Books,  Just Life

and now about reading.

…last night I had the very fun experience of a first bookclub meeting. It was organized by a friend of a friend who just moved here and had enjoyed a bookclub in her old neighborhood. She invited a few neighbors, and mothers of her kids’ classmates, my friend and me. Nine of us met and over dinner and drinks got to know each other (well kind of, I’m still not sure of everyone’s name!) The group is diverse in terms of age and background which always makes for good discussion. and yikes! I think I’m the oldest (and I know I have the oldest children.) It was rather fun to hear talk about third grade reading projects, and the trauma of starting middle school or finding a good tennis coach…and know that those difficult mothering years are behind me.

We moved on to a good discussion about A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett. The group had voted via email on three titles, and this one won. A few of us had read – and loved – other books by Follett including Pillars of the Earth, A Dangerous Fortune and Fall of Giants. Sadly, none of us thought this one measured up. I admitted I’d skipped the middle 300 or so pages, yet still didn’t have any problem keeping up with the story. or the discussion.

And then we started talking about what book we should read next and I suggested we share a bit about books we’d recently read and books we loved. I offered up Night Circus and Cutting for Stone and A Discovery of Witches. (and would’ve offered up The Gargoyle but I couldn’t remember its title). I heard a few new titles – The 12 Tribes of Hattie (how I could miss an Oprah book is telling about the state of my reading right now!) and Team of Rivals.  We ended up choosing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which no one had read, but everyone had heard good things about. Through that whole discussion, I used the Goodreads app on my phone; and that was new to everyone, so I offered to send an email after.

the Goodreads app – HIGHLY recommend!

…I knew I hadn’t updated my Goodreads in a while. but I was surprised to see it was last October. three months ago. and even more surprised that I hadn’t read a new book since then. I did re-read the first Harry Potter. and I read the beginning and ends of Lamb in his Bosom (for my other book club) and A Place Called Freedom. and I started Cloud Atlas on October 30 (and I’m only 30% through it…I am still intending to finish, but I think it’s going to take me a while).

whoa. I haven’t done this little reading since I can remember. and I miss it. I think the reality for me right now is that I have time to “play”, I’m more likely to knit, or edit photos, or work on other crafty projects. which could be simply that I’m not reading anything that’s better than those activities. or maybe I need a better way to read.

the Audible app…this is as far as I’ve gotten!

So this morning, I signed up for Audible and downloaded the app for my phone…and Wolf Hall. It’s 24 hours long. I’m hoping to finish my Market Jacket while I listen.  (and while I was at it a short story by Lisa Gardner that was free…her name came up last night and I don’t think I’ve ever read her).

Curious – do any of you listen to books? and what was the last book that really captured your attention?

13 Comments

  • Lydia

    an app for good reads-awesome! hmm the fact that no book jumps out at me right now must mean something. currently i'm trying to get through a stack of books that have been sitting there (or on my kindle), so maybe my hearts not really into being stirred by my reading. i am thoroughly enjoying a podcast from stanford u about colonial america, makes the commute so much better. like knitting, i have so many things queued, but not so much time! thanks for sharing the app, and i've been curious about audible.

  • Carole Julius

    I used to listen to books and I do have an audible account but I haven't listened to any for a while. I want to read Wolf Hall, it comes highly recommended by my librarian friends.

  • Sara

    Not a huge fan of listening to books, but you did remind me that I just read that Claire Danes reads The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood for Audible.com. I read that book in high school and loved it — I think you would, too. More here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmdfdx3IKN0

    Pro: she has the most intelligent and lively reading voice.
    Con: you may feel like Carrie Mathison is telling you a story she mapped out on a corkboard in one of her manic states.

  • Debbie

    I've read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies and enjoyed both books. I would also recommend Rules of Civility and Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Flight Behavior. I have never listened to a book, so I can't say whether or not I would like it. Happy reading or listening!

  • Brenda

    I mostly read, but I do like to listen to books also. You should check out The Classic Tales Podcast–he also does entire novels–and the reader is excellent.

    I haven't purchased it yet, except to give to a friend, but I am looking forward to reading The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. I so enjoyed her last book, Remarkable Creatures, that I am excited to read her new novel. The Last Runaway deals with a Quaker woman who emigrates from England to Ohio and becomes involved in the underground railway before the Civil War.

  • Marilyn

    I'm not a real fan of audible books because my mind tends to wander. You will love reading Henrietta Lacks, and it will make for great female discussion. Up next for me to read is Flight Behavior…up next to knit is Chocolate Stout.

  • Kym

    I listen to books ALL the time. It took me a while to get into "reading" by "listening" — and I had to discover when I could listen and when I should just-plain-read. Certain books (for me) are better for listening — and it's great for multi-tasking while knitting or walking or household chores. As a long-time audiobooks fan, I have many suggestions . . . so email me and I'll share my experiences if you're interested. (I also still do a lot of just-plain-reading. It's a mix-and-match thing for me.)

  • HonorĂ©

    My reading has lapsed too (and this coming from a career-grad librarian, as in retired…shhh—dont tell ;-)). I did most of my audio book reading on long commutes when I was working. I don't listen to audio books at all now. But I might try on my walks…now that I could do so from my iPhone. thanks for the suggestion…I'll try it out….as soon as it gets warmer outside ;-)).

    Cheers~

    You'll like Henrietta Lacks, I think.

  • martha

    Great post! I still think about The Night Circus and Gargoyle! I like books that linger. Did I tell you that Jim Dale (Harry Potter reader) reads the Night Circus? Use to listen to books on tape all the time when I had a commute. Kept me sane!