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Sunday Salon – January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012

Good morning – and welcome to The Sunday Salon where bloggers talk about books all day long. Check out other blogger posts by visiting the Facebook Page.

Well, it was bound to happen sometime. I have been blogging books since 2006 (although my blog started in February of 2005, I didn’t discover the book blogging community for another year after that), and I have never, ever, ever had a reading slump. I have read about other people’s slumps, but never experienced my own. Now, I think it is time to admit that my reading has slumped. I find myself reading for ten minutes and my mind begins to wander, I put the book down, and go do something else. This has been going on for DAYS now. I just can’t seem to get motivated to read – and this is a very foreign feeling for me. What’s up? I have no idea.

My current read is Swamplandia! by Karen Russell and I love her characters although the plot is a little wonky and out there. Russell writes well. But I am only 167 pages into this 300 page book and I have been reading it since last Sunday – seven days and 167 pages??!?!? Ridiculous. I don’t want to stop reading this book, but I wonder if I will ever finish it. And there are a lot of other great books staring at me from the shelves. What would YOU do?

This trouble with reading falls, ironically, on the heels of a post I published earlier this week called Blogger Impact where I talk about how much I love reading!!! How weird is that?

I hope by next week, I will be out of this slump and will be able to talk more about the books I am reading.

In the meantime, check out my post about books I recommended in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. And if your curiosity  was aroused by my review of The Street Sweeper, why not jump on board the Chunkster Challenge train and earn a chance to win a copy of the book (contest ends January 29th).

Raven is recovering from her birthday yesterday (she played hard and had steak for dinner), and I plan on sewing a little today and trying, once again, to tackle Swamplandia! Wish me luck!!!

Have a wonderful week!



  1. January 22, 2012    

    Your first reading slump?! Wow. What works for me sometimes is to start reading a totally different genre. I usually read shorter works when I’m going through a slump. I hope you can break out of it soon.

    Raven is such a cutie! 🙂

    • January 25, 2012    

      Vasilly: I have started a mystery-suspense book and hoping this will pull me out of the slump!

  2. January 22, 2012    

    Is it really a reading slump or is it just the book? I was warned off Swamplandia! by Jill, and Linda just gave up on it yesterday. So … hmm … what do you think? What if you took a day off from reading and then picked up one of those other great books staring at you? Just a thought. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Laura: I actually think it is a slump – my reading all month has been achingly slow (Swamplandia! was my 4th book for the month and normally I read 8-10 books in one month). As you know, I finished Swamplandia! and didn’t love it…hoping my next book captivates me a bit more.

  3. January 22, 2012    

    I say take a break. Get outside, maybe write a little. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel compelled to read again!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Jennifer: Good advice – thank you!

  4. January 22, 2012    

    Swamplandia gets better, and in the last, say fourth, you won’t be able to put it down as the tension builds! Because I had the same problem, and am very glad I persevered!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Jill: Thanks for the encouragement because it helped me keep on reading Swamplandia! and I have now finished it (didn’t love it, but still glad I persevered to the end!)

  5. January 22, 2012    

    I’ve had periods like that when I’ve had so much going on in my life I can’t concentrate. Don’t force it and you’ll get your reading groove back.

    • January 25, 2012    

      Kathy: It is frustrating not to be able to concentrate, isn’t it?

  6. January 22, 2012    

    Ditto what Jill said about Swamplandia. I absolutely loved it by book’s end, and have grown fonder of it in memory than I would have originally thought. And don’t worry about that reading slump! They all pass. 🙂

    • January 25, 2012    

      Frances: I’m glad to hear that slumps pass!!

  7. January 22, 2012    

    Sorry about the reading slump. Must be the weather. It’s snowy here and it’s good to stay in and read. I can always find time for a good mystery novel, thank heavens, though there are a few I admit I can’t or don’t finish. Right now I am in Greece (in the book) reading about a mystery.

    • January 25, 2012    

      Harvee: Actually, we finally got our first big winter storm!! LOL! Your mystery in Greece sounds good!

  8. January 22, 2012    

    What a sweet dog – and how cool she had a special birthday dinner! Whenever I have reading slumps I either watch movies and enjoy other hobbies for a while until the passion comes back, or I return to books from my youth. Re-reading old favorites or guilty-pleasure reads (sci-fi space operas, etc.) usually gets me back on track. I hope your reading slump is over soon!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Alyce: Raven is quite spoiled LOL! Thanks for your advice about reading slumps – I think I need to change genres!

  9. January 22, 2012    

    aw sorry to hear about your reading slump! I’ve definitely had big ones as well and they stink!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Amy: I feel lucky I have never had slumps before because you are right – they stink!

  10. January 22, 2012    

    Oh to have gone so long without a reading slump! I’m almost as jealous of your past few years as I am sympathetic to your current slumpy-ness. 😉

    Reading slumps are the worst, and I hope you have a quick exit from yours. During my last read I was starting to worry that I was about to fall into one because I wasn’t reading many pages a day at all, but I’m happy to report it was just that book. With that in mind, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea to set Swamplandia! aside, just for the moment and try something else to shake the slump. Good luck!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Megan: LOL – I know I am unusual. I used to wonder what the heck everyone was talking about when they mentioned being in a slump. I did finish Swamplandia on Monday and I am on to my next book which is a different genre and seems to be moving a little better for me.

  11. January 22, 2012    

    I think we all have the slump once in awhile…the fact that you managed without one this long is kind of amazing….

    I don’t want to jinx myself by saying I’m not having a slump right now (who knows what will come at me around the corner!).

    But here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST and here’s

    • January 25, 2012    

      Laurel: I guess I can no longer say I have never experienced a reading slump! LOL!

  12. January 22, 2012    

    As you know, I’ve had more than my fair share of reading slumps! Of course, these were mostly due to personal issues and not books themselves, and I doubt this is a factor in your situation.

    Whenever personal issues AREN’T a factor, I always go to YA. I know you liked The Hunger Games, so maybe put Swamplandia aside and go for the second book of this trilogy? A book I loved even more than The Hunger Games was The House of the Scorpion. Loved it. I also read the first two chapters of John Green’s January release The Fault in our Stars for free at Amazon and I’m already hooked on it and can’t wait to read the rest.

    I know you’ll come out of it at some point, though, no matter what you do. Of that I have no fear, Wendy!!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Michelle: I do wonder if some of my problem right now is personal – there has been a lot going on with work and with my family’s health…so perhaps I am more distracted than I thought. At any rate, I like your idea of switching genres – and I am now reading a suspense-mystery which is going well. Thanks for the support – and I hope you are doing better these days…I think of you often, my friend!

  13. January 22, 2012    

    I always read a mystery when I’m in a reading slump and that usually does the trick. Maybe you should the book you are currently reading aside and try something else. You can always go back to it 🙂 Good luck and hopefully you’ll get back to reading soon.

    • January 25, 2012    

      Samantha: Sound advice. I’ve started a mystery!! 🙂

  14. January 22, 2012    

    Happy Birthday to Raven!!! Love that face!

    I didnt’ read at all today! Just vegged out watching the entire first season of Downton Abbey…don’t feel bad about the slump. I think our brains just take a bit of a hiatus from reading and it will soon return!!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Staci: Raven says thank you! I do think sometimes we need to give our brains a rest!

  15. January 22, 2012    

    Sorry about your reading slump. I loved Russell’s book of stories but bogged (ha!) down in Swamplandia. Have a wonderful week!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Gavin: I had heard such wonderful things about Russell’s short stories – wanted to love Swamplandia! Glad to know I am not the only one who felt a little underwhelmed with it.

  16. January 22, 2012    

    I’m sorry you are in a slump! Whenever I am in a reading slump, I go to the tried in true genre I know I will love so that I can get back my reading mojo but you know, sometimes a break is good too!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Leah: Thanks for your sound advice!

  17. January 22, 2012    

    Ah, reading slumps. They happen, don’t worry. Then they end eventually, for some unexplained reason.

    Happy birthday to Raven! Kratos sends a birthday bark from here in Taiwan. I still can’t get over how alike they look 😉

    • January 25, 2012    

      Kath: Raven says thanks for the birthday wishes and she would love to meet Kratos, her friend in Taiwan!!! LOL!

  18. January 22, 2012    

    You could try reading a quick short fun book, and then return to Swamplandia. I find that sometimes helps me out of a rut, and at the same time, I’m not giving up on the book I’m reading either. Hope the slump goes away soon!

    • January 25, 2012    

      Aths: I managed to finish Swamplandia! I’m switching genres now – that seems to be the most popular advice *crosses fingers*

  19. January 23, 2012    

    I jut got over a huge reading slump in the middle of the year, and the one thing that really helped was switching to audio titles when it became hard to read. I am not sure it would work for everyone, but it got me over the hump, and I felt better about it because I was still able to read without having to do it the old-fashioned way! You do have my sympathies though, as I know how much a reading slump stinks.

    • January 25, 2012    

      Heather: I love all the great advice everyone is giving me about getting past this slump. Thank yoU!

  20. January 23, 2012    

    Wow! I’m impressed that you’ve avoided a slump for this long! That would be unheard of in my house. I recommend cutting yourself some slack, switch books if you need to, and indulge in some other hobby like your quilting. It can also help to re-read a favorite, dip into a short book that you can polish off quickly, or a trusted genre you love. 🙂

    • January 25, 2012    

      Andi: I have been quilting a lot this month as a way to focus on something else…I’m hoping that by switching genres I can get out of this slump – this has been the slowest month of reading I’ve ever experienced!!!

  21. Rachel Rachel
    January 23, 2012    

    I think you are still pre-plot twist, but not by much. Maybe give Swamplandia! until then and see what you think? It definitely changes the tone of the book while not the somewhat overblown language.

    • January 25, 2012    

      Rachel: Well the plot twist did help keep me reading (finally!). I’m done with it now – although I didn’t love it, I’m glad I stuck with the book.

  22. January 23, 2012    

    With all the beautiful quilting you’ve been doing, you’re probably preoccupied with crafts rather than books. I have faith that you’ll find something that pulls you back in. Have you read The Postmistress? I know it’s been out for a few years, but I just finished it and thought it was amazingly good. Very readable and compelling.

    I love that picture of Raven! Do you guys have a Jeep? If I could have a second car, that’s what I’d get. In red, of course. 🙂

    • January 25, 2012    

      Les: I have been more focused on quilting these days! I read the Postmistress last year and really loved it – such a great book (and one that I wasn’t sure I would like). My hubby has a 1974 Toyota Landcruiser that he has slowly been re-doing and updating. He got it painted for Christmas (it used to be an ugly green) and we love it for riding on the back roads and taking day trips (although the gas mileage is not great).

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