Highlights of the Week That Was

I slowly get back on my feet….the city slowly gets back on its feet…

Tea Book Club
Took a tea break at Barnes and Noble
Guess who got vaccinated?
Theater for the New City did a pop up showcase on Saturday outside their theater. This is the Pablo Band. Wonderful on so many levels.
Movie I watched at home- FYI- I thought it was convoluted
This is an Instagram that I just thought…why? Why do we feel the need to project the image that we don’t eat when we begin a relationship? Conversely, why do we feel the need to let ourselves go once we are in a relationship? Is this a topic that should be thrown off on an insta post? This idea may end up as a future post. Tell me if you think it is worth discussing.

My Month in Books- March

It’s time for March Book Madness! This is what I read from February 25 till March 24.

TitleAuthorHow I heard about bookRating
Anxious PeopleFredrik Backmannot sure1
Klara and the SunKazuo IshiguroGood Morning America Book Club2
BraveyAlexi PappasReal Simple3
Finlay Donovan is Killing ItEllie CosimanoPersonal browse at physical Barnes & Noble4
All The Bright PlacesJennifer Nivenmy daughter5
What’s Mine and YoursNaima CosterJenna Book Club (Today Show)6
Infinite CountryPatricia EngelReese’s Book Club7
Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary that Will Actually Help to Get Your Life TogetherRachel Wilkerson MillerGood Housekeeping8
The Ex TalkRachel Lynn SolomonPenguin Newsletter9
Super HostKate RussoPersonal browse at physical Barnes and Noble10
How the One Armed Sister Sweeps Her HouseCherie JonesGood Morning America Book Club11
This is the order in which I liked the books. It does not mean that the top one is the great American novel, a page turner or the feel good book of the century. Nor does it mean that the bottom book is bad. It just means that some books made me feel more than others.
This month’s BINGO card is courtesy of vromansbookstore.com

I may have only read 11 books, but I was lucky in what I read!! BINGO on the first try with this card!!

When I Podcast about this I will give a bit more insight into these books if you are interested in my unscripted commentary!!

Rent or Buy

Do you buy books, or do you borrow them from the library?

I love the idea of a library. A system that lends out books to people. This allows all people no matter what their circumstances, to be able to read. Learn. Educate themselves. A library shows true equality: anyone can borrow/read anything they want. When my daughter was little I used to take her to the library at least three times a week. We knew the time of every story hour of every library within two miles of my house. My daughters love of reading and learning began from the time I would park her little stroller in the picture book section and we would just look, and read. She saw endless possibilities in the library, and I have to assume her early exposure led her to be the curious, intelligent young woman that she has become.

I love bookstores. Not a week goes by where I have not been inside of a bookstore, whether it me a small independently owned one, or a large chain. Bookstores are my happy place. At a bookstore I can see the world open up before my eyes.

I have borrowed books from the library because I want to keep the libraries open. I want to show the world that free libraries are an important part of our society.

I have bought a lot of books, both physical and electronic from book stores. I want to monetarily support authors and publishers and book stores of all ilk. I want to show the world that book stores are part of out society.

So what’s better? Borrowing books from a library or buying books from a store?

There are people who proudly tell you they buy their books, and their are people who proudly state that they borrow their books.

Is one superior to the other?

One does save you money. But the other does support those in the arts. How do the scales balance?

I admit that I am more likely to buy an ebook right now. I like having books in my library. I like the ability to reread a book for book club. I like that my daughter and I share books. I like having a book available the exact second that I want it. I know I’m a little spoiled with this easy access to books. But books make me happy like nothing else does. If I happen to visit a small, indie bookstore I will buy something. The other day I visited Posman books in Chelsea Market and purchased a poetry book because I thought reading a poem in a physical book each night would be a good send off to sleep. Sometimes I won’t even purchase a book though. Sometimes I’ll just buy something cute that I know they will make a bit of profit on because I want all physical book stores to survive.

But there was a time when the library was part of my weekly to do list. But that fell off the radar a bit as my life got busier. But I still support my local library with donations and I used to volunteer there when they needed help with things.

So are you a buyer or a borrower? A little of both?

Do you think it is more important to help out one as opposed to the other?

How do you feel about this issue?

Discuss

https://anchor.fm/laover50/episodes/Highlights-of-the-Week-That-Was–March-7-ervnv5

My Month in Books- February

NYC had a lot of snow this month- 8th highest total ever for a February. Here’s what I read from January 27-February 24:

TitleAuthorHow I heard about bookRating
The House in the Cerulean SeaT.J. KluneI don’t know1
The Thursday Murder ClubRichard OsmanI don’t know2
Send For MeLauren FoxJenna (Today Show)3
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoTaylor Jenkins ReidGoodreads Newsletter4
HamnetMaggie O’FarrellIRL book club (college alumnae)5
The Art of Stopping: How to be Still When You Have to Keep GoingDavid KundtzShannon Ables The Simply Luxurious Life6
The Four WindsKristin HannahJenna (Today Show)7
Tomorrow Will be BetterBetty Smithone of my besties8
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance during the BlitzErik LarsonI don’t know9
The SanitoriumSarah PearseReese’s Book Club10
Simple Organizing: 50 Ways to Clear ClutterMelissa Michaelsemail from Barnes & Noble11
Good NeighborsSarah LanganBarnes & Noble book club12
The Tea ChestHeidi ChiavaroliIRL book club (tea society)13
The Discomfort of EveningMarieke Lucas RijneveldIRL book club (college alumnae)14
This is the order that I liked the books. It does not mean that the top are the great American novel, a page turner or the feel good book of the century. It just means that some books made me feel more than others this particular month.
I am happy to say that I got BINGO this month! 25 books to get one line across! Next month there will be a new BINGO card!

The Book Clubs- Part 2

A few weeks ago I discussed how I was going to counter empty nesthood: by joining two book clubs. One at my local Barnes and Noble which would be discussing new and noteworthy (aka hyped) books and one at an independent book store focusing on foreign books in translation.

Fine.

Except, all my IRL friends said that I was totally going to the Barnes and Noble one. And they added, there was no way I was going to the foreign book one.

Oh how well my friends know me.

This past Monday I did indeed skip the independent bookstore club (I mean- I didn’t read the book, so, you know…) and on Tuesday I went to the B&N one.

First off- great success to the B&N club. It was run by two young enthusiastic readers who came prepared with great questions and the ability to keep the group in line. There were probably about fifteen of us in all, fourteen women and one lone man. Why do men not like book clubs? The majority of the women were older than me, but there one or two younger. In all, it was a lively group filled with varied opinions and ideas and thoughts. The conversation solidly revolved around the book for the hour. I will definitely be going again next month.

Here’s the thing about me and reading and book clubs. I love to discuss books. I love discussing how the author moved the plot forward, or what devices were used. I love questioning why something was done in a certain way. But sometimes I wonder if I read books differently than others.

The book we discussed was “Lost Roses” by Martha Hall Kelly, the prequel to “Lilac Girls” (which I read and disliked as well) I made a point about a part of the book I thought was preposterous, and no one else had picked up on it. After I said it, a few people opened there mouths and said – “Oh wow- I didn’t think of that. that’s right.” But some people just stared at me. I made another point about how a character acted in a particular scene and I said I lost all sympathy for her after that scene, and people again said they hadn’t thought of it like that. So I can’t help but wonder: am I odd? Do I read into things differently than others? Do I look for oddities?

When you read a book, how do you read it? I know we all know how to read, and as bloggers and blog readers, we’re actually pretty good at it. But how carefully and critically do you look at novels that you’re reading? (and don’t talk to me about grammar because we all know that I don’t do grammar and will not fault anyone for incorrect grammar) When it comes to characters, do you actively look for the subtle moments when they change? Do you notice inconsistencies in plot line?

I know numerical inconsistencies drive me crazy. The only time I ever emailed an author had to do with ages of her characters- she changed the age of several characters several times (and it wasn’t a self published book!!!)

So, what makes you question a book? What makes you decide you like, or don’t like a book? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

The Bookclubs

As you may know, I belong to two book clubs: one in my building that meets monthly, and one with my tea club that meets five times a year. You also know that I set a yearly reading goal of fifty books, so my aim is to finish one book a week. We can assume that I love to read, and I love to discuss books that I’ve read

Recently I found out that two lower Manhattan book stores hold book clubs once a month.

Can you see the lightbulb flashing?

I’m considering joining these two book clubs.

One of them meets at my local Barnes and Noble and reads new and hyped books. The May selection is “Lost Roses” by the same woman who wrote “Lilac Girls”. What do I think about the book? Well, that’s a secret I’m going to share at my first book club meeting…

The other book club is at an smaller more eclectic book shop. They focus on literature in translation, and the first book is a biography about some French person. I’m fifty/fifty as to whether I start out with this book this month.

Why am I considering joining two new book clubs?

Well, that’s easy: I know I need to fill up some of my evenings. Empty nest=empty evenings. And while I do chill to a certain extent, in the beginning it will be hard to adjust to not having my daughter in the apartment. I’ve gotten used to be asked to review an essay or quiz her on something- this has been my life for twelve years- assistant to the student. At 11, I usually sit in her room with her for a few minutes. We both sip tea and discuss our day that just passed, or out day coming up. This has become our ritual. And I know come August 23, it will abruptly end. Many of my rituals will end.

The thought of not having a routine is unsettling.

I am the Queen of routine. I have routines and patterns and spreadsheets for literally everything. I need to start integrating my new routine into place before she leaves…I need to integrate in many new routines.

Can you feel me hyperventilating?

Breath. Focus. Logic.

The problem with my book clubs is that they happen to meet on consecutive evenings: first Monday of the month for one, the first Tuesday of the month for the other. Do I want to have book clubs back to back? Can I walk into one of them and ask them to change the date? No? Yeah- I guess that’s taking control to a whole new level…

The other problem is that I don’t love certain genres. I’m OK with the club that reads the hyped books: I’m probably reading them on my own anyway. But the other? I have no idea if it’s going to be a bunch on non fiction. I don’t love discussing non fiction books in book club. I mean, what do you say? She shouldn’t have done that with her life? What can you actually discuss about a biography other than reiterate what the author said in the book…And again, I can’t dictate what this club should read…

And finally- if I belong to all these book clubs, will I have time to read the books that I just want to read for my pleasure? I realize that I will have more time, but… Do I want to make my yearly reading goal 75 books?

Now I get that book clubs are just a way to hide behind the loneliness that I will experience, but we all need something to hide behind for a little while, until we get out feet back on the ground. And a book club is relatively inexpensive, and not exactly bad for you. I’m already addicted to books as it is. What’s a few more?