Immediate Book Meme

Pile of books next to my favorite chair in the living room. I shelve all the poetry books in this case so they are at hand when I need a poetry fix or a poem is crying to be read to the children.

My favorite book meme from Darwin Catholic. Mrs Darwin is playing again and I thought I’d join in again. What are you reading?

1. What book are you reading now?

I’m bouncing between many books right now, but mainly The Drovers Road Collection. It’s a trilogy of middle grade novels from Bethlehem books about life in New Zealand. I pulled them off my shelf while thinking about friends in New Zealand, I’m pondering them as a read aloud and planning at least to hand them off to Bella and Sophie when I’m done.

And The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin, which I think I’ve been plugging away at for a year now. I’m in the section about dictionaries and printing and it’s really fun stuff so I’m making a bit of headway.

And I’m sort of re-reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s Children of Earth and Sky. I was vaguely disappointed when I finished it but felt like maybe I wasn’t doing it justice, like I might have missed something because I read it too fast. So I decided to sit on it awhile and re-read it slowly with some questions in mind to see if I didn’t like it better on second reading. So far I am liking the first chapter much better, so that’s promising.

Also, I keep picking up books of poetry and essays on poetry and so there’s lots of that floating around in my head.

Currently reading stack in the bathroom.

2. What book did you just finish?

I just finished re-reading the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett. Five novels set in Pratchett’s Discworld universe, that tie in with many of those books but also make a little stand-alone sequence. They’re aimed at younger readers, though I think the final two, I Shall Wear Midnight and The Shepherds’ Crown are much darker thematically, much too dark for my younger readers. I’m pondering how Pratchett, an avowed atheist, writes about religion but also how his worldview, even where he’s not writing about explicitly religious themes, shows a grappling with religious problems: good and evil, life after death, what a good life looks like. I think the witches are fascinating because they are very much a depiction of a life lived in service and self-sacrifice.

3. What do you plan to read next?

I’m still pondering. I have a lot of books I want to read, but none of them are grabbing me. I really, really want to finish The Discoverers so as to have that mental space clear for other things. But I keep getting distracted by lighter fiction.

I do have The Map that Changed the World sitting on deck. And David McCollough’s John Adams, which I picked up at the library for sale shelf. Maybe I’ll read it. Who knows.

4. What book do you keep meaning to finish?

Too many to even list right now. There are a lot of abandoned half-read religious books that I really want to be more deliberate about finishing, you can go back to the last several times I did this meme to find lists of them. I need a reasonable plan, or something to knock them out. Maybe I’ll make that my goal for Lent.

5. What book do you keep meaning to start?

Well, I really want to acquire and read a copy of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, but I’ve told myself I can’t get it until I finish the Discoverers. I’ve not let myself buy any new books in the past month because I was sort of hopeful that someone might get me some for Christmas or Epiphany.

6. What is your current reading trend?

Trying to finish up loose pieces while also getting distracted by young reader novels. And reading and re-reading books for a longish literary sort of essay I’m working on that I don’t want to write about until I’m actually writing it, if you know what I mean.

Pile of books on the table by my bed. Pretty representative of my recent trends.

10 Responses to Immediate Book Meme

  1. Terry January 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    I will say that McCullough’s John Adams is one of the most enjoyable history books I have ever read. I would love to read it again, but so much else calls!

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

      That’s good to know. I read the first page last night and it certainly didn’t feel dry. It made me want to keep reading, which is why I even put it in the running for next book I might read. I’m a little daunted by the size, though. Do I want to take on another tome?

  2. Kortney January 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Looks an awful lot like a poetry-centered curriculum. 😉

  3. Karen Edmisten January 7, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Chernow’s Hamilton is on my to-read list for this year. Atticus has read it a couple of times (I gave it to him years ago, so now I feel as if I foresaw a gift for myself.) 🙂

  4. Lissa January 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Ooh, that Boorstin looks up my alley. You know his Landmark History of the American People is my favorite Am. history spine.

    Pratchett is one of my holes–an odd one considering I grew up steeped in fantasy and sci fi. I think I never quite knew where to start. Good to know the Tiffany Aching books are self contained…a good entry point, you think?

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 7, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

      Oh yes. I think Tiffany Aching is a great entry point. You can get all five in a nice Kindle bundle and knock them out in a couple of days. And Wee Free Men features the pictsies, little blue Scotish speaking fairies that love to fight. And there’s a trip to fairyland and oh oh oh… It’s definitely a book you need to read, Lissa!

      And yes, the Boorstin is great. I think I picked it up on bookmooch after seeing it on some homeschooling book list and then it sat on my shelf for years before I finally picked it up and decided to conquer it. I was just lamenting to myself that last year I hadn’t picked a classic of literature to conquer like a Dickens or Dostoevsky novel, but now I’m realizing Boorstin was really my tome of the year. It would make a great read for a highschooler too, a history/science spine.

  5. Emily J. January 11, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    Ooh, I have meant to order Dr. Crider’s book for a long time. Do you like it? I also have had Evelyn Waugh’s Edmund Campion and Helena books on my TBR pile for years. I don’t know why I haven’t read them. On the other hand, The Reed of God is my all time favorite book of reflections on Mary. Fun list!

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

      I do like it, but it’s very focused on writing academic essays, aimed at the first year college student not a general interest rhetoric book, but it could be profitably read by high school students and even older students. I think it will come in very useful in the high school years when teaching writing. I think it’s the kind of thing I’d assign to a student to read and then refer back to when discussing an essay. I have referred to it when a friend asked me to read her son’s essay and give him feedback. It was very helpful in clarifying my own critique and suggestions for revision. Of course I’d have bought it no matter what because Dr Crider is one of my heroes, but I’m glad it’s such a handy little book.

      I’ve tried to read the Edmund Campion book twice and I keep getting stuck in his university days. But I did really like Helena and I’m hopeful I’ll come back to Campion at a more acceptable season.

      The Reed of God… I never read more than a few pages, I vow to be more consistent, but I do enjoy the brief snippets when I do read it and it’s a book that can stand being read in that fashion, so I suppose it’s doing me some good.

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