm not being paid to only write about books that I liked, so I'll let you know when I read one that I didn't.  Like him, I'm trying to embrace dropping books when they aren't working for me instead of playing through the pain.  Life's too short and time is too precious.

I've been reading V some chapter books and graphic novels.  I'll probably count them.  I probably won't count board books unless it's been a really rough month.

Finished in April:
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (book club)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You
Uglies: Cutters
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland (book club)

This was a bit of a rough month.  I've been in a book club started on a local parenting e-mail group for a few months.  Random Family was our selection for the month.  It's about two women growing up in the Bronx and their struggles with poverty, jail, and parenthood.  Basically, struggles with life.  As far as I can tell, everyone loves this book and finds it really meaningful (including Nick Hornby - it's covered in one of his early columns).  To be honest, it was a struggle for me.  It seemed really, really long, and it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was who.  People were constantly entering into, dropping, picking back up, and adding secondary and tertiary romantic relationships.  New figures seemed to be mentioned without introduction who would become important, and then would disappear.  I guess this is what life can be like, but it was tough reading for me.  I'm not sure that I really got from the book what I should have been taking.  If it weren't for book club, I never would have picked it up and I certainly wouldn't have finished it.  And then I didn't even get to go to April book club.  Fail.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany was the May book club book (we're discussing it this week) and I completely loved it.  It honestly changed the way I think of my city and stained glass.  There aren't many books that have completely changed the way I see and think about something, especially the neighborhood where I lived for more than five years.  Okay, maybe I liked the book so much in part because it was set in the blocks where I lived and it was wonderful to read about what they might have been like 100 years earlier.  Clara Driscoll was the head of the Tiffany glass women's workshop, designing and making Tiffany windows and lamps.  It was wonderful to read about the process of creating the glass works and it really has completely changed how I think about stained glass windows.  I can't wait to go back to the Met and Henri Bendel to look at their Tiffany windows with this new perspective.  I also enjoyed the plot of the book, though there were some soap opera touches.

Uglies: Cutters is the graphic novelization of the Uglies series from the perspective of a secondary character in the Scott Westerfeld books.  Westerfeld is my favorite young adult writer, and I really love this series.  The graphic novels are okay.  I'm not really that into the genre, but I thought maybe the combination of pictures for V and a story for me would be nice.  I appreciate reading the different perspective on events.  Finally, No Future for You is the second in the Buffy season 8 series, which is the graphic novelization of what would have been the plot of an eighth season of my favorite TV show.  The books are a bit hard for me to follow sometimes, but I enjoy the jokes and I love seeing what my favorites from Sunnydale are up to.  I have the complete season, so V and I should read the next one at some point soon.  I liked this installment because one of my favorite characters is back.

In knitting news - my sweater is almost done!  And I think I like the pooling!  I am really hoping to finish it this week.
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