The first book in my Little Black Classics box set! I was a bit cautious about this one after reading that it was written in the fourteenth century but dove right in anyway because how else am I going to read all of these gorgeous books?
I was delightfully surprised.
This little book consisted of four stories. Boccaccio writes in a pleasant, oral like tone. While reading I felt like I was listening to someone tell stories. These were humorous little stories that treated characters like humans. They drink. They do foolish things. They have sex. There are a lot of references to sex, which I was not expecting but found very amusing.
LBC book one: Four Stars
- Penguin Little Black Classics box set
- The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
- Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
- Images of Jim Morrison by Edward Winchester
- Clapton by Eric Clapton
- Led Zeppelin by Dave Lewis
- The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
- Mrs. Rosie and the Priest by Giovanni Boccaccio
Finally! Finally! It’s here, you guys! My birthday present finally came! It came last Tuesday and it was in a box in a box in a box. I haven’t made space on my shelf yet but I have read the first book in the Penguin Black Classics set. I’m excited by how my horizons are broadened just by this one gift. Again, and I can’t say it enough, I have the best hubby ever.
You may have noticed that I got like a million books this last week. It couldn’t be helped. I was in the proximity of used books and ran across a couple of things I wanted on Tuesday, in spite of the fact that there were 80 books waiting on my porch for me. Then I took advantage of my last day of free book sale books on Wednesday when someone happened to donate a box of rock’n’roll books. Who can resist Zeppelin? Not me.
I know exactly why I’ve been buying so many books. One year we had a really bad winter and for some reason I got it into my head that I would run out of books if I got snowed in. It was the first time that I had a toppling pile of books checked out from the library. I realized what I did and made it into a joke, assuring people that I needed all of those books in case I got snowed in even in August. Ha ha.
But right now I feel like I’m entering into that dangerous territory. What if… What if… What if I run out of books! Ahhhh! The horror story of my life. Of course I won’t run out of books. You know, I start at my new library next week and I still have cards to three more plus like thousands that I own. It’s kind of like that theory I read about how you should fill your cupboards with food you like to lose weight because it makes you feel secure.
Sure. It’s just like that.
Last year I wrote in my journal about how I didn’t know that I benefited any from doing NaNoWriMo anymore. I said that I was writing almost every day anyway and that I was breaking from the actual novel I was working on (WTF one was that??) to write something not related. I wrote about how I made myself crazy with it and I never partook in any of the social events and it was just something I did out of habit.
I took more from it this year.
First, instead of taking a long break before going into November, I took a short one and I pushed my word count up from 1000 to 1500 words per day. It made the writing I did this month seem like a normal amount. When I took a day off, the catch up was a little rough but it didn’t fry my brain. Now the writing just feels normal. I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to write. (Which is good because my other novel was getting to another stand still.)
Second, I wrote in my home office more. At least one day a week, and usually three, I sat down at my actual desk and shut the door and wrote. I made a pot of tea. I enjoyed the environment I created. It got to the point where I would sit down and know that it was time to write and I did.
The third thing I took from it was kind of a surprise. I am not a prewriter. This year I took to making character lists so that I didn’t have to look back for exact names while I was writing. Other than that, notta. Last Sunday, spending 7 hours in a D and D game, I jotted down what needed to happen from where I was to the end of the book. This week has been the easiest writing I’ve done in a long time. I plan to do more of this outlining stuff and can even see how it will work in my big novel which I might just start over so I can fix it.
Fourth, and final, I feel pretty confident about my writing. It’s been a long time since I felt like I was just putting words down and they were fine. Another contribution to my enjoyment of writing.
I am growing, all of the time. And tomorrow I cross the finish line!
- Confessions by Kate Brian
- Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Tender as Hellfire by Joe Meno
- Marvel and a Wonder by Joe Meno
- Office Girl by Joe Meno
- “Marrakesh” by Alice Munro
Man, I am kind of bummed that I managed to push my TBR pile back over 10 so quickly. In all fairness, I thought that I would read a lot more this week. I just can’t right now. That happens sometimes, you know. It’s not that The Brief Second Life of Bree Tanner isn’t good and it’s nice and short too. It’s just that I am completely lacking in the ability to lose myself to a story.
Earlier this week there was a lot of TBR anxiety. I don’t know why I crave the structure of a list but I do. I started fooling around with a rotation system and then I shuffled around my stack and then I carried three books around with me for a whole day, just in case. Finally I managed to stomp those feelings down inside and get on with not reading in peace.
It strikes me that this is a November thing. I’m not going to make excuses and I’m not going to feel bad about it. Sometimes we just need to go with the flow. Sometimes the flow is where it’s at. Sometimes the flow means deciding to put all of your effort into writing your damn NaNoWriMo novel. (I’ve kicked out 3000 words today and would like to do more in a bit.)
After returning all of my library books last week, I realized that I had made a dire mistake. I returned the next book in the series I’ve been working on. I know that the space between the books has been gaping but I didn’t want to give up so I checked Confessions out again. After a lot of lists mentioned the Kingkiller Chronicle this weekend and then it was mentioned in one of my podcasts this morning, it felt like a sign. So that explains The Name of the Wind.
Have I told you guys that I love Joe Meno yet? I love Joe Meno. He’s so weird. When I realized that I couldn’t get my hands on a copy of his newest book through the library, I ordered a copy and picked up his first book just to own while I was at it.
Tomorrow is a big day, lovies! My birthday present FINALLY ARRIVES! 80 Penguin Little Black Classics in a box set! Woot!
Joe Meno is one of my favorite authors and I have almost read all of his books. That being said, this was not my favorite. I don’t think that it has anything to do with the writing or the story, even, just that I am currently surrounded by artsy people talking about and doing artsy things. I was just starting to get a little annoyed with it when I picked up this book and realized that it was about artsy people talking about and doing artsy things.
But the charm of Joe Meno is his ability to make the bizarre feel like the norm.
At the beginning, we meet Odile, an art school dropout working at random office jobs and sleeping with a married man. She carries a green notebook that she fills with ideas for strange things to do, like ride the bus dressed as a ghost. She’s feeling aimless and restless and she thinks that she keeps doing things because she wants people to like her.
Next, we meet Jack. Jack is an art school graduate who is married and works in a boring office job. Then his wife leaves him and goes to Germany and he quits going to work. Jack’s project is recording the sounds of the city on mini cassettes that he stores in shoe boxes all over his apartment. Without his wife and his job, he feels lost and adrift.
When these two find each other, it is hard for the reader to ignore the fact that they are going to do interesting things together, that they will change each other in interesting ways., even if it’s hard not to get frustrated with them.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The first day, I returned five books. It felt… GOOD. It felt really good! It only took me three days to return the rest of my books except one: Office Girl by Joe Meno because I decided to read it right away. I am only two books (now 1.5) away from reading all of his works.
I feel free!
The problem is that I now need to reign myself in. My little OCD reader’s heart keeps racing off in different directions. “We should work on our TBR book!” it yells. (Yes. I have a TBR book. It has over 3000 books written in it and it makes me happy.) “Wait! Wait!” it begs. “Don’t you need to read every YA book ever before you start your new job as a teen librarian??” “OMG! Wait until your birthday present comes!” it screams.
Ah, yes. The birthday present. I don’t know if I ever told you but Hubby ordered a birthday present for me in June- you know, around my birthday- and it should ship Thanksgiving week. I have been ridiculously excited for this gift. Hubby got me… The Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set! And I cannot wait to get started.
It’s true. There are a lot of things that I want to read, authors and series and that crazy book that I saw that one time when I was working circulation. Really, though, it’s kind of nice to not have a leaning tower of literature hanging out on my desk. It’s nice to know that I could pick up any book I want and not feel bad. Now I just need to maintain my freedom while I enjoy it.
So, what are the 9 books on my TBR stack right now? A book that’s supposed to help me be a manager, my next King, a book from a list that I’m working on, the book I pulled from my Book Jar last, and a bunch of books that I bought new in the past couple of months and just HAD to have that need to be read. I’m hoping it gets smaller still.
Now that things are official and people have been notified, I can tell you guys the exciting news that I got a new job! I am very, very excited. It’s a nice step up and the community is awesome and I can’t wait to get started!
And my reading life is changing!
In my current life, I have the ability to “work the system.” I check out a book and renew it until I can’t renew it anymore and then I can request it and return it and, like magic, it comes back to me. It’s not uncommon for my TBR stack to become two TBR stacks. Things get out of control and there are always more books coming and I can almost always get my hands on what I want.
But, no more.
Today I started the process of transporting my stash stack back to the library. I wrote down what was in the pile just in case I wanted to pursue it but I think that I’d like to start with a…
CLEAN SLATE! No pile. No stack. No plan.
I feel so free.