Monday, July 6, 2009

What Are You Reading?

Okay, so I haven't been reading a lot lately.

Or, I have been reading a lot, but it's mostly been endless out-loud re-readings of my daughter's current favorites (in particular anything by Mo Willems, and anything in the Lou et Mouf oeuvre). And then there's been all the blog reading, which seems less indulgent than sitting down with a novel because it's industry-related and might be get me published someday, so that's practically a job requirement, right? And I listened to some podcast audiobooks, but I can't decide if that counts as reading (and neither can anyone else, it seems). And I did some re-reading: there was a copy of The Joy Luck Club in the house we rented for vacation, and I haven't read it in years, so it was practically like reading it for the first time... oh, and I kinda wanted to read The World According to Garp again...

You see where I'm going with this. These things are, by and large, not going to broaden my mind and improve my writing the way that the regular reading of new books should.

So, I actually started using the iPod IndieBound app that I downloaded a while ago, I found some new books, and I'm actually, you know, reading them. As opposed to letting them pile up next to my bed, waiting for me to have "enough time" to read them, the way I used to let blank journals pile up because they were too pretty to write in.

I read How I Became a Famous Novelist this weekend (yes, I knew it was a novel and not an instruction manual). I read some of it only a paragraph at a time, but dammit, I squeezed reading into every spare half-minute I had. And it was great. Hell, even my daughter helped, declaring "that's mommy's book!" and asking me to read it to her. Next up: Breath, Gears of the City (which I meant to read ages ago, because I freakin' LOVED Thunderer, but my copy is hardcover and therefore not as easy to fit into the diaper bag for reading in multi-tasking snippets), and maybe some Jodi Picoult.

What are you reading?


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I agree, I also love Carolyn See's Making a Literary Life, especially her suggestion about writing to an author a day.

  2. Absolutely. And if you can't think of one author per day who you'd want to say something nice to, well then you're DEFINITELY not reading enough.

  3. I just read Sin in the Second City on my flights to and from England. (11 hours back... oi.) It was really good though and helped to pass the time, until I finished it. Don't know the author's name (for shame).
    It's about the most famous whore house in America around the turn of the century and their rise and fall. The author says that even the speaking is quotes from more factual sources but it isn't dry reading.
    Also a nice break from my Jason Bourne and similar rut.

  4. I'm reading a book called "Behindlings" by Nicola Barker. Its an odd book and I'm enjoying it. But I have to admit that I'm really only reading it because when I found it (browsing our bookshelves at home) I discovered Felix had not read it yet! The joy of reading something first is so rare I couldn't pass it up.

  5. (That last comment was mine - although I suppose the reference to Felix sort of gives that away anyhow.)

  6. Ugh, Melody, 11 hours is brutal. I need a neck massage just thinking about it.

    And there's something truly awesome about getting to a good book first, isn't there? Peter usually reads nonfiction, so I'm always thrilled when I find a novel that I think he'd like before he discovers it on his own.