Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Salon: This & That

I love waking up to the sound of rain. And falling asleep to it. We've been blessed with rain all weekend. And yet I have hardly read a page. It's been awhile since I was last bitten by the blogging bug, and so I took full advantage of it yesterday when it struck, working on my posts for this week. I have also been thinking about my plans for this coming year. I hope to resurrect A Page in the Life, which will also be getting a face lift. I will begin reviewing short stories and graphic novels more regularly (yeah, yeah, I've said that before--this time I mean it). I have been bouncing around a few other ideas related to my reading, many of which are improbable, but hey, a girl can dream, right? The problem is that I want to read so many more books than I have the time for. Sound familiar?

I recently finished reading Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics. It is a book made up of short stories told in comic book form. I do not read graphic novels often, but I have discovered a particular affinity for crime fiction stories and memoir type novels. Do you read graphic novels? If so, what kinds do you seem most drawn to? If not, why not?

With three weeks left in the year, I am feeling the time crunch on my last two challenges. I have not made much headway into my selection for the 50 Books for our Times Project, Guests of Ayatollah by Mark Bowden, but not for lack of interest. The book is a bit on the thick side and, as a result, has been stuck at home where I have not been getting much reading done. And since I do not juggle reading multiple books at once well, the fiction books I've been reading alongside it have been winning out. Today seems like a perfect day to immerse myself in it, however. With the current tensions in Iran it seems a fitting book to read right now. Are you reading a nonfiction book at the moment? If not, what was the last nonfiction book you did read?

I have two more books to read for the War Through the Generations: World War II Challenge, and I am determined to squeeze them in before it is too late. I hope to start on The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne this week. I rented the movie from Netflix and plan to watch it soon after.

I also would like to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. After having seen just about every movie version there is, I figure it is about time. Plus, the timing seems appropriate with Christmas right around the corner. Are you doing any holiday reading this year?

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Happy Reading!

© 2009, 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.


  1. Nice to just have a restful weekend! Yesterday was the day we fired up the woodstove for the first official day of COLD weather and it was lovely being inside! I'm glad you were enjoying your time inside too!

    As for bookish things... this year I have discovered graphic memoirs and have enjoyed reading quite a few. I'm not your typical graphic novel reader, but have begun a better appreciation for them. I look forward to your future reviews!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  2. Oh, I love the sound of a thunderstorm and the rain. But I don't necessarily read during those times...I sleep! I have never read a graphic novel. Not because I don't want to, just that I've had other priorities. I have yet to see a Graphic Novel challenge for 2010, but when there is, I'm ready. I have a nice long list of them.

  3. I was just chatting with my husband on Friday night about my woeful lack of attention to nonfiction books! The Women Unbound challenge will help me with this next year, because it requires a mix of fiction & non-fiction.

    Glad you were able to make something positive from rainy days! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Wendy.

  4. I love rain, too; it gives me an excuse to stay inside and be lazy. Unfortunately, all our rain, right now, is turning to snow. It's pretty but...after living in it for 60 winters, I'm ready for a change!

    I've never read a graphic novel. I don't even like reading the comics in the newspaper. When I read The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult, I pretty much just skimmed over the graphic novel parts.

    Fiction is my normal reading choice, but I occasionally read nonfiction as I did this week.

    I joined two challenges. I read more library books than I thought I would but not as many overall books as I guessed. I only joined out of curiosity to see just how many books I normally read in a year. As it turns out I've read 60 so far so that means a little over a book a week. But that doesn't count all the books I read with my students in school.

    Enjoy your rain and I hope you get some intense reading in today!

  5. I love the rain too so I can just stay in and give myself permission to do nothing. Good luck with your remaining challenges....the clock is ticking...I me..LOL

  6. When I read your post, it sounds like me talking sometimes. Yes, like you I never have enough time to read. You are much better at me with challenges though, I am awful. I just have too many deadlines or something. I can't get through the pressure. LOL

    My last non-fiction book was Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, it is a memoir/novel about her grandmother, so it doesn't totally count. Before that, I'm sure it was some Civil War history, but who can remember now.

    Have a great week planning and reading.

  7. We've had rain this weekend too and our dog does not like it. I'm sure the plants do, though.

  8. I was also bitten by the blogging bug yesterday - and wrote several scheduled posts for the week!

    I need to contemplate my reading goals for next year a bit more closely. I would like to become more purposeful in my reading - and yet still want to leave plenty of time for writing blog entries and reading the posts of others. Time management is definitely an issue :)

    Hope you have a great week!

  9. I'm just about to start "Now It's My Turn," Mary Cheney's autobiography. She is the lesbian daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, and the book talks about her involvement in her father's campaign and her life as a conservative lesbian. It sounded interesting and I wanted to see how she balanced what is considered a more liberal lifestyle with her conservative political values.

    Hope you get some time to do a little more reading in these hectic next few weeks!

  10. A Christmas Carol is one of the few Dickens books that I actually like. We watch a lot of versions of the movie each holiday season, but I didn't read the book this year.

    I like graphic memoirs the best, but I also enjoyed the Emma series (which was Victorian romance).

  11. I like falling asleep to the sound of rain, too. It is so soothing (unless it's a storm). I'm looking forward to the changes you're making to your blog- Yay for A Page in the Life!

  12. The rain ended this morning and now the sun is out. I'm a little sad.

    I listening to A Christmas Carol on audio on my drive to work. I've never read it, but listening to Tim Curry as Scrooge is great fun.

  13. Suzanne - Firing up the wood stove sounds so wintry. :-) We have a fire place, but it hasn't been used in years. It's a shame really. We just rarely think of it until it's too late in the year for it.

    I have really come to appreciate graphic memoirs too. I'm looking forward to reading more of them this coming year. My husband is more your typical graphic novel reader than I am. It's still a fairly new format for me.

    Sandy - I love a good thunderstorm too. :-) My husband introduced me to graphic novels years ago and sneaks one into my reading pile now and then. He's so proud of me now that I ask for them on my own on occasion. :-)

    I do hope someone will start up a graphic novel challenge this next year. I know there'd been one the year before last. Maybe you can host one yourself. ;-)

    Laura - I think maybe I've read two nonfiction books all year or there abouts. Pathetic. I have quite a few on my shelf to read, I just tend to gravitate towards the fiction more often than not.

    The Women Unbound Challenge is such a good idea. I am glad you will be participating!

    Linda - I love a lazy rainy day. :-) I can see how you'd be tired of all that snow after awhile. It doesn't snow at all where I live and I'm glad for that. Seeing it on the distant mountain tops is good enough for me. LOL

    The reading challenges can be fun, but also time consuming. My favorite part is coming up with ideas of what to read for each challenge.

    Diane - Well, maybe not nothing. LOL Although it sometimes feels like I've done nothing come the end of the day.

    I'm trying not to let myself stress over the lack of time left in the year to complete my remaining challenges. I'm still thinking I can pull it off. I sure hope so anyway! Good luck to you with yours!

    Wisteria - There just never seems to be enough time in the day, does there?

    You always read the most interesting books, Wisteria!

  14. A weekend of rest is awesome. I don't mind the rain but not all the time. I like when it's that soft, warm rain of summer.

    You're doing well with the War Challenge. I totally sucked at it.

    I'm just about to get to work on some reviews for this week. I like to try and get my posts all ready for the week and then I don't have to scramble.

    I'm going to be reading A Christmas Carol too. I'm pretty sure I watch every show on tv to do with it as well. lol.

    Have a great Sunday Wendy and a great week!

  15. Kathy - My dog isn't a fan of the rain either. He refuses to go outside Fortunately there were a couple of breaks in the rain yesterday so he could go out--I don't know how his bladder can stand it!

    Molly - We're on a blogging roll! I got another blog post written this morning. I couldn't help myself. :-)

    Finding a good balance and managing time well is definitely my issue too. It's a work in progress, isn't it?

    Lexi - Now It's My Turn sounds like it will be interesting. I'll be curious to know your thoughts on it when you are done.

    I hope to fit in some reading in the coming weeks too. I'm determined too. My husband's been enlisted to make sure I do. LOL

    Alyce - I'm looking forward to reading A Christmas Carol. I've only read Oliver Twist by Dickens so far and I really liked it. I figure it's time I try him again.

    I was really surprised at the number of graphic memoirs out there. I'm so glad I stumbled across them.

    Aarti - I agree, falling asleep to the sound of rain is so soothing. I've been able to do that for two nights in a row now and I think I've slept better for it!

    Softdrink (Jill) - I woke up to pouring rain this morning and then felt a tinge of disappointment when the clouds started making way for the sun. I do love a sunny day, but we see so little rain. I treasure every minute of it.

    I bet that's fun, listening to Tim Curry read A Christmas Carol. :-)

  16. Dar - I imagine you get much more rain than I do where I live. I welcome any rain as it doesn't come often enough.

    I'll probably be lucky to complete the WWII Challenge at the rate I'm going. LOL I'm going to try though.

  17. I rarely read nonfiction and haven't read a graphic novel. Not sure why, but perhaps just because none really seem to grab me. As a kid I was never really into comics and the like so I think I am just turned off to them. Next year I would like to expand my reading horizons though.

    I love rainy weather. Sometimes I enjoy reading, but sometimes, catching up on tv and laying around are the things that call to me. Have a great week Wendy!

  18. Kristie - I wasn't big into comics when I was a child either. And when I became an adult, I was so sure they were meant for kids. My husband showed me differently though and I'm so glad he did. I don't think I'll ever read graphic novels to the extent my husband does, but now and then they make a nice change of pace.

    Rainy days are perfect for cuddling in front of the tv and watching a DVD or, as you said, catching up on TV, I agree. I love to read, but I do like to spend my time doing other things too.

  19. I'm having a wonderful Sunday, blogging mostly, but reading a bit, too.

    Lots and lots of holiday reading completed, all children's picture books.

  20. Rain is wonderful to read to, and nap to. We've had sunny cold weather all week, the air has been so clear I could actually see many stars at night!

    I just wrote a post about my favorite graphic novels from the past year. I will add Noir to my TBR pile! Have a great week.

  21. My current non-fiction is Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Wait Until Next Year." I'm hoping to squeeze in A Christmas Carol before the holidays, too.

  22. I do love rainy days, but not as much as I did when I was younger. It's especially great when you're snuggling under a duvet and read, with the sound of the rain beating like a form of 'music'. Ah...bliss. :P

    Speaking of challenges, I notice I've a few which I don't think I'd be able to complete within the next few weeks, so I'll have to give them up.

    I hope you've a wonderful week ahead, Wendy!

  23. I'd like to read A Christmas Carol, too! What a great idea.

    BTW: The blog is looking great!

  24. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain!! I haven't read a Christmas story yet this season...sad huh? I've been wanting to read A Christmas Carol too but I have so many library books to get through I don't think I'll make it!! Enjoy your Sunday or what's left of it!!

  25. Readerbuzz - I ended up blogging more than I expected today--got a couple of more posts written for the coming weeks. Always nice to have a head start. :-)

    Gavin - Yes, rain is perfect for reading and napping. :-) As much as I love the rain, I do miss the stars. There's so many lights around here though, I don't have the best view of them on a clear night though. :-(

    Lisa - It sounds like quite a few of us are planning to read A Christmas Carol. It'll be like a mini book tour. :-)

    I've heard good things about Goodwin's book. I hope you are enjoying it.

    Melody - I think I like rainy days more now--except when I have to drive in it. I'd rather be nestled all warm at home when it's raining. Although a good walk in the rain can be quite fun.

    This month is just too short. We need to extend it an extra week so we can get our challenges finished.

    Sheri - I figure it's about time I read another Dickens book and why not that story? I just hope I like it. LOL

    Staci - It's such a comforting sound, isn't it? It's still early yet so you have time to fit in a Christmas story this year. I technically haven't read one yet either. :-)

  26. Well, I'm glad you'll be blogging more this week :-)!

    I like to curl up and stay in with a book when it rains. Unfortunately, we had to drive to Oceanside in the rain yesterday for my mother-in-law's tree-decorating party. But I made the surprising - and pleasant - discovery that when the sky is overcast and the book doesn't have tiny print, I can actually read in the car for a while! I wish I could commute to work by train. I'd get so much more reading done if someone else would do the driving :-).

    I've stayed away from graphic novels, but I'm not sure why. I'm kind of surprised my husband doesn't read them; he's an artist and former comic collector, so you'd think he'd be more interested in them.

    Most of my nonfiction reads are memoirs, but I have a few topical ones set aside for the Women Unbound challenge. I just started reading one of those on my Kindle yesterday; I can read on that pretty comfortably in the car. But I'm totally bailing on the 50 Books for Our Times challenge; I don't even have the book yet.

    I'm not doing any holiday reading; I hope we get some time to do some holiday viewing, though! We haven't even watched A Christmas Story yet this year. Do you have a favorite version of A Christmas Carol? I like the one with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  27. The rainy weekend sort of screwed up my holiday plans but you know what? I'm okay with it. The weekend felt longer because I was able to spend most of it at home, in my jammies! I'm still not ready for work tomorrow but I'll worry about that tomorrow.

    As for reading, I did my Moby Dick reading and quietly enjoyed it. Really. It's growing on me. I am about to read more of When She Flew. It's my "before bed" book.

  28. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas might be a bit heavy for me for the holidays but it is on my list. I am reading The Christmas Secret, and finishing up three other books to have reviews for January..(finally) I too enjoyed the rain this weekend.

  29. Florinda - It's about time, isn't it? I'm good for about a week and a half now. :-)

    I am glad you were able to read on the drive to Oceanside this weekend. I'm with you; I wish I could take the train to work just so I could read. :-)

    Most of the nonfiction I read tends to be memoirs too. I think it's because they often read like novels.

    I think my favorite is the one with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge too. I'd probably have to watch them all back to back to tell you for sure. LOL

    Ti - A weekend at home in jammies sounds so nice! I spent half the day in my jammies yesterday. Does that count?

    I think it is great that you are reading Moby Dick. I'm not sure it's something I'll ever pick up to read, so I'm living vicariously through you, Jill and the others reading it. :-)

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on When She Flew.

    Toni - The holidays are still a couple of weeks away so I have time for the depressing stuff. Just not a lot. ;-)

    I don't usually read holiday themed books this time of year, but figure I might as well give it a try. I've heard good things about The Christmas Secret.

  30. I haven't read a book in more than 15 days, I don't remember last time I did that :)

    I think it's time I get to updating the progress of my challenges too, I have no clue where I stand.

    Can't believe the year is almost over :)

  31. Violet - Well, you have been busy with wedding stuff so I think you have a good excuse for not reading. :-)

  32. Do try to get to A CHRISTMAS CAROL - it is a wonderful, short read and perfect for the holiday season. I'm reading the original version to Kiddo now; I take lots of breaks to explain the old-fashioned language, but we're both really enjoying it! We're up to the 3rd Spirit at the moment ... ;)

  33. You got the rain that we had late last week! I'm also thinking ahead to 2010 and trying to figure out some way to structure some of my reading plans without taking away my spontaneity!

  34. As far as holiday reading, I'll read A CONFUSED HANUKKAH and THE SANTALAND DIARIES, both favorites in my family. The second is a short story about a man who works at Macy's as an elf. It's a modern classic. The first is a children's book I liked from work and bought for my home collection. :-)

  35. Heather - I'm sure going to try to get to it, hopefully before Christmas. I love that you are reading it to your child!

    Kathleen - I'm hoping that easing up on some of the structured reading will be a good thing for me.

    Marie - Those both sound good!

  36. I actually read A Christmas Carol for the first time this summer. And then I did all of my Christmas shopping, LOL.

  37. Stacy - How funny! I guess it's good (or not?) that all my Christmas shopping is done.

  38. Like Sandy, I like the sound of rain and thunderstorm too BUT only when I'm sheltered at home. Haha! I still haven't read A CHRISTMAS CAROL...

  39. Alice - You don't like walks in the rain? They're so much fun! :-) I don't mind getting wet just as long as I have no where special to go. When I played soccer as a kid, my favorite games were the ones played in the rain. I've always loved rain.

  40. I don't know how I feel about walking in the rain. I mean when I need to get the mails, I go out and run in the rain to get the mails LOL! I just don't like leaving mails in the mailbox while it rain or else the mails gt wet (our mailbox were cracked open from top). But am pretty sure I've walked in the rain when I was kid :) Not sure how I feel about it today teeehehe.

    I love A Christmas Carol movies/books. There too many differ version, that it hard to pick a favorite :)

  41. Julia - Wet mail is not a good thing. I'm fortunate that my mailbox is near my door, covered by the porch overhang. And then there's my mailbox at the shopping center, which is indoors (I use this one for packages since someone began stealing them off my porch). It's a little inconvenient being that I have to drive there to get packages, but at least I know my packages are safe and dry!


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