Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where Is Your Bookmark? (12/23/2014)

I have been having the hardest time settling into a book so far this week. Too much on my mind, I think. Doctor's visits galore, last minute Christmas and end of the year preparations, and all that. This past Friday was my daughter's Christmas party at school. The children put on a lovely show for all us parents and her teachers served a delicious dinner to go along with it. Santa was there to give each of the children a gift.  Mouse was a little disappointed with hers, truth be told.  She didn't exactly complain, but she did mention it later during the ride home from the party. She's been asking for one thing, and one thing only for Christmas for a couple months now--and it wasn't what Santa gave her. Little does she know Santa knows someone in our family has already taken care of that particular gift. He didn't want to duplicate.  Mouse has since enjoyed playing with her Santa gift many times over. Whew.

Other than children's books, I am not sure if I will finish any other books this year. I don't have a number goal I am aiming for per say, but there's something to be said for starting the year fresh. Somehow though I doubt that will be the case this year. I will make my best effort though.

I most recently began reading The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien, set in South Africa. 
In this heartrending and inspiring novel set against the gorgeous, vast landscape of South Africa under apartheid, award-winning playwright Pamela Gien tells the story of two families–one black, one white–separated by racism, connected by love.
The story was originally written as a play and the author later went back and filled the story out, turning it into a full length novel.  

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it something you would recommend?



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


Here are the opening two paragraphs of Pamela Gien's The Syringa Tree:
Newly six, I lay in the dark listening to the rattle of my shutters. The moon was gone from them.
Something moved in the passage outside my door.  My heat banged up against my throat. I strained to listen, tried to be still. I must have called out. I felt warm fingers close my eyes. My father's hands smelled of long hours of antiseptic soap. "It's nearly midnight, Lizzy," he said, in the home I would finally submit to sleep in my Johannesburg bed. In the dim light, I saw he was still in his creased shirtsleeves rolled up from the day, but without his polished brown shoes. Usually at night, he left them by the front door. He must have had to go out again after we fell asleep, on another call, someone sick on a farm at Fourways, maybe, or further out at Honeydew, a child bitten by a snake or someone trying to be born, someone stabbed. Newly qualified as a doctor, he was not yet thirty, with dark rims beneath his eyes.
I admit the opening didn't grab me right away, nor did the first several pages.  I am glad I stuck with it though as fifteen or so pages in, I feel more invested. It is not a fast paced book, at least not that I can tell so far. I am enjoying it though.

Would you continue reading?


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

26 comments:

  1. A busy time of year, its hardly any wonder that reading can become a casualty.

    Busy working my way through my Christmas books, this year I have been lucky in my choices.

    Alas reading those brief paragraphs you shared this book does not really appeal to me
    though I must admit to my being intrigued by whats moving outside that door.

    Seasonal greetings to you and yours. x

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    1. Tracy - I am glad you are enjoying your Christmas reading this year. I think this is the first year I've read more than one or two books fit for the holiday season. I guess I was just in the mood. :-)

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  2. The party sounds fun! I'm glad Mouse will get her gift and think having to wait for it will probably make it all the more special.

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    1. Kathy - It was so much fun! I was grinning from ear to hear, watching Mouse perform.

      I know she'll be thrilled when she gets the doll tomorrow morning. :-)

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  3. It's definitely crazy this time of year. I love the preschool shows and all that. Glad to hear Mouse got past her disappointment with her Santa gift! The beginning of this book doesn't really grab me and I don't really have the brain power for a slower paced read but I'll keep this in mind for a month from now when my brain feels more like my own!

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    1. Katherine - I'm not sure I have the brain power for it right now. I've stalled again. The subject matter really interests me, so I hope it's just timing and not the book. That's three books recently I've started and stalled on. Ho hum.

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  4. Based on this passage, I like the author's writing style.

    I'm glad that, despite her initial disappointment, Mouse enjoyed her Santa gift from the party. And kudos to her for handling it so well. At that age, either of my girls probably would have been in tears. :-)

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    1. Irene - It's such an interesting time in history too. I hope to get back into it once things settle down here. Too much going on.

      I was proud of Mouse for not breaking down it tears when she didn't get what she wanted at the party. I admit to being tempted to have her open the package with the doll tonight as per our tradition of opening one out of town gift on Christmas Eve, just so she's not disappointed in the morning when she comes downstairs and doesn't see the doll waiting for her right away. Then she'd be free to enjoy what she gets tomorrow with no expectations. Something to think about in the next few hours . . .

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  5. Oh, yes, many times I find that I have to read more in order to thoroughly engage with a story. Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - That is very true. Most books do require more than reading just the first page or so before we are completely hooked.

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  6. The opening doesn't grab me, either, but I'd give it more time because the blurb sounds very appealing. The picture you posted is adorable!

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    1. JoAnn - That's how I felt too, JoAnn! The intro might not have grabbed me right away but the subject matter makes it worth giving a try.

      And thank you! That was from my daughter's Christmas performance. :-)

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  7. Love the picture of Mouse! Won't she be surprised that she will get what she really wanted on Christmas Day.

    Sometimes we have to stick around to get to the good part of a book, but lately I've had several books I've rejected fairly quickly. Sometimes it's the book, sometimes it's the mood. Glad you are settling into yours.

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    1. Jenclair - Thank you. :-) It was so dark out and my flash on the phone is so darn slow. I felt lucky to get any decent pictures at all.

      I spoke too soon about settling in. I was and then suddenly I wasn't. I do want to read that one (and two others I've stalled on), but maybe after the holidays.

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  8. Such a cute picture of Mouse; hope Santa brings her the perfect gift.

    I kind of like that intro and would try a few more pages. Enjoy Wendy and have a nice Xmas.

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    1. Diane - I hope Santa does too. LOL This is the first year she's specifically asked for anything. And while she is getting it, it won't be from Santa.

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Diane!

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  9. I'm also having difficulty finding the time or desire to read. When I look around, I see more than a few books I didn't finish this year, which is a bit unusual for me. I will have to find peace with what is though, because I know I won't have the time or inclination to revisit these 4-5 books.

    Hope you have a spectacular Christmas and a happy, healthy new year.

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    1. Catherine - Yes, exactly! It sounds like we are in a similar place.

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year as well, Catherine.

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  10. Nice introduction. Yes I would continue reading.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. Mystica - I'm really curious about where the book will take me. I think though the timing is a little off. My attention is too scattered. I hope to pick it up again once things calm down around here.

      I hope you have a great Christmas too.

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  11. I'm sure Mouse will be very happy to get the gift she wants later. :)

    I'm not sure about the book; the opening seems ok but I suppose I'll read a few more pages to decide if I'd read it.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! :)

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    1. Melody - I think so too! She'll be surprised and happy. :-)

      I hope you have a great Christmas with your family too!

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  12. I remeber last Christmas, with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins there to watch, Gage accepted every gift with, "Is there a train in here?" When he discovered it wasn't he quickly put it aside. LOL! Kids aren't shy with their feelings!

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    1. Haha! I can imagine. This year Mouse was very happy with her presents. When she got to the last one though and only found a Scully and Jake the Pirate to go along with her Izzy, she was very upset there was no Cubby. I felt bad for her, but it was also kind of funny.

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