Friday, July 03, 2009

TGIF: Weekly Meme Fun (July 3, 2009)

This week's Musings Monday question is about mid-year reading:

Now that we’ve come to the middle of the year, what do you think of your 2009 reading so far? Read anything interesting that you’d like to share? Any outstanding favourites?
One thing is for sure. I have become sloppy in my record keeping. I am behind in updating my statistical list of the books I have read so far this year. What I can tell you is that I have read less books this year than any other year in recent history. However, quality wise, I am very pleased with my reading choices. I have read two books that earned five star ratings and several that hit that 4.5 mark. Only one book earned less than a 3 star rating and I have no books to add to that Did Not Finish (DNF) pile. Challenge wise, I am making fast progress in some and really slow progress in others. Lots of books have come into my house, although fortunately my own book buying is down as compared to this time last year. And that's a good thing. I do not anticipate my reading patterns will change much in the months to come, although I hope I will be able to devote more time to books and reading challenges than I have been able to so far.

For a list of what I have managed to read so far this year, you can visit my archives.

For this week's Tuesday Thingers, Wendi asks

This week we are exploring something totally different and un-Library Thing - we're looking at Glue! I first heard about Get Glue when a bloggy friend won a Kindle 2 from one of their contests! The topic then came up again at the recent Seattle blogger get-together. SO. . . I decided that maybe this whole Glue thing deserved a little attention.

What is Get Glue?
From their Website:

Developed by AdaptiveBlue, Glue enables you to connect with your friends on the web around the things you visit online. Glue is powered by semantic recognition technology that automatically identifies books, music, movies, wines, stocks, movie stars, recording artists, and more. Glue works hard to make it easy for you to find out what your friends think about things you're visiting online.
Questions: Have you gotten Glue yet? If so, how do you like it? Do you follow Glue Genie on Twitter? Won anything in their quizzes?
I knew a boy who ate paste. The Sunday school teacher made it a rule that he was not to use paste or glue without adult supervision. I tasted it once and did not see what the draw was. Oh, but how I loved to squirt the glue between my fingers or peel it off after spreading it out on the paper for a project! Glue can be very messy. Just ask my mother.

I have not tried Glue online. I considered it, looked into it, and dismissed it. No matter how many times I read definitions of Glue like the one above, I still am left confused, not sure exactly how it would benefit me. Oh my gosh! Am I becoming techno-phobic? That makes me feel old. Excuse me while I go and eat paste.

Suggested by Callista83:

Do you read celebrity memoirs? Which ones have you read or do you want to read? Which nonexistent celebrity memoirs would you like to see?

mem·oir (mmwär, -wôr)
1. An account of the personal experiences of an author.
2. An autobiography. Often used in the plural.
3. A biography or biographical sketch.
4. A report, especially on a scientific or scholarly topic.
5. memoirs The report of the proceedings of a learned society.
from Free Dictionary

I tend to think of a memoir as falling into the first category. I separate it out from the biography, which I think of as having been written by one person about someone else. I have read biographies of celebrities and famous people. All for class assignments. I am not a huge fan of biographies. I do, however, like memoirs--but usually not of celebrities or famous people. I am more drawn to the stories of the less well-known, those people who are almost just like me. Closer, anyway, than a famous person. That isn't to say I have not or will not read a memoir written by a celebrity. It is just not my preference.

At this moment, I have two memoirs written by famous people sitting in my TBR stacks. One is President Obama's, Dreams of my Father, which I have been wanting to read since I first heard about it. The other is Kristin Chenoweth's A Little Bit Wicked. I have to be honest though and say that it isn't a book I would have chosen for myself, and I am still not sure yet I will read it. I received it as an unsolicited review book.

As to non-existent celebrity memoirs I would like to see? I can't think of one. Nope. Not a one.

“He who believes that the past cannot be changed has not yet written his memoirs.” ~ Torvald Gahlin

Graphic courtesy of Tonya!
*Click on the image above graphic to get to the Friday Fill-In headquarters, hosted by Janet!*

1. When I heard Doris telling Kim that she was looking for something to read I immediately joined in the conversation to offer my two cents.

2. Settling in with a good book is the best medicine.

3. It's late, but I cannot seem to stop reading. Just one more chapter. Well, maybe two . . .

4. I carry a book with me almost always.

5. My eyes have seen terrible and wonderful things over the years.

6. When it comes to certain issues, I feel rather strongly.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to cuddling on the couch with my husband and the dog and watching another episode of Mad Men (we're watching the first season on DVD); tomorrow my plans include catching the movie Public Enemies at the theater and following that up with lunch out; and Sunday, I want to cozy up with my book!

My Friend Amy is hosting The 50 Books for Our Time Project based on the Newsweek's 50 Books for our Times picks. I decided to throw my hat in the ring and join in. Because many of the books are rather daunting, it was decided that each participant would read one book from the list by the end of the year and post on his or her blog about whether or not, in fact, that book is a book for our times.

There were a number of books on the list I would have loved to sign up to read, but most were already taken. I eventually zeroed in on Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam by Mark Bowden. It's a book I have had on my shelf since 2007 but just haven't gotten around to yet. I really liked the author's book Black Hawk Down and have been wanting to read another of his books for awhile now. It actually seems like a fitting book to read right about now too, what with everything going on in the Middle East, in particular Iran. I can't say I will get to it this summer, but I do plan to read it before the year is out.

Currently, Amy is trying to fill the slots for the remaining books that have yet to be chosen. Once those are filled, she will open sign-ups again for the books already taken. If you are interested, be sure and stop by her blog to get the latest news about the project.

Because I hate for anyone to feel left out, if you like the idea of reading one book (or more) from the list but aren't interested or are unable to sign up for the official project, do not let that deter you from setting your own personal challenge or goals. I would love to know if you decide to read something from the list and to know your thoughts about whether the books on the list really are books for our times.

Maybe you have already read a book or two from the list. Would you call the books you've read books for our time? What books do you think should have made the list that did not?

© Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty 2009
If you're reading this on a site other than
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  1. I'm excited about Amy's Books for our Time Project!

  2. Phew you did a week of meme's in one!

    Right I will address them in order so I dont loose track of myself.

    1.I have been having a good reading year as well. ut of about 20 odd books I have only disliked 3. Most books have been 4 or above rating.

    2. I am with you on Glue, I looked at it, didnt get it.

    3. I dont really like celebrity memoirs. I prefer people who have really made a difference, or who have something unique to tell. Having said that I would like to read Michael J Fox's memoir and Richard Hammond. Because I like them and I think they both have unique stories to tell through their struggles.

    4. Ah why didnt I think of 4. I totally agree. Have a great weekend and I'll wait eagerly for your review. I am dying to see Public Enemies. Story aside it has Johnny Depp AND Christian Bale *sighs, with a little drool*.

    My Friday Fill In is here. Have a great weekend!

  3. My reading year is going very good! I'm going to read an all time high for me..right now I'm almost at the 90 mark and last year I think I hit 110! Like you I have a book with me ALWAYS!!Have fun watching Public Enemies..neither one is hard on the eyes!!

  4. Kathy - It'll be fun to see what everyone thinks of what they read. What did you pick, Kathy?

    Caspette - I am glad you are having a good reading year so far too.

    Maybe someday I'll understand Glue, but it's over my head right now.

    My favorite memoirs are the inspirational ones.

    I hope you have a great weekend too!

    Staci - I'm glad you are having a good reading year. You sure do read fast! You put me to shame number wise. ;-)

  5. I have to say, you should definitely read Kristin Chenoweth's book. Even if you're not a fan, it's a quick, easy read and laugh-out-loud funny. It's certainly not written like most biographies. It feels as though she's in the room telling you these stories herself. Definitely read it when you get the chance!

  6. Anonymous - I haven't given it away yet, so there's still a chance I'll read it eventually. It isn't so much that I'm not a fan of Kristin Chenoweth (I love Wicked). It has more to do with the fact that I'm not really that into celebrity memoirs in general.

  7. Is there something in the air? I've been rather sloppy keeping track of my reading lately too. Hey, I created my first vlog and you got a mention in Part 2 :o)

  8. Hi Wendi, chased you from Friday Fill-ins, and had to see what another bibliophile was writing... My blog is presently full of crafty things so nothing terribly exciting to read!!

    This year is the first one when I've remembered to keep a list of books I've read, generally arranged by term holidays. Best are to date: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo & Girl who played with fire, both by Steig Larsson, then also Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.

    I think I'm up to about 27, but you should see the piles beside the desk.

    Hope to be able to share more thoughts through the year.

  9. Glue sounds too follow the crowd to me. Even book blogs seem more about the latest buzz than good books. Maybe I'm just too old? lol.

    I love biographies. Celebrities, historical figures, whatnot. Fascinating stuff, to step into someone else's shoes. Of course that's also gone a bit on the wayside lately.....geez. Next thing you'll know I'll be yelling "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!" :)

  10. I'm sorry you haven't been able to read as much this year, but the quality is what matter most, so it's all good!

    Isn't the 50 books project a great idea? One book I was glad to see on the list was Persepolis. Definitely relevant, especially with what has been happening recently.

  11. I'm impressed that you were so detailed with your recap. I have to get better at that. I don't always formally rate my books and I should, but I rarely will do a review on a book below a 3. I just won't post or waste my time. Do you know what I mean?
    If it is really awful, or I couldn't finish it I will mention it, but NO review. Too time consuming.

    I signed up for Amy's 50 project. I want to read the Whittaker Chambers book. I have wanted to for months anyway. I heard great things.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    Have a great weekend!!

  12. I feel the same way about Glue. I tried to get into it, but just couldn't.

    BTW, I gave you an award :)

  13. I agree with you about Glue.
    That challenge sounds like fun! Isn't it nice when challenges make you read what's already on your shelf?

  14. Terri - I don't know what's gotten into me. I'm usually much more organized when it comes to my reading. Something must be in the air!

    I loved the vlog post, Terri. :-) And thanks for the mention!

    Chat Noir - I'm so glad you found me! I loved your cards. They are gorgeous. I wish I had that kind of talent.

    I haven't yet read Larsson's books, but I do want to. I really liked The Cellist of Sarajevo. Such a powerful little book.

    Carrie - Old age has its own way of marking us, doesn't it? ;-)

    Nymeth - I keep telling myself that: quality over quantity. And I believe it too, up until I see how much some of the rest of you read and then I feel like I'm an impostor among true booklovers. ;-)

    I was glad to see Persepolis made the list too. It's an important piece of literature and I think brings the subject matter to a wider audience than had it been written any other way.

    Wisteria - That's so nice of you to say! And here I was thinking my recap was way too brief compared to most others.

    I've reviewed a few books that went as low as 1.5 on my rating scale, but it's not often I do. I don't like to waste too much of my time reading books I won't care for all that much.

    I hope you enjoy Whittaker Champers. That sounds like an interesting one.

    Yvonne - It's beyond me, I'm afraid. At least we considered it. :-)

    Thank you for the award!

    Stacy - It'll definitely be an interesting challenge. I may still try and read some of the others on the list I want to, but time will tell.

    It's always an added bonus when I already have the book on my shelf. :-)

  15. Hi Wendy! I love how you compile all the memes in one post.

    "Settling in with a good book is the best medicine." Can't argue with this one. LOL!

  16. Alice - Reading cures many ailment. Or at least gets one's mind off them. LOL

  17. I think you're doing great with your reading, Wendy! Like you, I haven't came across a book which I couldn't finish, and I'm glad for that!

    I hope you had a wonderful weekend. :)

  18. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I really like how you combine all the memes into one weekly post. With so many daily memes and such limited computer time, memes are sometimes the first to get marked as read even though they are fun to read. Anyway...

    My reading has slowed down as well, but I feel like my quality has gone up--maybe because I'm trying to read more from the 'want' pile rather than 'have to' pile--even though those have-tos were once upon a time want-tos. :)

    I haven't heard of Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam, but I really look forward to hearing what you think. Even after reading a handful of books about Iran and the Middle East in general, I still have such a difficult time understand exactly what is going on over there.

  19. Melody - Thanks for the words of encouragement, Melody!

    Trish - The combo works as long as I don't ramble on too long on some of the topics. ;-)

    It's funny you should mention having a difficult time understanding what is going on in the Middle East despite your reading about the area. I was thinking the same thing just today. I am not sure I will be any wiser by reading Mark Bowden's book, but I hope I'll glean something from it that will continue to help me in that direction.

  20. I don't get Glue either. The whole idea just seems strange...

    But I do think A Little Bit Wicked looks good. That is one of my favorite shows.

  21. Melissa - Wicked is a wonderful show. It's definitely one of my favorites too. :-)


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