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Welcoming November

November 6, 2011

Oh y’all. October has always been one of my very favourite months (along with April), but this year was not its finest moment. In fact, the first week of November has been quite impressive: it has brought delicious cold weather (I unpacked my woolies! and could see my breath on walks!) and possible end to my reading slump. If the coolness continues, I might be able to overlook Thanksgiving (my least favourite holiday ever, as I find the slaughter of so many animals for a day celebrating gratitude and relationships unspeakably upsetting) and bring November off the bench as my new fall go-to! ;)

Not to say that October was a complete wash: a very good friend from Colorado came to visit and we had a fun Halloween, complete with home-made apple cider and a last-minute scramble for a costume (I went with spy). But as far as reading and blogging goes, it was just one slump after another. I did end up reading some books towards the end of the month, but I couldn’t muster much more than a ‘meh’ in response. It got to the point that I was afraid to start another one, or even pick up a favourite author, since my reading doldrums seemed to be colouring everything as insipid. I had six three-star reads in a row: that’s unheard of! I watched a lot of very good television, but I desperately missed books. As you can imagine, I avoided my blog in case my lack of enthusiasm spilt over into humdrum posts.

Then November arrived. I remembered my rereading project, and I grabbed Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman from my shelves: it’s a book about books that I found disappointing the first time I read it. I figured I had nothing to lose, and I was happily surprised to find that my reread was quite delightful! It reminded me of the magic of rereading, and when I revisited Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, I fell in love all over again.

So that’s where I’ve been and where I am. I’m still feeling off-balance: physically speaking I’m sleeping ten to sixteen hours a day and reading-wise I’ve decided to go throw all of my usual goals and parameters out the window until I’ve escaped the slump for good. But I’ve missed blogging, so here I am easing myself back into it! The good thing about having a massive review backlog is that I have plenty of blog material, even if I’m barely reading at present. ;)

And now, I’m off to read until sunrise, at which point I will take Thistle for a walk in the woods. I hope everyone else is enjoying November as much as I have!

32 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2011 6:57 am

    I totally get it. I’m not in a slump exactly but I haven’t been reading anywhere near what I used to and it’s frustrating. At the end of the day most days I don’t have the mental energy to pick up the book, I’d rather zone out in front of the TV (horrible but true) so as a result I just haven’t been reading much. I am glad to see you back, though! I hope you begin to feel better soon.

  2. November 6, 2011 7:04 am

    I’m so glad November is treating you well, and I hope that trend continues. I really loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; it’s a deserving read to help you get back into it.

  3. November 6, 2011 7:52 am

    What was the very good television? I am always in the market for very good television!

    • November 9, 2011 10:32 am

      I’ve mainly be re-watching old favourites, so I’m not sure there’s anything we haven’t talked about before! I’ve watched the first 3 epis of S1 of Damages, starring Glenn Close. I’m not sure yet it’s very good television, but I think it has potential! Oh, and Michael Woods’ travel documentaries, which are on Netflix streaming as well: I heartily recommend them if you haven’t seen them already!

      ETA: Have you watched Brothers & Sisters? The plotlines are like a soap opera, but somehow it works! lol I’m in the middle of the third season, but I raced through the first 2 because they were v compelling. :)

  4. November 6, 2011 8:01 am

    I’m glad to hear things are looking up for November. I know how it is with reading a chain of “eh, just okay” books. They’re not bad enough to quit in the middle, but not good enough to inspire any great desire to dash to the computer and blog about them. I feel like I’ve been on a run like that. I haven’t read anything that I would review particularly negatively, but nothing that really knocks my socks off either. My current read could go either way…I hope it knocks my socks off, though!

  5. November 6, 2011 9:32 am

    I’m so sorry to hear you had such a meh October! I hope your reading slump passes soon and that November continues to treat you well. Sometimes I feel that the whole of 2011 was a huge reading slump for me, so I know the feeling :\ Here’s to great books and lovely Autumn weather! Also, I really should reread JS&MN myself.

  6. November 6, 2011 9:50 am

    November is going well for me so far. Aside from being my birthday month, and despite from USUALLY fighting off a sinus infection (no sign of it so far), November is always good to me. I enjoy the change of weather, and you know that’s a big deal here in Texas. :) I’m glad your slump may be wearing off a bit. I’ve been fighting one as well, and I think I’ve finally found the book to banish it (Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky).

  7. November 6, 2011 9:50 am

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris more as a re-read, Eva. I had a similar experience with Wendy Lesser’s book on re-reading, which I didn’t enjoy very much the first time (and that’s mainly because I had loved Ex Libris and was, thereafter, annoyed with any bookish book that wasn’t Ex Libris and Lesser’s book is not Ex Libris, which I now realize is just fine!) but I loved it on re-reading. My current re-read is Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. But you already know how much I love re-reading. Hope your November continues on as contentedly as it has begun for you.

    • November 9, 2011 10:35 am

      I haven’t heard of the Lesser: I’ll have to look into it! :)

  8. November 6, 2011 10:35 am

    Glad to have you back. I’ve missed your reviews this month.

  9. November 6, 2011 10:39 am

    Glad to hear you are coming out of your reading slump. I think ditching all your “goals” and such is a brilliant idea. Give yourself the freedom to read what you really crave. I found mysteries helped me out of my slump but I’m still having a hard time writing about what I’m reading. Be well, Eva.

  10. November 6, 2011 11:50 am

    Welcome back to your blog! I have learned that you just need to show up with what you have and give your best at the moment. You are amazing and I love coming to this space to see what you have written :)

  11. November 6, 2011 12:37 pm

    Oh, I hate that “meh” feeling with a book. That feels so disappointing, even if it is just your own personal connection and others loved it. We really just want an escape into an amazing read! I’m glad you found a couple at end of month that got you going again. :) I’m always glad to see you around (when I’m not stressing myself to death over work). Off to read and enjoy a somewhat lazy Sunday!

  12. November 6, 2011 1:46 pm

    Here is to November, cooler weather, and good reading! I live in a place w/out traditional seasons too, so always look forward to the big “cool off” which usually comes in November. So far so good! We’ve got weather chilly enough for sweaters and hats and scarves. And rain! Two days with rain! Hope you have a FANTASTIC November and that your reading slump is over :)

  13. November 6, 2011 2:12 pm

    Thanksgiving (my least favourite holiday ever, as I find the slaughter of so many animals for a day celebrating gratitude and relationships unspeakably upsetting)

    Not to mention the offensively white-washed myth of the pilgrims & Indians sitting down to a loving, cooperative dinner together, where we’re supposed to feel all warm & fuzzy & forget the genocide systematically perpetrated on indigenous populations by white Americans. Also, even putting aside race issues, it strikes me as in incredibly poor taste to commemorate a period of starvation and disease by GORGING ONESELF. The Jamestown settlers almost starved to death so let’s celebrate with a meal where we eat as much food at one sitting as they had during a whole winter! Man I hate Thanksgiving.

    Um, wow, ANYWAY, tantrum aside, I’m very glad to see you back in the blogosphere. I spent most of October suffering from my own reading slump, as I believe we commiserated about on Twitter, and I believe I’m easing out of it so I hope the same for you. :-)

    • November 9, 2011 10:37 am

      Yes to all of that Emily! But I didn’t think it would fit into a parenthetical aside. ;)

  14. November 6, 2011 2:41 pm

    Ah, so that’s where you’ve been, I had wondered. Yay for the cooler weather and a better November! Hopefully the reading slump is truly ending and you don’t have any more of those ‘meh’ books.

  15. November 6, 2011 2:54 pm

    I’ve had two off months of reading and I’m hoping that I can snap out of it in November. I’m loving the change in weather though and today has been especially nice as I sit here sipping coffee and catching up on reading blogs. Hope you have a great week Eva!

  16. November 6, 2011 6:18 pm

    Reading slumps are the worst! I hope yours goes away for good. Glad to see you’re tiptoeing back into blogging.

  17. November 6, 2011 9:57 pm

    Sorry to hear about the doldrums, but glad you’re starting to get wind in your sails again!

  18. November 6, 2011 10:43 pm

    Welcome back Eva. Glad to hear you are reading again but sorry to hear that you are still not feeling well and struggling with fatigue. I hope November will be a good month for you in every way possible.

  19. November 7, 2011 9:35 am

    Welcome back, Eva! I understand the fatigue. There was one point two years ago where I was sleeping fifteen to twenty hours a day and just could not stay awake no matter what I did. I hope November is better for you than October was.

  20. November 7, 2011 10:51 am

    That sounds like a serious reading slump there, so glad you found a way to get out of it. It’s always a little wierd, but ultimately great when a book you didn’t enjoy to the max gets another chance and shows you a new, useful side.

  21. November 7, 2011 12:14 pm

    It is nice that it is now November, to be sure. And not just because its my birthday month! I am exciting about Thanksgiving and the start of celebrating the Christmas holidays. (If you spent any considerable amount of time with turkeys, you might not feel so bad about them ending up in our bellies, LOL!)

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Ex Libris the second time around. Both it and At Small At Large are two of my favorite books. I’ve reread them at least once a year since first discovering them. Love the way Fadiman writes, even when I disagree with her.

    Hope your November is much much better than your October was.

    • November 9, 2011 10:37 am

      I *loved* At Small and At Large the first time I read it, and it’s part of what made me realise I needed to give Ex Libris another go! :)

  22. November 7, 2011 3:00 pm

    I’m glad you’re back! But so sorry October was so rough for you. I can relate to the slump. When I was out with Morning Sickness I read 1 book in a full month…strange to be so non-reading. I got tired of movies too. Anyway, I’ll look forward to the thoughts you share with us about what you’ve been reading!

  23. November 7, 2011 9:43 pm

    Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!

  24. November 8, 2011 4:18 am

    hurrah for liking Ex Libris this time! I loved and adored it nearly a decade ago, so should reread and see which way it goes for me…

  25. November 8, 2011 10:22 am

    My reading slump seems to be happening this month. I am hoping that will change! I am glad you have been enjoying November, though.

  26. November 9, 2011 10:38 am

    Thank you for all of the kind comments everyone! And to those who are also suffering from reading slumps, may they be banished soon. :)

  27. November 16, 2011 8:46 pm

    Glad to have you back, and that you are feeling a bit better :) I’ve not been online chatting much but hopefully will catch you a few more times!

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