Friday Follies 4-25: BTT, FFI, 123

Springing April 24 25, 2008

btt button

Well, here where I live, Spring is sprung–weeks early, even. Our lilac bush looks like it will have flowers by this time next week instead of in the middle of May as usual. The dogwood trees, the magnolia trees–all the flowering trees are flowering. The daffodils and crocuses are, if anything, starting to fade. It may only be April 24th but it is very definitely Spring and, allergies notwithstanding, I’m happy to welcome the change of season. What I want to know, is:

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack? Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I really should just call this “Booking Past Thursday,” since I’m not even attempting to get it up before Friday. Or “Booking All The Way Through Thursday.”

This is a great question because it’s making me think about a different perspective – is there a seasonal factor involved in my reading choices?

OK, I’ve thought about it – the answer is “no,” or at least, “not that I’ve noticed.” I tend to try to keep a mix of books going year-round. I’ll alternate lighter and heavier fiction, and mix in some nonfiction every third or fourth book.

Sometimes I’ll make a deliberate choice to save a particular book for a vacation or day off. I may decide that because it looks like a book that I want to have time to concentrate on, or because I expect that it’s a story that will grab me quickly and be difficult to stop reading. I don’t get into the light fiction that’s usually considered “beach reading” very often (I don’t spend much time at the beach, either – so what kind of Californian does that make me?), but that’s also the kind of reading I’ll take on a trip, because it usually requires very little concentration. However, the season and the weather really don’t influence those decisions very much.

The seasons don’t change very dramatically in California, but the changes do affect what I wear, what I eat, and how I spend some of my time – not my reading time, though. My choices about that are far more motivated by internal factors.

Do you make seasonal reading choices? If you do, what are they?

Speaking of books – that happens a lot around here, you may have noticed – tomorrow we’re going to be at UCLA for the annual LA Times Festival of Books! The weather should be nice, there will be lots of exhibits to check out and books to buy (and maybe even have signed!), although apparently Pennyworth Books has raised their prices this year – everything is $7.50 instead of $5.00 each. I’m hoping to run into Wendy at some point while I’m there…will you be going? Let me know!

Friday Fill-In #69

1. When I fell in love it was better the second time around (still is)!
2. Allergies kick up and the air conditioner goes on when the flowers bloom and it heats up outside!
3. Oh no! The internet connection is down, whatever shall I do?!?
4. There is no way I can possibly decide which single candidate is the craziest tv show ever – there are way too many options (and I probably haven’t watched most of them, thank goodness).
5. Cheese and macaroni (not necessarily from a blue box, but that’s OK too) make a great meal!
6. I don’t have a garden (but I do have a nearly-black thumb).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting out of work on time, tomorrow my plans include the Festival of Books (I may have mentioned that already) and Sunday, I want to get the chores done, and then do something fun!

The great thing about the “Page 123” meme is that you can do it more than once and use different books. I think I’m going to make it a recurring feature. Feel free to play along!

  1. Provide a list of the books you’re currently reading.

  2. Pick up the nearest book, and open it to page 123.

  3. Find the fifth sentence, and post the next three sentences.

My jury duty service only lasted for one day, so it didn’t turn into the reading holiday I was expecting, and two of the three books I had on my list from last week are still in the exact same place.

Eleanor Rushing, by Patty Friedmann – This one has been TBR for literally years, and most of it still is TBR. It’s an autographed copy I picked up on a visit to the independent bookstore Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, back when I still lived in Memphis. I started it a few weeks back, and I really should be back reading it now, but it’s waiting a little longer.

Only Child, edited by Deborah Siegel and Daphne Uviller – I’ve already confessed that I posted my review of this book before I actually finished it. Since it’s an anthology, though, I really don’t think there was any harm done. However, I really do need to read the rest of the essays so I can get some closure on it and get the bookmark back.

But Enough About Me: How A Small-Town Girl Went From the Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet, by Jancee Dunn – The story of a Chatham, New Jersey girl (class of ’84) who made it into the upper echelons of journalism (check out the “about” section of her blog), the book is a personal memoir, and each chapter is prefaced with reminiscences about her celebrity-interviewing experiences. I haven’t hit Page 123 yet, but I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s funny, and I like the air of “I can’t believe I really get to do this” that she conveys about her career.

Anyway, peeking ahead:

The (Lollapalooza) bill was especially good that year: The Beastie Boys, the Breeders, L7, A Tribe Called Quest, Smashing Pumpkins, George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. I flew down to interrogate Kim Deal for Rolling Stone‘s special “Women in Rock” issue. I was to ask her the typically weighty questions that were posed to all participants: How has the role of women in rock changed over the last four decades? How are you affected by misogynistic lyrics in rock and hip-hop?
(from the prelude to Chapter 8, “Booze: At Least as Important as Your Tape Recorder”)

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  1. Allergies too, huh? The last few days have been terrible. I look like I’m crying all day long.
    For the craziest show, I’d go with Moment of Truth. The onr where they hook people up to a lie detector. What the heck was that? Enjoy the book fair.

  2. Knee jerk is to say I don’t change my reads, but I think I do on some level. I caught an unintentional “Venice” theme to three books I read in a row. I think I am craving travel now.

  3. Holistic Knitter – Thanks for stopping by!

    Mike – My allergies aren’t too bad, but my stepson has it rough.

    I refused to even watch Moment of Truth. I kind of agree with Wendy’s selection of Lost as the craziest show on TV, but crazy in a GOOD way!

    Susan – Thanks! We usually enjoy it, and I’m sure we will this year too. 🙂

    Julie P – Yeah, I notice the same sort of thing with my reading sometimes, but it’s usually subconscious and not planned.

  4. I never got the “summer reading” idea, that in the summer we all want to read big blow-hardy blockbusters. As if we got stupider during the summer…..

    So, no, I don’t change my reading habits in the summer. Why?

    Yet a lot of people do. There is pressure in my book group to choose easier books in July & August (same pressure in November & December). That’s mainly related to people feeling pressed for time during those months. But I think the whole summer reading thing (beach reads!) is one of those journalistic conventions.

    Do I sound grumpy? It just occurred to me I do…….! Maybe I should read something easy and fun. (from Working Girl, too lazy to fiddle with her blogger account thingie)

  5. Working Girl (who is not really Anonymous) – My book club is the same way, particularly around the holidays.

    I think the idea of lighter summer reading goes back to school vacations – giving your brain a couple of months off. I think that actually might make some people stupider in the summer…

  6. Janet – Well, as it turned out, one of the books I bought was one I already had: Grace: Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. I guess when your TBR stacks are as large as mine, it can happen – I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

    Anyway, the other books I got are:
    Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; There Will Never Be Another You by Carolyn See; Joe College by Tom Perrotta; and Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley. I should be busy for awhile :-).

  7. I haven’t had a chance to read too many responses yet to the BTT question, but from the comments, it sounds like most of us aren’t really seasonal readers. Like you, I do sometimes plan ahead and will save a book for my vacation or a long weekend if I think it deserves more of my focus and time.

    Our air conditioning kicked in this weekend. L.A. was a tiny bit cooler than where I live, but if I’d been home, I’d have been indoors where it was cool instead of walking around in the heat.

    I hope you have a good week, Florinda.

  8. Literary Feline – It was definitely a warm weekend in our neck of the woods, Wendy. But from what I read, the Festival of Books had a great turnout, and we enjoyed some people-watching while we were there.

    (I’m sorry that you weren’t one of the people I saw, though, thanks to my overactive Spam filter misdirecting that e-mail!)