Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankfully Reading Weekend - Kick Off Post

For those of you who aren't participating in the OccupyBestBuyToysRUsWalmartTarget movement (also known as Black Friday) or whose idea of fun doesn't involve pepper-spraying 20 other humans and clawing people for a $1.28 towel at your favorite corporate behemoth/Made in China emporium, there is an alternative activity underway today.

(The towel incident was reportedly, according to my Facebook news feed, at the New Castle, PA Walmart.)

Anyway.  As I was saying. It's the 3rd Annual Thankfully Reading Weekend, a most fabulous crowd-free Thanksgiving tradition hosted by Jenn's Bookshelves, Beth Fish Reads, and Devourer of Books. As Jenn says on her intro post regarding the event, "it's an excuse to do an obscene amount of reading over the long Thanksgiving weekend."

Now THAT'S something worth waking up at 2 a.m. for.

So, what will I be reading during the Thankfully Reading Weekend? Good question ... and one that leads to a confession.

I started my Thankfully Reading Weekend a little early.  (Like, on Wednesday night, when I resumed my reading of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

I'm on page 165 (of 571, good heavens!) on the fence about whether I'm going to continue or not.  It's keeping my interest and there's something oddly compelling about this, but it comes at a bad time for me. I have a bunch of other library books I really, really want to get to, as well as several challenge-related books (this will qualify for one challenge, the Chunkster). I also don't want to spend the entire Thankfully Reading Weekend reading just this one.

So, I've decided to put this one aside for the Thankfully Reading Weekend and delve into some of those other tomes that are calling my name.  (Although I may return to Steve Jobs during the weekend.  I dunno.)

I made a clean start for the official start of this event, and began this morning with Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never.  This one is for the 2011 Essay Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie over at Books and Movies and it ends NEXT WEEK (as in, on November 30.)  This deadline sneaks up on me every year. I signed up to read 10 essays.

High Tide in Tucson has been on my radar screen for awhile, ever since I discovered one of my favorite passages:  "Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job or a limb or a loved one, a graduation, bringing a new baby home: it's impossible to think at first how this all will be possible. Eventually, what moves it all forward is the subterranean ebb and flow of being alive among the living. ....

It's not such a wide gulf to cross, then, from survival to poetry. We hold fast to the old passions of endurance that buckle and creak beneath us, dovetailed, tight as a good wooden boat to carry us onward.  And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another - that is surely the basic instinct....

We love and we lose, go back to the start and do it right over again. For every heavy forebrain solemnly cataloging the facts of a harsh landscape, there's a rush of intuition behind it, crying out:  High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris.  Time to take this life for what it is."  (pg. 15-16, "High Tide in Tucson")

Isn't that gorgeous? I'm in love with Kingsolver's writing style, and I wish this wasn't a library book.  Because I want to highlight the hell out of this one and I want to keep it for myself. (Hint to my Book Blogger Secret Santa or anyone else who will be shopping - except, hopefully, not today - for a gift for me.)   Barbara Kingsolver just may be my New Favorite Author.  (I was introduced to her last spring, when I borrowed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle from the library and then bought it for my Kindle.)

I wasn't planning to read this one straight through, like a novel, but I think I will do just that.

Happy Thankfully Reading to all who are participating!

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Silsbee said...

Hello - another Thankful Reader here. :)

That is a lovely excerpt. I fear my forebrain always gets the better of me. I need to start going with the tide in a more hopeful manner, I think... I've only read one Kingsolver book (The Poisonwood Bible), but I loved it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Silsbee (who also started a bit early!)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I finished Cold Mountain, and am hoping to finish Bossypants and The Children of Henry VIII before the weekend is over. I'll be really happy if I get to start a new one...although I don't know which one it will be. I've got a couple of others that have been on my sidebar for too long. The only challenge I am absolutely failing is my YA challenge...and I just cannot pump myself up for YA right now.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I'm reading Crossed, sequel to Matched. Very light reading for this weekend. Just what I need!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I love Barbara Kingsolver, but I haven't read this book of essays yet. Good to hear how much you're enjoying it. I've started reading THE INVISIBLE ONES by Stef Penney and hope to read it through this weekend. Unfortunately, I did have to do a little shopping today -- a replacement part for a broken toilet! But I bought it from an independent hardware store!

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

No problem with starting early! I actually did the same!

Stacy said...

I have a slight book crush on Barbara Kingsolver as well because of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I had read Poisonwood Bible previously, but Animal Vegetable, Miracle really hit home with me.

Good luck with your reading goals! said...

I missed that you were in the Thankfully Reading Weekend until I saw you in the reader today...ooops. Well, glad you're here even if your kid did scare you awake at O-dark 50-something.

Lisa said...

I don't always love the track Kingsolver's stories take but I adore her writing style.