Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sunday Salon: In Which My Quest to Read 50 Books Continues for Another Week ....

Maybe it is because I have never, as an adult, read 50 books in one year, but isn't there something oh-so-cool about being able to say "I read 50 books this year"?

I happen to think so. And I thought this would be the week when my reading tallies would equal that magical number, but that was not to be. It remains elusive and out of reach for one week longer (or more).

This was kind of a mixed bag in terms of reading weeks. On the positive end of the spectrum, I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which I found myself enjoying and thinking about much more than I ever thought I would.

Then it was onto John Green's Paper Towns, another one that has received raves among book bloggers. Sad to say, I couldn't finish this one. I know, something must be wrong with me for not being able to get into this but I just felt I was reading Looking for Alaska again. Seriously, could Margo and Alaska be any more similar? I like John Green's style a lot - the man is a very talented writer - and much of the first part of this book had me LOLing - but I abandoned this at page 73.

John Green isn't alone, because I also abandoned Jeffrey Zaslow's The Girls from Ames: The Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship. Again, I really wanted to like this book but it fell flat for me. I thought it was because I was listening to this on audio (and the narrator's tone was sort of ... I don't know the word ... maybe patronizing? haughty?) but then I read some of it and it still wasn't working for me. It's the story of 11 girls from Ames, Iowa who became friends in the late 60s and the strong bond that they still have today.

Listening to this is like being at a party where everyone is regaling each other by reminiscing of days gone by - and you're the odd chick out because you're not getting their jokes because you aren't part of their memories. As much as they try to explain, the nostalgia falls flat for that very reason. Similarly, there are life-changing incidents that happen to the girls - a date rape, the death of one of the girls, one of the girls being shot by a stray BB gun - that are somewhat glossed over, and those were the scenarios that were more of interest to me, as opposed to narratives about the girls' summer jobs scooping ice cream. (Not like there's anything wrong with that. I am a big fan of ice cream. :)

It was, however, a much better week for "Sesame Street," which turned 40. (It is pretty depressing to realize that I am older than "Sesame Street," albeit only by a few months. I've had the nonfiction book Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. So far, I'm enjoying this, although I'm only up to page 56. Thus far, we have had a bit longer discussion of Captain Kangaroo than I would prefer (I never got into that show), but since they are all intertwined, its forgiveable ... for now.

So, don't forget to come back next week, boys and girls, when perhaps our friends from "Sesame Street" will help us count all the way to 50.

11 comments:

bermudaonion said...

How do you think I feel being 11 years older than Sesame Street - I never saw the show until I had a child. I grew up with Captain Kangaroo. Good luck reaching 50 books!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Very funny review (so far) of Street Gang. Hope you reach your fifty!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, I thought I'd be following several commenters by now, because I've been up forever, but hadn't blog-hopped yet...I was adding a new header to one of my blogs because my European photographer son sent me some fabulous shots...Anyway, I digress.

I had the SAME reaction to "The Girls from Ames," but had to struggle on through because it was an Amazon Vine read. But I think there were too many girls, and we were going back and forth between them too much. Soon I didn't care about any of them!

My Sunday Salon is here:

http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2009/11/sunday-salon_22.html

Florinda said...

I'm not sure I'll clear 50 books read this year, but I've already exceeded the dismal 34 I read last year, so I'm already satisfied :-).

Glad you're enjoying Street Gang - I bought it a few weeks ago, but am not sure how soon I'll get around to reading it (as usual).

Trisha said...

Good luck on hitting 50! I had the goal of 100 and I'm at 99...you know I'm picking a short one just to hit 100. :)

Lisa said...

My goal for the year was 52 books. I don't think I'm gonna make it, I have too many craft ideas for Christmas now.

I did not enjoy Paper Towns that much. I did like Alaska a lot, but in Paper Towns I disliked Margo and didn't see why I'd want to find her.

Book Dragon said...

just dropping by to wish you luck on hitting 50 books and with your novel

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I have an award for you here:

http://laurelrainsnowcreations.blogspot.com

Eva said...

I'm so impressed by your willingness to abandon a book 80 pages in! I've gotten better at abandoning books this year, especially if after 10-20 pages I'm bored/annoyed/etc., but once I'm at the 80 pg mark I feel pretty committed, lol.

I loved Paper Towns more than Looking for Alaska-it felt fresher to me. But there are definitely similarities between Alaska and Margo. :)

....Petty Witter said...

Hi, I was over visiting Laurel-Rain, saw a link to your blog and as I love visiting new bloggers thought I'd pop over. Interesting blog, the Sesame Street book sounds absolutely fascinating. Nice to meet you and congratulations on your award.

Susan said...

Do just the adult books count towards the 50? If you counted the children's books you read in a year, you'd probably be well over 100.