Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Sunday Salon: Kicking Off The Big Game's On Read-a-thon!

Anyone hear mention of some sort of football game today?

Yeah, me neither.

Usually my interest in the Super Bowl is determined by whether one of my teams is in contention for the Lombardi Trophy. Or if I'm a fan of the halftime act.

Since one of my teams is the Philadelphia Eagles, that hasn't been an issue since 2005. (I'm also not a Beyoncé devotee either.)

However, football-speaking, I also happen to have much affection for the Pittsburgh Steelers these days. (It is a necessity, living around these parts.) Dare I say, they're becoming a strong contender to upset my Eagles as my favorite team.

Being a Steelers fan means that this year's Super Bowl is an occasion that many of us here in Steelers Nation would prefer to get over and done with as soon as possible. It's painful; it is a lose-lose proposition to root for either our rival (the Baltimore Ravens) or the 49ers (who, should they win, would tie us with having six Super Bowl rings ... something that is only a dream in the fantasy football world of Eagles football right now).

Therefore, I will (as is my custom) be ignoring the whole thing by hiding in a tub of guacamole with a book ... because I'll be participating in The Big Game's On Read-a-thon.

My reading will be somewhat sporadic. Some close friends from Philly are in town and we're planning to see them for lunch today. So, my reading will be in the morning and probably during the actual game itself.

(I wrote some of this post ahead of time. It's now 4:53 a.m. on Sunday and sadly, I'm awake. On the positive side, I've already read 5 pages. Whoot! Game on! Get this party started!)

As for what I'll be reading, I'm in the middle of Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe, so I'll likely just continue with that (even though I like to read books suitable for reading in one sitting during read-a-thons). I do have a few of those in my stacks, so its possible that I might change my mind midstream.

This one is pretty interesting, though it does have much of the Clinton narrative that we've all come to know over the years, but there are a few new details and insights that I hadn't heard before. And, it doesn't skirt around the elephant in the room: the issue of Bill's serial womanizing and the Monday morning quarterbacking analysis of why and how Bill and Hillary stayed together all these years despite his sexcapades.

For whatever reason, I seem to be on a nonfiction kick lately. Maybe it has to do with finishing two great fiction books in a row - The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker and George Saunders' short story collection Tenth of December -and wanting a change of pace before diving back into more fiction.

A change of pace is certainly what I got with The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published by David Skinner, which I read this week. The "controversial dictionary" would be Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, published in 1961. Although there are some interesting parts to this - particularly around how the changes in America's lifestyle, culture, demographics, and historical events changed our vocabulary - this was kind of a dry read. Somewhat disappointing.

Reading-wise, January was a pretty good start to the year. I read 5 books and listened to 1 audio book (2 fiction, 1 memoir, 1 short story collection, and 2 nonfiction). My favorites were The Age of Miracles and Tenth of December, with both of these being possible contenders for my best of 2013 list. Always nice to start out the year like that.

Here's the January list:

(my rating: 4 out of 5 stars)

Eggshells and Elephants: My Cancer Journey Thus Far, by Jane Freund
(my rating: 2 out of 5 stars)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark (audio)
 (my rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars)

The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
(my rating: 4 out of 5 stars) 

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
(my rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars) 

The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published, by David Skinner.
(my rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars) 

How about you? Do you have a favorite team in the Super Bowl? Or will you, like me, be reading (and eating) instead?

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Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Looks like a good day ahead for you! I enjoy Muriel Spark...and I want to read that Bill and Hillary book.

Have a good day!


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

So glad you are participating! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I live in Steelers Country, but I'm a MD girl, born and raised. So I guess I'm rooting for the Ravens today. But, really, I hate football, so I'll be reading with you! :)

dollycas aka Lori said...

I will be reading and watching the Beyonce concert. Without my Packers playing the game is not important to me. Have a great week!!

Kelly said...

Happy reading :) My day will also not be filled with just reading. I need to clean and get groceries. Looks like you have some good books lined up though :)

Tami said...

My Broncos didn't make it to today's game either, so I'm reading. Hope you have a great readathon.

Randi M said...

I will be cheering on the 49ers since neither the Bears (my team) or the Patriots (husband's team) are playing. :( And I'll be eating pancakes soon, followed by kielbasa soup sometime today, and tortilla chips & cheesy dip.

Happy reading! I hope you get lots of reading in! :)