TBIF: Thank blog it’s Friday! This week in books and memes

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report

Currently Reading: The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks (via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program)

Teaser: “I buy a double espresso from a woman who has a little cart set up right by the entrance every Saturday and head for Heather the Bread Lady’s table, piled with crusty brown loaves that she and her family bake in their wood-burning brick oven. With a loaf of still-warm country French in my pack, I move on to the tables of fresh goat cheese, bins of vegetables with crumbs of dirt still clinging to their roots, pastured chicken and eggs, organic beef, the cookie guy.” (page 300)

Next in Line: Escape by Carolyn Jessop, following a theme after finishing The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
After That: Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, to “read along” with My Friend Amy one week in June (date TBA), also for 2009 RYOB Challenge; The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, an ARC received via LTER (June 2009 publication); Fool by Christopher Moore, for the RYOB Challenge, because my husband has already read it and keeps asking me if I have yet

Book reviews posted this week: Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl
Total reviews posted year-to-date: 18
Books read for the 2009 Read Your Own Books Challenge: 6 (pledged 20 for the year)

New additions to the “TBR” tag
An Absolute Scandal, by Penny Vincenzi
The Likeness, by Tana French
The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris At the World’s Most Famous Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, by Joshilyn Jackson (won in a giveaway from Nicole at Linus’s Blanket)

Total books currently tagged as “read” in LibraryThing: 372

Booking Through Thursday: “Un-read”

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In the perfect follow-up to last week’s question, as suggested by C in DC:

Is there a book that you wish you could β€œunread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

You mean I actually could get those hours of my life back? Awesome! Do I get three wishes? I could probably come up with more, but I’ll stop with three. Two of them are books I read because “everyone” was reading them – I’ve learned (the hard way, evidently) that my taste in reading tends to be rather different from “everyone’s.” I read both of these books back in the 1990’s, and yet the bad impression they left still lingers:

The Bridges of Madison County, by Robert James Waller: This has become my stock answer when asked about books I regret reading. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve heard it improves on the book. Good to know – and it’s probably over faster, too. The story itself didn’t really appeal to me and I didn’t particularly care for the characters, but if the writing had been better, I might have gotten past those issues. Alas, it was not to be. I know many people love this book, but it’s definitely not for me.

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: Beware of lightweight philosophy wrapped in fiction! Parables work if they’re short – the New Testament contains numerous examples – but they can be shaky frameworks for novels. This book was written primarily to convey some New-Age-y concepts (most of which I don’t recall, so I guess they didn’t really sink in), which made the themes bigger the story – and again, the writing itselfdidn’t help matters. This was a huge bestseller in the mid-’90’s – does anyone else remember reading it, and are your memories better than mine?

The third was a major disappointment from a favorite author:

Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult: Picoult backlash has gained strength in the last few years, but I was reading her books way before My Sister’s Keeper put her in the major leagues, and I tend to cut her some slack. Even so, this novel – a mix of ghost story and murder mystery with exploration of the eugenics movement in the early 20th century – just didn’t work for me, and remains among my least favorite works of hers. If I weren’t already an established fan of hers, I’m not sure I would have read it at all.

Is there a book you’d like to pretend never happened to you?

Friday Fill-ins #126


1. It’s cold and thick and chocolatey – wow, this is a great milkshake!

2. I like to eat things made with them, but on their own, I don’t really like tomatoes.

3. My favorite health and beauty product is no longer available at Target, so I’m going to have to find something else.

4. My commute to work is definitely NOT a nice long ride (“long,” yes – “nice,” not so much).

5. Well, first of all I need to get this desk organized so I can find the stuff for that project I’m working on today!

6. People from work; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was just like being awake.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to checking in for the BEATwittyparty, tomorrow my plans include two Little League games (my nephews’) and finally watching the last few hours of Lost on the DVR and Sunday, I want to read, write, and see a movie with Tall Paul (we’re thinking it will be Angels and Demons this weekend)!

Considering that half of my Fill-ins answers are somehow work-related, I think I really NEED a weekend! What sort of plans do you have for yours?

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  1. The Laws of Harmony sounds like an amazing book…I think I'll look for it tonight. Thanks!

    Lost was great πŸ™‚

    I'm thinking about seeing Angels & Demons, too…at the very least, the scenery will be amazing!

  2. Okay I am so with you about tomatoes! Can’t handle them all by themselves (raw) but everything else I really like! I will be relaxing with a movie tonight! My Friday Fill-in answers are here.

  3. Janet – I’m about 1/3 done with the book. It moves pretty quickly, but I haven’t had a lot of time this week – so far so good, though.

    Danielle – I’m glad it’s not just me! I’ve found that I don’t really mind eating Roma and grape tomatoes, but for the most part I much prefer them cooked into things.

  4. I’m with you on The Celestine Prophecy. What a half-baked crock of you-know-what. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that I probably would have liked it if I read it when I was REAAAAAALLLY high. But I wasn’t.

  5. Ti – I’ve just started Part II, and it does seem like things change a bit there. I like it OK so far, but am not completely sucked in yet.

    Bibliolatrist – I don’t remember a lot of details either, but it reminded me of Carlos Castaneda…only Castaneda did it better. And probably really WAS high :-).

    Beth K – Was it something I said :-)?

  6. Since the weekend is almost over, I’ll tell you what I did instead of what I plan on doing. πŸ™‚

    Yesterday we spent the day taking Quincy to a boarding place to check out, went to Navy Pier, rode a giant four person bike around the lake, went to see “UP” and then went home. It was a very long day.

    Today I’m working, so it is a bit more relaxing. πŸ™‚

  7. Mike – Finding a good place to board your dog is a challenge – hope you liked this one! Gypsy boards at a place that Paul and his ex had used for their dog, so the research was already done.

    And congratulations – you’ve seen a movie before I have :-)! I think we’ll see Up next weekend with the kids. The reviews have been great – what did y’all think?

    Sounds like it was a fun Saturday, though. Hope you get some rest at work today :-)!

  8. I liked it. The people at Pixar know how to make a movie for kids and adults without filling it with references to old movies or fart jokes. πŸ™‚

  9. Mike – True. It’s not just the excellent animation that sells their films – they actually have good scripts and characters, too. Glad to know you like it!