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Sunday Salon: the Exhausted Post

January 25, 2009

The Sunday Salon.comMy fibro has been attacking pretty relentlessly all week; in fact, for three days I couldn’t even read (I’m so glad I had pre-scheduled the whole week of blogging!). It’s very depressing to be stuck at home, laying around all day, and not be able to enjoy it with a good book! Anyway, yesterday I was able to start reading again, although I could only go for trade paperbacks (hardcovers and mass market were too difficult to keep open with only one arm working). So rather than reading any of the books under my ‘Currently Reading’ sidebar, I ended up racing through almost three random (i.e.-nonchallenge) books.

I’m not really sure which books I read this week and which ones I read last week, since I skipped Sunday Salon, so I’m going to guess this week started with M.J. Rose’s The Memorist. I’ve already published my review: essentially I thought it was a fun, fluffy thriller.

Also early in the week, I finished up a non-fiction book I’ve been working on for awhile: City of Orangesby Adam LeBor. It was my first World Citizen Challenge read, and it was excellent! LeBor uses the history of Jaffa (now part of Tel Aviv, Israel) to examine the Israeli-Palestine relationship from the 1920s to a few years ago. I thought it was well-balanced, informative, and well-written; you’ll be getting a full review later. :)

After that, I turned to Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night. I expected it to be a treat, and it definitely was. Each of the fifteen chapters read like a mini-essay on various aspects of libraries, and since it’s Manguel you know the writing was incredibly intelligent and filled with book-love. I read this for the Dewey Decimal challenge, and as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ll be reviewing this one and Rereadings together.

blondelikemeThen there was the drought until yesterday, when I read two books and almost finished a third! I got Blonde Like Me by Natalia Ilyin from the library on a whim; its subtitle The Roots of Blonde Myth in Our Cultureappealed to me, since I’m a natural (dark) blonde. It’s a slim book-less than 200 pages-and it’s mainly a memoir, mixed with scholarly analysis of the symbols of blondes. Ilyin ‘profiles’ (often using Greek mythology) various types of blondes, as well as referencing many blondes from American culture (Martha Stewart, Madonna, and of course Marilyn Monroe). The intellectual look at why women choose to dye their hair blonde (in the beginning Ilyin contends there are almost no natural blondes, but what she means is natural platinum blondes) felt not-fully-fleshed out, but these passages were short compared to Ilyin’s reminisces of her own life as a blonde. She’s had a very interesting life-her father was a Russian emigre turned diplomat, her mother a Southerner who sent her to modelling school so that Ilyin could learn how to own her 6’2″ height, and she tells a story well. This book is really fun as long as you don’t expect a strong scholarly case.

innkeeperssong Most of the books I checked out from the library are hardcover, but fortunately The Innkeeper’s Song by Peter Beagle was in trade paperback! This is my third Beagle book, and while I didn’t love it as much as Tamsin and A Fine and Private Place, it was still good. Unlike those two, which are both about the intersection of ghosts with our world, The Innkeeper’s Song is high fantasy. Beagle created his own world, which like a lot of high fantasy seems a little bit like an idealised Middle Ages plus magic, and brought disparate characters together at an inn to face down evil. The plot is too complicated to summarise, and there are so many characters it’d be difficult to look at them all in such a brief review, but I will say that this one just wasn’t as incredible as the other two I read. Maybe it’s that high fantasy doesn’t suit me as much as urban anymore, maybe it’s that I enjoy reading about ghosts more than about wizards, I don’t know. Of course, it was still good, and I’d recommend it (I loved the character of the fox-he had that special Beagle touch), but if you’ve never read Beagle before I wouldn’t start here.

Finally, I’m almost done with From a Whisper to a Scream by Charles de Lint, another trade paperback. It’s darker than the other de Lint books I’ve read (which makes sense, since de Lint considers it to be horror and originally published it under a pen name), but it’s still set in Newford (in the preface, I learned it was actually the first full-length Newford novel) and has that de Lint magical touch. I’m really enjoying it!

As for the books that I was in the middle of, but can’t read right now because of my stupid arm, just look to the right to find out how I feel about them. :) I’m tired, so I’m going to round this up. But I’m sorry that I haven’t been commenting much around the blogosphere this week-hopefully I’ll start feeling better soon. I’ve been reading your posts, though!

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2009 6:40 am

    I hope you start to feel better soon. I can completely understand how you feel. Nothing worse than being in bed and not being able to read!

  2. January 25, 2009 7:11 am

    I’m sorry you had such a rough week – to be without books would be the ultimate torture. Have you tried audio books? I’m just getting into them. I hope this week is better for you.

  3. January 25, 2009 7:14 am

    I had a bad week too and can’t use my right arm for most things. You’re right that holding up a book can be too painful. A lot of people had a bad fibro week it seems. I look forward to your Manguel and Rereadings reviews. And City of Oranges sounds good, I might read it for the jewish lit challenge. Hope things get better for you fast, take care of yourself.

  4. January 25, 2009 7:23 am

    Sorry you had such a challenging week. It does sound like you made up for lost time yesterday. Enjoyed your review of The Memorist and have added it to my comfort read tbr list. The Library at Night is one of my favorites – you feel as if you actually inhabit the spaces of the book as you read. Also noticed the Laurie King re-reads in the sidebar. I might do the same as I love, love these books. Remnant of my childhood Sherlock Holmes obsession. Feel better this week!

  5. January 25, 2009 7:40 am

    Sorry that you had such a tough week. Hang in there.

    I’m off to see if I can locate a copy of “The Library at Night” – sounds like fun.

    Hope things get better for you soon…

  6. January 25, 2009 7:41 am

    My biggest fear has always been that I would go blind and couldn’t read any more. I can see that other conditions can hurt reading time, too. I hope things get better this week.

  7. January 25, 2009 7:57 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your week. Hope you are feeling better soon and are able to enjoy some reading. Take care.

  8. January 25, 2009 8:01 am

    In spite of not feeling well you have managed to read so much. I am reading Jane Eyre since last week :)

    Hope you feel better soon Eva.

  9. January 25, 2009 8:48 am

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, Eva! In the meantime, what a tasty sampling of books! I really want to get my hands on City of Oranges. Can’t wait to read your full review.

  10. January 25, 2009 9:55 am

    Hope you get to feeling better soon. What a drag to not feel good and not be able to read.

    Have you tried audiobooks for those occasions?

    Here’s to a better week.

  11. January 25, 2009 9:58 am

    Okay, you have to read The Last Unicorn. You’ve read three books by Peter Beagle and somehow managed to skip the best one.

    I hope you’re back up to speed very soon.

  12. January 25, 2009 10:13 am

    I hope you feel better soon, Eva! I’m looking for some more of those “rambling” posts. ;-)

    Lezlie

  13. January 25, 2009 11:13 am

    There is nothing worse than feeling crappy and not being able to read. Yuck! It looks like you still got a lot of reading accomplished, and I will be looking forward to your review of the book for the World Citizen Challenge :) Hope you feel better soon!

  14. January 25, 2009 11:27 am

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a rough week, Eva. I was out all week, too, but better now. I’ve also just finished my first World Citizen book as well, just today, in fact. :)

    Awaiting your City of Oranges and Library at Night reviews..

  15. January 25, 2009 12:12 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a tough week. I hope things improve for you soon!

  16. lena permalink
    January 25, 2009 12:16 pm

    I keep meaning to get my hands on Manguel – but I never get around to it! I will add it to my official TBR list once and for all today.

    I hope that in the coming days you feel better! :)

  17. January 25, 2009 12:25 pm

    Maybe a Sony Reader would help you out when you’re one-handed. I know that my local library now makes digital loans; you have to download special software that makes your ebook file expire after three weeks. Pretty cool idea.

  18. January 25, 2009 12:46 pm

    I hope you feel better soon!

  19. January 25, 2009 1:08 pm

    I am sorry you haven’t had a good week, health wise, Eva. I have a chronic illness too that flares up now and then, sometimes so badly that I cannot read either. I am glad you are able to read again, and hope your arm is feeling well enough for you to manage some of those hardbacks soon.

  20. January 25, 2009 2:08 pm

    I’m sorry Eva :( I hope your Fibro calms down :( The Inkeepers Song sounds like something I’d really like!

  21. January 25, 2009 2:28 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve not been feeling good. :-(

    The new place looks great!!!

    I’ve only heard of The Memorist, so I will have to look into those others you mentioned. I agree with Chris, The Innkeepers Song sounds interesting.

  22. January 25, 2009 5:16 pm

    I haven’t read the Manguel book yet, so I look forward to your review! I have The Innkeepers’ song on my TBR pile. And i”m sorry your fibro has been so bad. Here’s an e *hug* and I hope you feel better soon.

  23. January 25, 2009 6:57 pm

    Just thought I’d add my voice to the chorus of I’m sorry you had such a rough week. I hate that. Hope you feel better soon.

  24. January 25, 2009 7:30 pm

    Eva, I hope next week finds you feeling better, and back to your old reading self!

  25. January 25, 2009 8:06 pm

    So sorry to read about your arm and not feeling well. I hope this week brings changes to your health that will allow you to get back to the enjoyment of reading again…especially hardcover books!!

    Take Care :)

  26. January 25, 2009 8:59 pm

    Charles de Lint lives here where I live…. Charles de Lint lives here where I live!
    He lives where I live.
    Did I mention this?
    Sorry to hear of your fibro-problems. One-armed, you still seem able to read about 16 times more material than I can!

  27. January 25, 2009 9:05 pm

    You are always so upbeat although I *know* how bad that illness can make a person feel. Terri is trying Valcyte now — fun times ahead, I’m sure (rolling eyes). Hang in there, girl. You’ve got some great books listed!

  28. January 25, 2009 10:46 pm

    :-( Hope you’re feeling better!

    I have a Manguel book on my shelf. Maybe someday…

  29. alirambles permalink
    January 26, 2009 12:25 am

    That sounds so painful. I hope you’re feeling much better soon! Ever notice how you read more in a bad week than a lot of people do on a good reading week?

  30. January 26, 2009 5:34 am

    I didn’t know you read deLint! Most of the time I’m not in the mood for him and then, every so often, I go off on a de Lint binge. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  31. January 26, 2009 7:24 am

    Oooh – so picking up the de lint book. I would have gone on forever without a clue had you not posted about this one.

  32. January 26, 2009 7:32 am

    Oh sweetie, I am just so very sorry that you had another rough week! I do hope you’re feeling much, much better by the time you read this…and that you get a nice long, and much deserved, “good” spell!

  33. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 26, 2009 8:59 am

    I hope you’re on the mend. I did an interview with Carla Neggers last week (http://stacybuckeye.wordpress.com/category/9-in-09-author-interviews/) and she was also reading The Memorist.

  34. January 26, 2009 12:41 pm

    Eva, you have all my sympathy. I really feel for you, because I know exactly what it’s like to not even be able to read. Rest up and take it easy – it’s all you can do, and I’m glad you’re up to the trade paperback now!

  35. January 26, 2009 2:05 pm

    Eva, sorry to hear you’ve been down. Hope the fibro lets up and you can feel better!

    I’ve got The Library at Night on my list!

  36. January 26, 2009 5:31 pm

    After reading this post and learning of your health problems, I feel privileged that you used some of your limited energy to comment on my blog!

    I should take a page from your book and type up enough posts for a whole week. I never seem to get any blogging done during the week because I am too busy after work.

  37. January 27, 2009 9:12 am

    I really really hope you’re feeling better, Eva! And that, like Debi said, you have a long “good” spell.

    I have The Inkeeper’s Song on my tbr pile…I’m actually a fan of high fantasy, so I’m really looking forward to it!

  38. January 27, 2009 9:53 am

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

  39. January 27, 2009 10:58 pm

    Vivienne, thanks!

    BermudaOnion, I love audiobooks-I got into them when I first got sick. :)

    Sandra, I’m sorry you had a bad week too. :( City of Oragnes would be a neat choice for the Jewish challenge, as long it allows fiction as well as non!

    Frances, there’s a new book in the Mary Russell series coming out in April!! I’m very excited. :D

    Sam, thanks! The Library at Night was a lot of fun. :D

    Debbie, I can’t imagine being blind. I think I’d be terrified.

    Mariel, thank you!

    Violet, I’m on vacation. ;)

    Andi, thanks!!

    Terri, yep-I love audiobooks. But my laptop’s dead right now, and I feel bad downloading them on my mom’s computer.

    CB, I’m saving The Last Unicorn!! lol

    Lezlie, why thank you!

    Samantha, thanks!

    Claire, I’m sorry you were out too. I’m excited you finished your first World Citizen book!

    Memory, thanks!

    Lena, Manguel is a lot of fun. :)

    Janet, I can’t read on the screen for a long time. :( Our library has the same cool stuff, though, so maybe I’ll give it another try.

    Rebecca, thanks!

    Literary Feline, chronic illnesses suck, huh?

    Chris, I think you’d really enjoy The Innkeeper’s Song. :D I did, I’m not sure if I managed to get that across in my review though. And thanks for the good wishes. :)

    J.C., thanks!

    Susan, awww-I’m sending an e*hug back to you. :D

    Amy, thank you!

    Becca, thanks!

    Satci, thank you!

    Cipriano, do you stalk him? I’d buy all of his books and stalk him endlessly for signatures. hehe

    Daphne, aww-thanks. :D

    SoftDrink, it’s funny how the TBR books actually on our shelves are the last that get read!

    Ali, lol-I’m on vacation. :D

    Ted, I don’t read a ton of de Lint, but I would totally go on a binge if I didn’t have twenty thousand challenges too, lol.

    Claire, glad to help!

    Debi, thank you so much. :)

    Stacy, what a coincidence!

    Litlove, thank you. :D

    Iliana, thanks!

    Dani, doing the week ahead of time works really well for me, even though it takes several hours of my weekends!

    Nymeth, thanks! I did really enjoy The Innkeeper’s Song…I think I just wasn’t *expecting* high fantasy, so it took me awhile to adjust.

    Tara, thank you!

  40. RaiulBaztepo permalink
    March 28, 2009 4:18 pm

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  41. June 1, 2011 4:37 pm

    Not sure I agree with everything here, but it was still interesting reading that. Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. Support Your Library Challenge Wrap Up « A Striped Armchair
  2. Women Unbound: a New Reading Challenge « A Striped Armchair

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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