In My Life
One concept which I’ve seen floating around but not believed in is reading slumps. I still think it’s an odd concept, given that it’s not like we need to read to sustain ourselves. Yet I must admit that I’ve been in a funk where books are concerned. I want to read but my mind has been rebelling at the sight of printed words on bound pages. To overcome that I’ve turned more to audiobooks.
Five out of the eight most recent books I finished reading were audiobooks. Had I not listened to audiobooks, I probably wouldn’t have exceeded those three books that I read in print over the past four to five weeks. This makes me so glad that audiobooks are easily accessible with smartphones.
Imagine the year 2000 where listening to audiobooks meant lugging around CDs and a discman! Of course, back then portable audio in itself was already wonderful. 15 years prior to that portable CD players were still novelty items. All in all, bibliophiles have it really good today with all these alternative options to printed books. I’m particularly grateful for audiobooks in conjunction with my iPhone.
Besides overcoming my reading funk, I also baked Mohnschnecken (German poppy seed bread rolls). I baked 16 rolls which happily fed my family for a couple of days. I’m already thinking of baking more rolls but with a greater variety of fillings: almond paste, lemon custard, apple sauce, fruit compote, etc. I just need to figure out how to best fit them according to the baking time and temperatures necessary for the bread.
Two books I’m actually rather intimidate of arrived this week: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. Both are high fantasy and come very heavily recommended. To top it off, they both are the first in their series of very thick tomes. Nothing under 500 pages and the books get fatter as the series progress.
The special UK edition of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare arrived in the mail this week as well. Curiosity got the better of me for this one. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews — claims that it’s a Harry Potter rip-off because it started out as fan fiction as well as high praises for the characters and world building. I decided I have to find out for myself. Plus, the etched designs of Mila Fürstová are stunning to look at.
On the Blog
Blogging took a bit of a backseat this week, though I did share my thoughts on the customer service at Book Depository. This week’s Mise-en-scène theme is Celebrations.
There were no new book reviews on the blog this week but I do have a backlog of unreviewed books. I plan to get to them in the coming days, so look out for those — both fiction and non-fiction.
Around the Blogosphere
- Joey @ Another Afterthought laments the lack of exercise mentioned in books, especially where athletic characters are concerned. Even a line of, “Yeah, I’ll come meet you after my run.” would inject more realism, he thinks. What matters is that the portrayal of a lifestyle is fully represented. To me this is where a lot of sports-related novels have failed. When one of the themes is sports, I expect the mention of training, competitions and such and not the mere inclusion of a hunk of a football player.
- Grace @ Words Like Silver spoke out about morality in YA. She noticed mixed reviews for Those Girls by Lauren Saft. As I noted in my review, it contains questionable morals. It’s because of that that several reviewers disliked the book. Yet Grace pointed out the importance of including the very things that we don’t agree with. We can’t ignore these realities and including them in fiction is important for honesty and transparency.
- Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity thinks that it’s not necessary for every book she enjoys to be extraordinary. Average books can be great buffers between the emotionally-draining ones. Sometimes I purposely reach for such books too because I don’t have the time or energy to invest myself in an overly complex and deep book. During those times I simply want to be entertained or fill time while commuting. Occasionally the act of reading matters more to me than the actual content of what I’m reading.
- Kristy @ Book Nerd Reviews questions ratings of unread books on Goodreads. These ratings skew the averages before anyone has even the chance to read these books, which isn’t representative of the books themselves. It drives her crazy whenever she sees that on Goodreads and I must say, it annoys me too. It’s understandable that ratings emerge before publication due to review copies that are circulated as part of marketing campaigns. What doesn’t make sense is rating from people who haven’t had a chance to read an unreleased book, particularly if it has yet to be written!
- Crini @ All About Books wrote an important post: Loving Something is not a Contest. This applies to everything in life, I think but she made an important case for it with regards to books. Just because someone has been waiting longer for a sequel, doesn’t mean they love the series more than someone who only recently picked up the first book in a series. In the same vein, there are a lot of books I count to my favourites but I don’t own them. Reading library books doesn’t make you less of a fan than someone who can afford to buy them all. The size of a book collection doesn’t have to correlate to one’s love for books. Not everyone has the money or space to accommodate a large personal library. Basically, Crini’s post is so on point, I implore everyone to read it.
Cinema Torrents is a standout P2P search site. To be precise, Cinema Torrents is not a ‘torrent site’, but rather a recommendation engine connected to IMDB.com: CT first helps you discover good films, and then it helps you locate torrent sites and other download sources for those films. Cinema Torrents works great on my side. –
Alexa S. says
Honestly, whenever I’m in a reading slump, I just don’t read for a while. I occupy myself with other things – outings and music and TV shows and movies – until I miss it again. Hope you find your way out of yours!
Alexa S. recently posted Love, Deception & Danger
Seriously, City of Bones started as HP fan fiction? I don’t see the relation at all…
I’m somewhat of a black sheep in that I found Finnikin completely boring but LOVED Froi and Quintana. (So give the rest of the series a chance in case you have the same experience.) Also, I thought The Final Empire was the most interesting book of the series, because the other two were quite repetitive in my opinion and didn’t hold my attention as well, which seems to be the opposite of most people. I look forward to hearing what you think about all of them.
Reading slumps definitely happen, and my best suggestions are re-reading old favorites or sticking with light, fluffy books (along the lines of what you said re: Chiara’s post). If that doesn’t work, don’t force it, because you never want reading to feel like a chore. I appreciate audiobooks for the same reason, because sometimes I want to be told a story but am too mentally exhausted to read the words myself.
I can’t wait to (hopefully) see pictures of your roll experimenting!
Joséphine Simone says
Yeah, the author used to write Harry Potter fan fic which apparently was very popular. Eventually that turned into the TMI series. But if it’s not recognisable, perhaps Harry Potter was just a great starting point for inspiration for her? That’s something I’d like to find out for myself. Lol.
Well, I’m only just about dipping my toes into high fantasy, so I’m excited to see where these book take me :) Fluffy books definitely are an option but then when I look at my priority TBR pile with all those title I’ve been extremely excited about, I feel so torn about deviating. Hoho.
Yes, yes! There will be photos ;)
I wonder if I would have noticed if I’d been looking for it. I hope you’ll report back after you read the series.
I’m SO glad I don’t have a TBR the way bloggers do. I couldn’t handle the stress, haha.