November 15, 2009
Good morning everyone! Can you believe we are already half way through November? The days are flying by and already the holidays are upon us. I am not even close to being ready for them, but I am trying not to stress about it.
This past week I finished reading Looking After Pigeon by Maud Carol Markson (read my review) which I really appreciated for its depth and literary style. I have been a little surprised at the mixed reviews this lovely book has been getting and it got me thinking about why that might be. I think Americans (for the most part) gravitate toward books which are fast-paced and action-filled, or those which are “light” in style…books that don’t necessarily require a lot of thought, but tend to be quite entertaining. There is nothing wrong with that…I read and enjoy those kinds of books too. But every now and then I want a book that moves slowly, that stretches my comfort level or makes me think deeply about an issue. I like to pick up a book which is heavy with theme…one that creates emotion for me whether that be anger, or sadness or joy. And that is why I love literary fiction. Markson’s book deals with a tough subject (the neglect of a child), and there is little action. The “plot” takes place inside the mind of an adult looking back on her childhood – specifically one summer of her childhood. All the “action” is internal. I believe many readers don’t have the patience for this kind of story…and that makes me a little sad because I think there is a lot of great books out there being ignored. Looking After Pigeon was not a fast read for me. It took me awhile to read it. In fact, it took me a lot longer to read it then I thought it would. Not because it was torturous, but because it was making me think. What about you? Do you shy away from books like this? Or do you sometimes really want to “go deep” when it comes to your reading? By the way, if you are interested in this book, you might also want to check out the guest post by the author on my blog.
My current read is a chunkster which I MUST finish today in order to complete the Chunkster Challenge. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb is over 700 pages long and centers around the Columbine shootings in Littleton, Colorado. Lamb uses a fictional couple as his main characters, but also includes the actual victims of the shootings in his novel. I’ve read just over half of the book so far and am finding it engaging – although there have been moments when I thought it could have been more tightly edited and had less back story. And so far I am not loving the male protagonist (although I am willing to take the journey with him and see if he will change). I don’t know if I will get it done by the end of the day….but we’ll see!
Have you seen all the fantastic events popping up around the holidays? There are several of which I am interesting in participating:
- The 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Virtual Cookie Swap (starts today!) hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Blog AND Julie of Booking Mama.
- Thankfully Reading Weekend (November 27-29) hosted by the crew over at the Book Blog Social Club.
- December Read-A-Thon (December 5) hosted by Bethany at Dreadlock Girl.
- 3rd Mystery Read-A-Thon (January 16-17, 2010) hosted at the dedicated blog for this event.
As usual for this time of year, there are a ton of new challenges being posted for 2010. To see them all in one place, visit A Novel Challenge blog…I’ve tried to make it easy to view pending challenges, current challenges, perpetual challenges, and events. You are also more than welcome to join A Novel Challenge Yahoo group for the reading challenge addicted. Joining the group has some advantages including getting email reminders of start dates for challenges and events…as well as being eligible for prize giveaways.
What are you planning to do today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a great book!