Bookish Thoughts

My First Conference: Expectations

I know you all have been counting down the days with me (there’s a countdown on the side of this page – duh), and there are only 6 MORE DAYS until I land in New York City to attend BookExpoAmerica, one of the biggest book/publishing/marketing conferences of the year. Guests include: Stephen King, James Patterson, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Heather Graham, Maria Shriver, Dennis Leary, Senator Al Franken, Neil Patrick Harris, Lemony Snicket, R.L. Stein, and many, many more. Needless to say, I am over the moon with excitement. Continue reading “My First Conference: Expectations”

Book Reviews, Bookish Thoughts, Library Related, Social

My Love Affair with My Book Club

I am that girl who always dreamed of being in a book club.

For some reason, the idea always seemed the height of sophistication in a modern world – something that I would someday be a part of. “Oh, why yes, I am a very busy, full-time working mother, but my hobbies include intelligent discussions about very important literature with a group of friends over wine and cheese. Indeed, I am very well-read and would love to chat with you, my favorite topics are reading comprehension and literary analysis.” (Yes, this has always been a part of my “life goals” – how I saw myself as an adult).

So, when I started working at a new library and I asked if they had a book club, I was overjoyed to hear, “No we do not, but so many patrons are interested, why don’t YOU start a book club!” ME?! Start my own book club?! YES!!!! And so, I did. Let me tell you a little bit of how I started my book club, and more importantly, what it has become and how much I truly love being in and facilitating a book club at my public library. Continue reading “My Love Affair with My Book Club”

Bookish Thoughts

Why My Self-Care Sometimes Means Reading Less

Yep, you read that title right. Self-care is (or should be, maybe, but I’m not judging) a part of each and every one of our lives. We all need some “me” time, some alone time, or something that is just for us that makes us happy and lets us retract for a brief period of time from the gigantic responsibility of being an adult. For me, most of the time my self-care includes reading. I read for at least 30 minutes before work, I listen to audio books on long drives (and sometimes while grocery shopping), I read for the entirety of my hour-long lunch break almost every day, and even on short breaks. I read all the time, is what I’m getting at. But sometimes, when I really need to take care of myself, reading is (sadly) the last thing that I should be doing.

Continue reading “Why My Self-Care Sometimes Means Reading Less”

Book Reviews, Bookish Thoughts

A Reluctant Book Review

After getting engrossed in several books, work, motherhood, and, ya know, life, I haven’t been inspired to write much lately. But out of these past few weeks, I did read one particular book that I have some strong feelings about. So, would you like to hear my review? What book could it be? I’ll give you a hint – you’ve almost definitely heard about this book, and you might (and by “might,” I mean probably won’t) like what I have to say about it. Continue reading “A Reluctant Book Review”

Bookish Thoughts, Library Related

Shifting, and Why You Should Bear with Your Changing Library

Some comments my staff and I have received over the past week:

“Oh no! Danielle Steele is on the bottom shelf now! Move her back to where she was!”

“Um, I just wanted to browse Science Fiction but that section isn’t there anymore…”

*scoffs* “Thanks for moving all my favorite authors!”

Yes, we rearranged. I know that Danielle Steele, Clive Cussler, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and all your other favorite best-selling authors have been housed in the same shelves for years now. I, too, could go grab a book off the shelf without hardly even looking. But, unfortunately (and ultimately for the best), we had to move around basically all of the books in Fiction, and we hope that you’ll try to understand. Continue reading “Shifting, and Why You Should Bear with Your Changing Library”

Book Reviews, Bookish Thoughts, opinion, Personal, Reading in Society

I Read a Book and Have No Idea What It Was About

So, I read a book. Yes, shocking, I know: Becca read another book. This one took me about a week and a half to get through, finished a week before the Book Club meeting where I will be leading a discussion with 11 other ladies at my library about it. I liked the book a lot, though I’m not exactly sure why. But I’ve realized that it doesn’t really matter why I liked the book – just that I liked it. So today I am going to take you through my process of reading this book, why I liked it, why I have no idea why I liked it, and why none of that matters. Continue reading “I Read a Book and Have No Idea What It Was About”

Book Reviews, Bookish Thoughts, Knowledge, Library Related, Reading in Society

On Classic Literature and Language

So, in my last post I promised to elaborate on my love of classic literature and why I feel it is so important for the readers of today to pick up a book originally published before 1950. This is going to take several posts to cover, so I’ll try to find a starting point and go from there, in the best words that I can find.

I am not an expert; I am a life-long reader and book lover, and I work in a public library and so am involved in the “book world.” I see school reading lists (and I also went to school myself, not too long ago); I remember the books I’ve read that had an impact on me (emotionally, mentally, or otherwise); and I also know for a fact that certain books have formed my outlook on books in general – what makes a book good? That particular question is something I am not going to attempt to specifically answer today, but I do know that reading classic literature has led me towards that answer.

Let me define what I’m talking about: for the purpose of this post, I will say that I am considering “classic literature” anything published before 1950 (if you do some research on your own, you’ll find most sources count Classical Literature as mostly Greco-Roman writings that set the foundation for the written word today. For the purpose of this post, however, I am going to use the WWII time marker).  The reason I’m going to use this as a marker is because in my research on contemporary v. classic literature, I’ve come up with the somewhat satisfactory answer of “contemporary literature is anything published post-World War II. So, I’m just gonna keep it simple and call “classic literature” anything published BEFORE the end of WWII. I believe that this is probably the “time frame” for the separation of classics to contemporary because – uh – well, the entire world, our worldwide culture, and all the people in the world changed after the SECOND WORLD WAR. I think this speaks for itself, and definitely makes sense to me. So I’m talking Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Austen and the Brontës, Doyle, Poe, aaaaaalllll the way back to Shakespeare and even further back to Sophocles, Plato, and Homer. ALL THE WAY BACK. Continue reading “On Classic Literature and Language”