Sunday, March 04, 2012

TSS: Reading Journal #1

The Sunday

Edit: I wrote the following post a few days ago and had it sitting in draft mode until this weekend. When I got up this morning to read blogs, I noticed that Iris of Iris on Books was thinking along the same lines! We've both written about book blogs as reading journal. In fact, we are both using the same label "Reading Journal." I guess great minds think alike. Go over and see what Iris has to say.

When I started this blog, it was a pastiche without any real focus. Mostly I just wrote random pieces in order to discipline myself to sit down and write. Then I stumbled into book blogs and decided that I would focus on books and reading. The intent was to treat my book blogging as more of a reading journal than anything else. Mostly I've written reviews (the word "review" being loosely defined) and kept track of my reading list. I'd like to go back to the idea of keeping a reading journal here on Tip of the Iceberg. This is mostly for my own benefit, but I do enjoy sharing my thoughts and hearing what you all have to say in response. It is always exciting to receive comments at the blog and share thoughts on Twitter.

With all of that said, here are some of my recent thoughts ...

I've been doing well with the TBR Double Dare. All twelve books and one short story that I've read in 2012 have been from my TBR shelves. This is gratifying since I'm trying to read more books I already have and buy or borrow less. This is old news for most of you AND it is also something that many of you are trying to do. If you are trying to read mostly TBR books this year, how is that going?

I went kind of crazy buying YA books last year and then got a little weary of so much YA. Don't misunderstand, some of it has been quite enjoyable but after the umpteenth YA with teenage characters and teenage concerns I was craving something else. At this point, I'm spacing out the YA books so I can enjoy them a bit more.

Another area I've burnt out on a bit is the paranormal genre. Again, I'm spacing out the reading of those I still have on the stacks.

The reading for the Merely Mystery Reading Challenge is going along nicely. This challenge lasts all year, so I can pace myself on reading from that genre too. I try to mix up the types of mystery books I read which helps alleviate burn out. Reading the short story "Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Poe was more of a classics read for me than mystery, and A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters was more of a historical. I tend to read a lot of crime fiction so have been careful to mix those up with other mystery sub genres to keep from tiring of it.

Have you noticed a theme yet? Apparently, I'm trying to keep from reading burn out.

The year long Clarissa reading project is moving right along. The readings for January and February were not too demanding, but the amount of reading time I'll need to dedicate to Clarissa increases as of March (now!) since the number of letters for each month become more copious. I'm looking forward to it, but it will require some discipline. Hope I can keep up!

So far I've only had one book that I started reading and then set aside. I started The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson last month. It is non fiction about the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. I'm not sure why I lost interest. Perhaps I didn't want to read a book with major focus on a serial killer. I'll try to return to it soon. I don't think it is the book so much as it is my mood. Just looking for something not quite so real and depressing I guess.

I did find reading The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley to be a nice antidote to The Devil in the White City. A bit of time travel, G-rated romance, and Cornish countryside was just what I needed. It was such a lovely read and a bit of escape from real life.

I picked up Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell right after completing The Rose Garden and decided to read something else before getting into that one. Jumping straight from a lovely, soothing, G-rated romantic novel into a book about 40-something women climbing the soul eating career ladder and juggling bad relationships and kids was just not going to work for me. So I read Wither by Lauren DeStefano, a dystopian YA novel that was only mildly jarring before going back to Lipstick Jungle. I'm almost done with the Bushnell book. I'm not sure why I even had that book in my TBR stack. I think I picked it up on sale and was curious about the author who was responsible for Sex and the City; not my usual kind of reading and I probably won't be reading any more Bushnell books.

Well, this has been a bit of a ramble! Perhaps future Reading Journal posts will be a bit more focused in some fashion. This is new for me so I'll be working it out as I go.


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed THE ROSE GARDEN. It's on my library list.

    I've only read one of Candace Bushnell's books, but I loathed it so much that I'm unlikely to ever try another. I've mostly blocked it now, to the point where I couldn't tell you the title with any certainty. I think it was 4 BLONDES, but it might've been another one.

  2. I'm impressed by all of your own books you've tackled already in 2012. I often get side-tracked when I stop by the library or check out the new books shelf at the college library:(

    Have a great week.

  3. I, too, am trying not to buy as many books and read what I have or borrow from friends -- but more out of necessity than anything else. Only one of my ten reads this year was an impulse purchase. But I have to say, at this point I'm simply dying to add a few (or nine) items from my wish list to my bookshelves. It's been difficult! :)

  4. Fun style Terri! (& like I said on Iris' post, I've been tempted lately to try out the more journal-ly approach myself.)

    I really didn't like Devil in the White City, but I also just don't like true crime books. They always just upset me horribly, and I can't handle it. Wasn't The Rose Garden just a treat? Glad you enjoyed it too!

  5. How funny we should think of the same topic :) I have some of those books I bought in a book sale out of curiosity and because they were cheap. I came across quite a few of those in my own TBRpile challenge and I admit I am a little hesitant to pick any of them up. I might have to force myself to read them at some point (perhaps I had better get rid of them). Did you enjoy Lipstick Jungle a little?

  6. Iris: Not sure if I would say that I enjoyed Lipstick Jungle, but I think that Bushnell does bring up some issues for women that are STILL issues, like how women who climb the corporate ladder are viewed by society & colleagues vs. how men who climb the corporate ladder are viewed. She also points out some things that are not intuitive behaviors for women when they participate in business/professional ventures. So, I guess I would say that the book is interesting in some respects, but why not read a non-fiction book or essays on these topics? :)

  7. I enjoyed reading this post, Terri! When I started my blog, it was basically an attempt to move my reading journal online. I've never written anything close to 'formal book reviews', just like to share my thoughts and enjoy conversations with other readers.

    You're doing great with the TBR Dare! I've had a few slip-ups, but I'm still trying to read from my shelves.

    The plot heats up even more with the weekend letters in Clarissa - I'm really enjoying it!

    Too bad about The Devil in the White City. I listened to the audio several years ago and , while it rambled all over the place, I did end up liking it. Hope you're having a good week!

  8. I love the reading journal format. That's how I view my blogging too--more of a reading journal than anything more formal. :-)

    I understand mixing things up to avoid burn out. I try and do that too. I have actually been reading more YA in recent months than I ever have before. Not sure how that's happened, but it seems to be a phase I am going through. I'm always a little behind the current craze.

    I hope you have a great week!

  9. THE ROSE GARDEN was such a great book!