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books & reading nightstand

Nightstand: November 2011

So it’s mere days before Thanksgiving, which is exciting in it’s own right, but it also means that it’s time for me to fill you in on my nightstand! Haven’t done this before? The fabulous ladies at 5 Minutes for Books ask us each month which books we are reading, read recently or plan to read soon – basically this amounts to “What’s on your nightstand right now?” Get it?

When we last nightstanded, I was reading The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent – the story of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. (description from goodreads.com)

I have to say I really kind of adored that book, although it was slow reading at times, it really kept me hooked and the story was just fascinating, though heart breaking. I definitely recommend it!

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonAfter finishing The Heretic’s Daughter, I had planned to read our November book club pick, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. This is the story of Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired, of Edgecombe St. Mary, England, [who] is more than a little dismayed by the sloppy manners, narcissism, and materialism of modern society. The decline of gentility is evident everywhere, from tea bags, to designer sweaters, to racism masquerading as tolerance…

But after about three chapters (or 40 pages or so) I honestly couldn’t read anymore. It is not often that I will put down a book after only a few chapters, but lately I have been thinking that my time is too precious to read books I’m not enjoying. And I wasn’t enjoying this one at all. The book was intended, I think, to be a fairly light-hearted satire, but I found the main character so annoyingly cynical that I couldn’t read it without rolling my eyes at him. I don’t know if the book would have gotten better or if I was being too hard on it. I’d guess there are people who loved it and would enjoy it. But I honestly don’t think I was going to be one of them.

My only reason for reading the book would have been because it was a book club pick and normally I’d give myself a harder time and make myself read it anyway, but I decided to go easy on myself this once because my nightstand is kind of overwhelming me at the moment with books to read and truthfully? There was one book in particular beckoning to me. It’s been sitting there patiently for months, picked up in between books just long enough to read a chapter or so, giggle to myself and then move on to my next mandatory read. Well this month it said, “Um, Jen, knock it off and read me already. You’re gonna love it!”

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen LancasterAnd I totally am! What book am I finally digging into and adoring something fierce? Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster. It’s basically the funniest book about dieting that you’ll ever read and I think I especially love it because (especially when it comes to food and dieting) Jen Lancaster and I are kind of kindred spirits. It’s like reading my own thoughts on paper except then sometimes SHE goes to the gym or starts a diet or loses weight and I’m all, “Oh, hey, wait for me!”

I’m kind of hoping that this will be a book that motivates me to finally kick my ass and start eating better and exercising (I’m already trying) and that she doesn’t end the book with, “And then I gave up, who are we kidding, really?” We’ll see…. Either way, as far as book choices go, I’m glad I made this one because I now go to bed at night eager to read!!!!! Instead of “Oh yeah… that book….. Maybe I’m tired?”

So what am I going to read NEXT? Man, guys, I have no idea… There are kind of a million positions I’m being pulled in, but here are some of my ideas:

  • Attempting Wicked by Gregory Maguire again and then possibly reading the rest of the Oz series by him.
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave which I keep hearing is some kind of fantastic
  • Some more funny books like Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin or Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
  • Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi has also been waiting patiently for me for awhile…
  • Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde looks really good – I love his Thursday Next series.
  • And then let’s not even talk about all the OTHER books I own but haven’t read yet and guys, what about the books I WANT to buy? What if I get books for Christmas? If you don’t hear from me for awhile, you’ll know that my TBR pile finally fell over and buried me.

What are you reading right now?

Categories
books & reading memes & carnivals reviews

What’s On Your Nightstand: October

Last month I said that I planned to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Well Of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, In The Hand Of The Goddess by Tamora Pierce and Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. When I wrote last month’s What’s On Your Nightstand almost none of the books were actually in my possession. Similarly, this month the only book on my TBR list that’s on my nightstand is the book I’m currently reading. But first let’s talk about how I fared in the last month.

  • Jane Eyre I never finished. I really wasn’t enjoying it. It was kind of depressing me and I decided that life was too short to spend reading bad literature. I wrote more on that here.
  • I just finished reading The Well of Lost Plots a couple days ago and LOVED it, but it seems like it took me forever to finish it. Fforde’s books are always so detail-rich and complex in plot that it’s not something I can devour in one sitting. You have to immerse yourself in his world and if you don’t love that world, you probably aren’t going to make it. I LOVE it though so it was well worth the effort. I think this was the best of his books that I’ve read so far. My full review is located here.
  • I am reading In The Hand Of The Goddess right now and liking it a great deal. It’s picking up much quicker than Alanna: The First Adventure did and so it took me no time at all to get hooked on the story. I’m becoming a big fan of Tamora Pierce as well.
  • I hope I read Mayflower this year. I’ve had it for awhile but keep putting off reading it for various reasons but it does look good and it seems like it would be a good book for the fall, but it’s hard to stay committed when I also want to read….

Books To Read Soon

  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – I’m hoping to read this next month at some point
  • Tale of Despereaux by Katie DeCamillo – the movie is coming out soon and I want to read the book before I break down and see the movie (which you know I will)
  • Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde – Book number 4 in the Thursday Next series, I swear it’s like crack.
  • Rumors by Anna Godberson – follow up to The Luxe, I’ve been wanting to read this for ages, but the library never seems to have it in stock and of course there are always other books that I want to read, too.
  • How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean – this book has gotten a few bad reviews, but I know it’s one that I’ll need to read for myself or I’ll never be able to let it go, you know?

What’s on YOUR nightstand? Have you blogged about it and linked up @ 5 Minutes For Books yet?