Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Salon: What I Plan to Read Next

I do not really like to write much about what I have up next in my TBR stack. At least not beyond the next book I am about to pick up to read. I think it is mostly because I change my mind a lot. Even with a stack of books in my immediate TBR pile, I remain a spur of the moment book chooser. I just sometimes limit my options. Yet, here I am, to tell you about a few of the books I hope to get to in February.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, as many of you know. While reading should have been my escape, it wasn't much of one. I chose a serious book that dealt with a couple grieving over the death of their son when I should have chosen something light and funny. As a result, my reading was slow going. Don't take that to mean I did not like the book at all. I did. I liked it very much. I just am not sure it was the best book for me in the moment. No. I take that back. Maybe it was. Sometimes sad books can help us through our own sad moments, can't they? There's something to be learned in such books. Even perhaps some comfort to find, however odd that might sound. The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar was like that for me in its own way. Although, something funny might have been nice too.

I was reading another book alongside it. I almost forgot to mention it since it's an e-book I am reading on my computer. I hate reading books on the computer. I have nothing against e-books. I just hate reading them on the computer. It's a pain in the behind, especially since I am unable to sit for long periods of time. The book is Janice Daugharty's The Little Known, which is due out early next month. I am about half way through it at the moment. Set in Georgia in the 1960's, it is about an African-American boy who comes into possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He decides to give it to his family and neighbors in hopes of making their lives better. Only, that's not what happens. The money seems to make things worse. The whole "child finds money and tries to do good plot" has been done before, but I am curious to see just how Daugharty will spin the story.

After reading several reviews recently of Craig Thompson's Blankets, I mentioned my interest in reading it to my husband. He was kind enough to dig through his shelves of graphic novels and find his copy for me. I hope to begin reading Blankets later today. Maybe tomorrow.

This coming month I also am planning to read a historical thriller called The Fairest Portion of the Globe by Frances Hunter. I really enjoy historical fiction, but it's been years (and I mean YEARS) since I read something set in the United States during the late 1700's. Usually my reading of that time period finds me in Europe or thereabouts. Hunter's novel is set in the Louisiana Territory, a highly desirable region controlled by Spain. Tensions are high and the threat of war is very real. This was the time when the legendary scientific explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, well known in American history, first meet.

Clea Simon's latest, Grey Matters, featuring Dulcie Shwartz, a graduate student studying Gothic literature, is another book I look forward to getting to in February. Rumor has it that it's the author's best yet. I enjoyed the first book in the series, Shades of Grey, and am eager to visit with Dulcie and feline friends again.

Calling my name (and rather loudly at that!) is the Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: The Frank Meeink Story as told by Dr. Jody M. Roy. I read a bit of the opening when it first arrived in the mail, and I have to say, I was hooked immediately. I can't wait to dive back in.

I think that will be a good start--not to mention a bit of variety. What are you planning to read in February?

This Week In Reading Mews:

Reviews Posted:

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia

Books That Found Their Way Home:
2666 by Roberto BolaƱo (bought with gift card and coupon)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
(bought with gift card)
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (bought with gift card)
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger (bought with gift card & a little bit of money out of my own wallet)
The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel (from the publisher for review)

American Rust Giveaway Winners:
Laura from Musings
Alice from Hello, My Name is Alice

Posts of Interest This Week:

Monday at the Movies: Sherlock Holmes
Tuesday Tangents on Thursday: Update on Anya, RAWW, and Other Random Thoughts
It Takes a Village: A Guest Post by Author Misa Ramirez

© 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. I'm so happy I won AMERICAN RUST! Thank you, Wendy! I'm doing a happy dance now.

    I'm not sure what I have in mind for February reading. I'm very much a mood reader as well.

    Ever since I stopped reading during lunch, my reading has slowed down tremendously. Sigh~

  2. I can't wait to hear what you think of Blankets, Wendy! I hope you love it as much as I did.

  3. I've got Blankets on my list as well! I couldn't even begin to tell you what I will be reading in February! I'm totally spastic when it comes to my choices. There are the impulsive audios that I get from the library, my challenge stack in the corner of my bedroom, and the books my daughter wants me to read with her. It is really a case of closing my eyes and pulling one out of the hat!

  4. I'm really looking forward to American Rust ... thank you!

    I love thinking about what I'm going to read, even if I don't always follow the plan. I hope you enjoy what you have in store!

  5. I know what you mean about not wanting to really say "I'm going to read..." because you're mind may change. I'm the same way, which is why it's such a sticky thing for me to have a reading schedule. LOL, I've been so whiny about it in the last week or so, but I think it's good for me because I think I need to be pinned down just a little. You, I'm sure, are fine with getting reading done without it ;-)

    I'm planning to get the other two LT ER books done this month as well as Tainted and The Fellowship of the Rings. Beyond that, whininess may win out :-D

    Congrats to the winners :-)

  6. I have to tell you, I really like the layout of your blog. I have been meaning to tell you it is so nice.

    I so agree with you about ebooks. I like them on my iphone because they are portable and I read in the doctor's offices. Since I'm there so much. LOL That way I don't have to bring my book in, and I have choices since I usually have one or two to pick from.

    Have a great reading week and thanks for all your recommendations.

  7. I enjoyed your post. It gave much to think about on my reading. I don't plan my reading. Next few months, I would be undergoing big changes in my personal front. I might not have much time to read. And when I do, I will mostly read thrillers. Only those would work for me.

    Here is my Sunday Salon post!

  8. Totally understand the reading-on-computer thing. And that Skinhead memoir sounds fascinating. I'll look forward to your review!

    And I'm glad you bought Nine Stories this week. My favorite is "For Esme, with Love and Squalor." RIP JD Salinger!

  9. The year I read Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us, it was one of my favorite novels. It wasn't a happy book, but I loved it and Umrigar's writing. Adding The Weight of Heaven to my list.

    I just checked out American Rust in my latest library foray.

  10. I've read one book on my computer...never again. It does make for a miserable reading experience.

  11. When I first started reading I used to post what I was going to read next all the time. Of course, I realized that I changed my mind constantly and stopped that. LOL. I'm glad I'm not alone in that.

    I don't like to read books on the computer either. I'm curious to see how portable the new ipad is going to be. I'm in love with my Kindle though.

    No Sunday Salon for me this week. Have a great week Wendy.

  12. I am very much a spontaneous reader too! Since there are so many books that I 'must' read for school - I like to allow a little flexibility in my pleasure reading.

    I loved reading how you chose to spend all those gift cards! I just used some of my Amazon giftcard money yesterday to purchase a few books. It always seems a bit like Christmas when the box arrives.

    I hope you have a great week, Wendy!!

  13. Alice - Congratulations on winning, Alice. :-) I should have the book in the mail to you by the end of the week. I hope that will work for you.

    Some days the only time I get to read is during my half hour lunch break. :-( That's hardly any reading time at all. I'm trying to turn that around though.

    Nymeth - My husband assures me I'll like it and wants to know why it is I decided to read it now based on my fellow book bloggers recommendations and not on his (he's been wanting me to read it for awhile now). LOL

    Sandy - Right now I'm trying to get a little more caught up on my review books. Fortunately there's a wide variety so finding something to suit my mood is not so hard.

    Laura - Congratulations on winning a copy of American Rust! I do hope you will enjoy it.

    It is fun to think about what I'll be reading next, I agree! I have to be careful though that I don't rush the book I'm reading in anticipating of what's up next. LOL

    Alisha (Koolaidmom) - My mind is always changing. LOL I'm glad I'm not alone. I am a planner about a lot of things in my life, but having flexibility is a must. When it comes to reading, my flexibility level is very high. Haha

    I have upcoming deadlines too so am working around those. It does earn a little bit of a whine from me, although wanting to read the books in the first place helps with most of that.

    Donna (Wisteria) - Thank you! I like it too. For now. LOL I tend to get bored with my look all too frequently.

    I look forward to the day I have a portable e-reader of some sort. I probably wouldn't mind reading an e-book on an iPhone or an e-reader. Being stuck behind the computer is no fun when it comes to reading a novel though. Ugh. I keep wanting to check my e-mail and do other things.

    I hope you have a great week too!

  14. Gautami - Thank you, Gautami! Sounds like you will be very busy. I wish you the best in what is to come. Sometimes reading does have to take a back seat to what is going on in our lives. Thrillers are good comfort reads for me too.

    Sarah (SmallWorld) - Reading on the computer is such a pain. :-( Doesn't the Skinhead memoir sound fascinating? I'm really looking forward to diving into it more. I know it will make me furious as I read, but at the same time, knowing the author is "recovering" will make it a bit easier, I think.

    I really felt a sense of loss when I heard the news about J.D. Salinger. I'm looking forward to reading his short stories.

    Jenclair - The Space Between Us was awesome. It was my first book by the author. I hope you will like The Weight of Heaven when you read it.

    Jill (Softdrink) - It's not a fun experience, reading a book on the computer. I think this will be my last time too. :-(

    The last e-book I got, I ended up printing out, which wasn't idea, but better than reading on the computer. I'm not sure why I didn't do the same this time.

    Kristy - The best laid plans and all that. I do like to have an idea of what I will be reading next, but, as you said, it changes so often.

    I've been wondering that about the iPad too. It seems so big to me--the size of a hardback, I think. I don't know. I'm still favoring the Nook and the Sony e-Reader at this point.

    I hope you have a great week too!

    Molly - Your pleasure reading really would need to be flexible to make up for the "must" reads for school, wouldn't it?

    I still have a little more to spend in the way of gift cards. Next week several books I
    just "must" have are coming out in paperback and I'm hoping the bookstore will be carrying them. :-)

    I hope you have a great week too, Molly!

  15. I've actually been surprised by how much I like reading on an e-book reader - it's very different from reading on a computer. Aside from blogs and articles, reading off a computer screen has no appeal for me, so I totally understand why it's slow going!

    I spend a lot more time thinking about "what I'll read next" than I used to, between review commitments, books I want to read for challenges, and for-the-heck-of-reading (not enough of that lately!). I'm currently reading American Rust for a tour. It's more "literary" than some of what I've been reading lately, and it's started off well for me.

    I know what you mean about needing to make the "right" reading choices at certain times. When things became very troubled during my first marriage, I actually backed away from fiction for awhile, since so much of the fiction I read concerns relationships - EVERYTHING seemed to strike a raw nerve.

    I hope you have a good week - and more time to read - Wendy!

  16. THank you, Wendy, for putting Grey Matters on your to-read list! This has been a sort of weekend of calamities, culminating in us coming home last night to find out that our radiator is leaking ... ah well. As my husband says, it's just plumbing. We can fix it. But today I was feeling a little overwhelmed and so to see my new book on your TBR list was a wonderful lift.

    I ahve a tiny tiny excerpt up on my website, if anyone else is curious -

  17. I don't plan too much ahead, either. I'm always changing my mind depending on my mood.

    I see you have Cutting for Stone on your list. I loved it!

    Hope your February is better!

  18. After reading Nymeth's review I have to read Blankets again. I hope you have a better week!

  19. I don't usually plan out what I am going to read next either but there are a few books from my pile that are really calling my name. I hope you have a great week and a great Sunday!

  20. Thrity Umrigar is one of my favorite authors. Weight of Heaven was a bit sad, but I loved that book.

    I hope you love Cutting for Stone (another great book).

    As for February bookish plans -- they rarely work as planned for me, so I stopped being so specific...LOL

    I know (3) books that will be read/reviewed will be : American Rust; Wish Her Safe at Home and Sacred Hearts.....the rest will be a toss up..LOL

    Have a great month Wendy!

  21. Sounds like you've got quite a few great books lined up there!!! I haven't even thought about February!! LOL!

  22. I'm the same way about planning -- one of the reasons I dislike challenges. I'm a moody reader and sometimes I can plan ahead, but eventually I will hit a wall and my moody brain will refuse to read scheduled books. The last few months have been like that for me. I have to go with what calls to me, right now.

    Thrity Umrigar is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning her new book. I'll have to look it up.

    I've missed all the posts about Anya because of my own kitty grief, so I just went back and read your other posts. I'm sorry you've had to go through so much worry about your fur friend. We love our pets like children but if we were faced with a 5-figure bill, I'm afraid I'd be unable to give a cat the care needed. Anya is fortunate to have you.

  23. I added Blankets to my wish list this week and I hope to get it fairly soon myself. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. I too hate reading ebooks on my computer. I had to read two earlier this month and it was really a struggle. Hope you find the book you need to comfort you in February, Wendy.

  24. I've had way too many 'ought to' reads in January, self imposed as I agreed to review them. But, in February and March I'm look forward to MY choices: hopefully, The Swan Thieves.

    I know what you mean about picking the wrong book for the wrong time, but once in awhile it turns out to be the right time. I don't like sad books when I'm sad very often, though.

  25. I can certainly see why it was difficult for you to read that book! I change my mind about what I'll read next all the time too.

  26. It's great to see you back, Wendy. I totally know what you mean about reading and our moods. Lately I've definitely been in the mood for comfort reads and I think that's sort of put me off of some of my books. Anyway, hope all is going well, hope Anya is doing better and hope your february reads are fabulous! Like you I don't really talk much about what I'm planning to read because I'm a bit fickle :)

  27. (Hugs), Wendy. I hope things get better for you - and for Anya. She is in my prayers.

    I want to re-read Blankets - it was truly wonderful.

    I have some fun buddy reads coming up in February - Vasilly and I are reading the play The Importance of Being Earnest and also Admission together.

  28. Florinda - I am pretty sure I would like an e-reader. Now just to decide which one . . . Yes, reading a novel on a computer has its drawbacks. Too many really.

    My choices are more limited because of my reading commitments, that's for sure. Although because I have quite a few right now (still playing catch up), I have some flexibility in my choices. Ultimately though, like you, I don't have as much time for those just-for-the-heck-of-it books.

    I can understand your wanting to stay away from relationship books during such a difficult time. I still have an issue with memoirs that feature animals who die in the end. Someday I'm sure my aversion will pass, but probably not for a long while yet.

    I hope you have a good week too!

    Clea - I'm really looking forward to reading Grey Matters. It sounds like it will be good. :-)

    Oh! If it's not one thing, it is another, isn't it? I hope the radiator is easy to fix and not too expensive.

    Linda - I'm always changing my mind, that's for sure! LOL

    I am looking forward to reading Cutting for Stone. It sounds like it will be such a good book to read.

    I hope you have a good February too!

    Gavin - As soon as I finish here, I'm going to curl up in bed with Blankets. :-)

    Samantha - I know what you mean. A couple of my books are about ready to jump off the shelf at me if I don't read them soon. :-) I hope you have a great week too.

    Diane - Thrity Umrigar is one of my favorites too, Diane. my review for The Weight of Heaven goes up tomorrow.

    Flexibility is a must even in the best laid plans when it comes to my reading.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on American Rush and Sacred Hearts. I have Sacred Hearts on my TBR pile waiting its turn.

    I hope you have a great month too!

    Staci - The month of February looks like it will be getting off to a good start. :-)

  29. I'm like you, Wendy, even with my TBR list on hand I'll still change my mind at the last minute, LOL. That explains why I don't list titles whenever I participate in reading challenges. I know there's no point in listing them anyway. :P

    Ooh, I'm definitely adding Blankets onto my wishlist after reading so many good reviews on it! In fact I visited a bookstore earlier and I was so disappointed that they didn't have it on shelves. I'll have to find it somewhere, most likely from Book Depository!

    I hope you've a great week ahead, Wendy! And best wishes to Anya!

  30. Nancy (Bookfool) - I discovered I preferred the challenges that were more flexible in regards to the reading lists. It sure made things easier!

    Thank you for your kind thoughts for Anya. We had quite a scare there but I'm hopeful, especially now that we know what we are dealing with.

    I honestly don't know what I would do if I was facing a five figure bill. Fortunately, we haven't even come close to that yet.

    Meghan - I'm glad you will be reading Blankets soon too. It will feel like a little book club with so many of us writing about it. :-)

    I've learned my lesson about reading a book on the computer. Not again, if I have anything to say about it.

    Bellezza - Two months of reading those just-for-the-heck-of-it books sounds good. The Swan Thieves is on my wish list. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    I tend not to like sad books when I am feeling sad either. They tend to be too serious. Sometimes though, they are the right book though. It's funny how that works out that way, isn't it?

    Kathy - It probably wasn't the best choice in the moment, but it worked out anyhow. I actually had a lighter book I was hoping to read for a tour (Hasta la Vista, Lola!) during that time, but it never arrived in the mail.

    Iliana - Thank you, Iliana. I'm slowly starting to resurface. And thanks for your kind words for Anya. I'm so glad she's doing better too. Fingers crossed she continues to improve.

    Carrie - Thank you, Carrie. We appreciate your prayers. I know to some it probably seems silly to get so worked up over a pet, but my three mean so much to me.

    Your reading plans for this next month sound fun!

    Melody - We need a little wiggle room with our reading, don't we? Different books call to us at different times.

    I do hope you're able to get your hands on a copy of Blankets. It sounds so good, doesn't it? All those glowing reviews!

    I hope you have a great week too, Melody, and thank you for the well wishes for Anya. My husband gets to take her to her appointment this week, giving me a little break.

  31. I'm the same way. I change my mind so often I usually don't plan too much or post about my reading plans since they're bound to change. Right now I have This Book is Overdue! and The Lightning Thief on the go, and I have good intentions to knock out some challenge books this month, but we'll see how that plays out.

  32. Andi - I love the title, "This Book is Overdue!" It seems fitting somehow. LOL

  33. I can never plan ahead what I read either. Even if a try, the book I've picked rarely fits my mood.


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