The Sunday Salon – A Personal Challenge

by Rachel Baker on September 21, 2008

The Sunday SalonHappy Sunday to all my bookish friends.  Its been a very busy week here at Old Musty Books.  I’ve decided I’m going to spend a week at the Miami Book Fair International.  I only live about two hours south of Miami and well, it just makes sense to go.  Once I decided to go, I thought it best to start some research on the 200-ish authors that will be there.  Read some of their books, watch some interviews. Postscript: youtube is awesome for watching interviews. You can find some pretty great interviews by authors@google on youtube.

Once I started, two weeks ago, receiving books every day in the mail,  I’ve decided to make this my official personal challenge.  I will read all these books by November 8th.  Here’s the incentive – If I don’t have to take the books, I have more room for new ones!  The goal will be to finish these books, take notes on these books, throw them in the car and head down to Miami for a week…with an empty trunk for new books!  That’s great incentive, right?

Here’s the bookstack so far:

a long way gone by Ishmael Beah – I finished this one yesterday. It’s a tough book to read. Its inspiring, yet horrifying.  I highly recommend it as a must read for everyone at some point in their lives.  I started to read a couple of books while reading this one, but needed to just focus on a long way gone to get the full affect.  Here’s the review for it.

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff  – reading now, and enjoying it.

Sweetsmoke by David Fuller  – this is one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve seen in a while.  Seriously.  Its textured just perfectly to feel the roughness of the man’s hands on the cover.  Simply amazing.  I’m hoping the story is just as great.

Murder at the Bad Girl’s Bar & Grill by N. M. Kelby  – This looks like a fun read.  I’ve communicated with the author – she’s a delightful woman and I’m thinking her book is going to be just as delightful.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski  – how amazed was I that Oprah picked this one for her book club several days after I received it in the mail.  I really can’t wait to delve into it, but I want to give it the attention I have been told it deserves.  This appears to be one to read slowly.

The Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey – I think this one is going to be another fun one.  I may read it at the same time I read Murder at the BGB&G – immerse myself in local Florida fun!

Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen  – I’ve already started reading this one a few weeks back.  Its a fantastic local Florida flavor book set in the everglades.  This also is one to be read slowly, mostly because of the detail and the accounts of what’s happened – how’s that for vague?!  At first, it seems like tough reading because of the character’s speech – think Tom Sawyer, but once you get the flow, it seems to be moving pretty quickly.

I should also be receiving:

Loving Frank by Nancy Horen – this one is about an affair (?) with Frank Lloyd Wright.  To be honest, I’m not really sure what its about specifically, but I’ve been dying to read it.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture was/is just too fascinating to pass on a book about him.

The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal – this one should be coming too.  I don’t think I’m going to be able to get through all of them, but I’m going to try before November.

I also received all the Twilight Saga books by Stephanie Meyer.  I asked for these prior to deciding to attend the book fair because I wanted to see what the hype was about.  I don’t normally read books because of hype, but for some reason there’s a draw to this series.  I also got “the Host” – Meyer’s adult book.  Over the next few months, I will be reviewing them, but I’m not going to commit to having this full series done by November.

I’m pretty excited actually about all these books, and interested to see how many I can read and review by the book fair in early November.  Interestingly, I sort of feel like I’m back in college – scheduling my reading time, taking notes, researching the authors.  Its sort of a neat feeling, and hilariously, I have that same feeling one gets when they get the syllabus the first day of class with the reading list.  You know, the one where you look at the calendar and think – ‘wow, how will I get all this done and when will this semester be over!’  Does anyone remember if there’s any time to eat and sleep in college?

Here’s my question to you, my bookish friends: Do you ever really schedule time to have a specific grouping of books completed by a certain time?  Do you think when you put a time frame on reading you loose some of the enjoyment?

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