Sunday Salon: The “marching on” edition

The Sunday

Musings on March, or reading through Birthday Month:

Since I’ve given up book-buying for Lent (see below), I won’t be adding much to TBR Purgatory between now and the end of March, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, Easter doesn’t come until a week after my birthday, which means I’ll have to delay gifts to myself (or using bookstore gift cards that I might receive – hint, hint) just a little longer, which is not necessarily a good thing.

This is the first month in 2010 that I am not committed to any book tours or scheduled reviews, other than the one I’ve set for myself with The Sparrow Read-a-long. After several weeks of having my reading planned by my calendar, I’m feeling a little at loose ends. It’s not like I don’t have a shortage of books on hand, which is why giving up buying them for six weeks isn’t as tragic as it sounds (but please have no doubt that it IS a sacrifice!).

I have all of the “pending review” books without a date commitment in one place…and I would hate to tell you how long some of them have been there. I have set aside the books I plan to read for the Women Unbound Challenge, and have knocked off a couple of those already. I haven’t segregated the books on my list for the Blogging Authors Reading Project, but I’ve made a little dent in that too. I had put aside the books I chose for the Shelf Discovery Challenge, but haven’t even begun reading for that, and it ends next month – I’m also two books short of the six required!

Anyway, it seems like a month without specific review commitments would be a great opportunity to chip away at all those challenges, and that’s my plan. However, most of the books on my TBR shelves don’t fall into any of those categories – and they call out to me too. I’m torn. I find that I like the structure and focus that reading from challenge lists and my review calendar give me…but sometimes I’d like to ditch them. I really don’t want to wait until all of my commitments are met before I can read at random, and yet the idea of reading without that structure is inspiring something it rarely has before – guilt.

Have you experienced that too? Have you found a balance that works for you? Or am I over-thinking the whole thing?

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report

Reviews posted since last report:
The Wives of Henry Oades, by Johanna Moran (TLC Book Tour)
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, by Susan Jane Gilman (Women Unbound, RYOB Challenge, Memorable Memoirs Challenge)

Next reviews scheduled
Janeology, by Karen Harrington (Blogging Authors Reading Project)

New to my LibraryThing “To Read” Collection:

My Lenten book-buying ban remains unbroken so far! Any additions here between now and Easter will be books sent to me for review, and since I’m accepting fewer of those, there won’t be too much activity in this section of the Status Report for the next few weeks. However, the Wishlist section will probably be bigger than usual; it’s what’s called “pent-up demand” in economics.

Having said that, here’s one for review:
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, by Kelly O’Connor McNees (for an upcoming TLC Book Tour)

New additions to the Wishlist:
**Not-yet-published books – can I wish for ARC’s?
Red Hook Road, by Ayelet Waldman (to be published July 2010)
Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart (to be published May 2010)
The Nobodies Album, by Carolyn Parkhurst (to be published June 2010)

BOOKMARKS: Reading-related Reading

Alternatives – well, procrastination tactics – to writing that book review; reviewing review requests, from both sides of the e-mail

Self-promotion mistakes authors make, and how they kill the magic; writers make jobs

101 reading suggestions for your book group; might we suggest some narrative nonfiction, as Kim does in her new recurring feature? (Here’s her first list.)

Discussion: When’s the “right” time to review an ARC – early for buzz, or later, nearer publication, for buyers? (Personally, I tend to go with the second option. I like to read about books when they’re actually available.)

Book discussions: Insights from Heather J., Anna, and Dreamybee‘s group read of The Handmaid’s Tale (another one on my TBRR – “to be re-read” list); Vanessa and friends discuss The Help with author Kathryn Stockett and Katie Couric

When did you last choose to read a book you thought you’d hate? Amy wants to know.

What goes on behind the doors of the school library

Have a great reading week!

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