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Author: arrete Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744482  
Subject: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 11:00 AM
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For catmeyoo and kittykitty <g>

>> “The average American reads four books a year, and the average American finds this more than sufficient,” Joe Queenan declares in “One for the Books,” his at once reverent and irreverent linked essays about a lifelong addiction to reading.

The thing is, while the average American may suffer (however unknowingly) from literary deprivation, the country is still teeming with passionate readers. Beyond the sheer magnitude of the multibillion-dollar book industry, one indication of this abiding fervor is the latest tidal wave of publications about book love.
.....
Among this year’s bumper crop of metabooks, one standout rises to the status of actual literature: Will Schwalbe’s “The End of Your Life Book Club.” This beautiful, affecting work is both a paean to the physical and emotional aspects of books and a memoir of his remarkable mother — the first female head of Harvard and Radcliffe admissions
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion/a-shelf-full-of-books-...

arrete
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Author: catmeyoo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662781 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 12:38 PM
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Among this year’s bumper crop of metabooks, one standout rises to the status of actual literature: Will Schwalbe’s “The End of Your Life Book Club.” This beautiful, affecting work is both a paean to the physical and emotional aspects of books and a memoir of his remarkable mother — the first female head of Harvard and Radcliffe admissions

Yes, I read that last month. If you decide to read it be prepared to add many titles to your wish list, starting with Stegner's Crossing to Safety (for me). I started making notes but then soon realized that all the titles are in a handy list at the back of the book so I have light pencil checks by any number of them. I never plan to let this book out of my clutches, and I whizzed through it so quickly it still looks perfectly new.

They (he and his mom) read one of my favorite contemporary books about books novels - Geraldine Brooks People of the Book. Just noticed it when I picked it up to look through the list again and maybe order another title this morning.

The average American reads four books a year, and the average American finds this more than sufficient,” Joe Queenan declares in “One for the Books,” his at once reverent and irreverent linked essays about a lifelong addiction to reading.

In 2012 I read 148 books; am trying to finish a quick Nevada Barr today and some cooking cozy tomorrow so I can bring that up to 150. Usually that is not the way I select what to read next--but I do usually read a mystery in between every other book, just to lighten things up. If I didn't read lots of mysteries my total number of books read would be much lower so it is a good thing I love them and have forever. I keep track of everything I read in a lined paper, red hard cover notebook--that particular notebook goes back to 2004. It is about to run out of pages but I have a new one, tan cover, ready and waiting right underneath the old one--looking at it makes me feel that living is exciting and wonderful.

That number isn't many in the larger scheme of things but it does require a substantial investment of time, the kind of time many people have to retire to ever find. I used to do most of my reading in the afternoon but the last couple of years if I was reading at home I would doze off and suddenly two hours of the day would be gone. For a while I would leave the house and go to Arby's or the college library and read there--quiet, nice lighting, feeling of privacy. The last couple of years I switched my reading hours to mornings and try not to let anything interfere with them. After I get up I make sure I read for at least two hours and then squeeze other hours in here and there throughout the day. And of course many of us read in bed at night. I can't imagine going to bed without a book, sometimes a stack.

The review mentions Andrew Piper's Book Was There that I recently recommended in a post. It is one of the most interesting books about books I have ever read in terms of fanciful thoughts about reading's appeal.

While Nevada Barr is my central book for today I also always take the hour between 11 and Noon to read compilations--2 at a time, 30 minutes each. Right now one of the compilations I am working on is "Medicine", Lapham's Quarterly, Fall, 2009, Volume II, Number 4--a compilation of selected writings about medicine through the centuries. A different topic is selected each quarterly. Current issue's topic is "Intoxication". I may read that next. The other compilation I'm reading is Richard Ford's Little Rock , a collection of Ford's short stories. This is a reread actually but I think I love it even more this time.

I wish I could live for thousands of years so I could make a dent in the number of books I want to read. Knowing they are there though provides much comfort and joy in itself. First book to read in 2013: David Byrne's How Music Works

The Washington Post survey you posted mentions Andrew Piper's Book Was There that I recently recommended in a post. It is one of the most interesting books about books I have ever read in terms of fanciful thoughts about reading's appeal.

I have or will soon add all those books about books the Post talks about and others (recommend especially the recent Mr. Penumbra's 24--Hour Bookstore a bookish mystery by Robin Sloan published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux) because I collect in that area. Every year there are a slew of them--it is not unusual--but maybe a few more the last couple years--a backlash perhaps against the so-called death of the book (or should I say codex format), something that has been going on since the invention of the telephone evidently, maybe before, and this time due to the ebook. From my experience reading books on the ipad, I'll mostly stick with the traditional book as long as you can still get them. Same with a journal or newspaper article of some length that I really want to read. I print it out and sit in my chair and read it. So I am still ordering paper copies of my favorite journals--and I do still miss a morning city newspaper, one of the disadvantages of being in a remote area, but on the other hand it gives me more time to read books.

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Author: arrete Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662789 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 1:28 PM
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First book to read in 2013: David Byrne's How Music Works
-----------------

That looks really interesting. I may get it. I thought I would agree with you about electronic readers, and I haven't used my Kindles very much, but I finally downloaded the Kindle app on my iPhone that JLC recommended. I thought it would be awful reading on an iPhone, but it's not. That's where I'm reading Sal Khan's book The One World Schoolhouse. I took it with me to my SS office visit and it worked out great. I do need paperbacks, though, because I read for 10 mintues in my tubby. Don't want electronics there. Right now I'm working on a Jill Churchill book - Grime and Punishment.

I might also try The End of Your Life Book Club.

arrete

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Author: CelloSpice Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662815 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 5:25 PM
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Read the classics for free on your Kindle. (You can download Kindle software for your PC or other devices if, like me, you don't have a Kindle.) Here's a sample:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Sherlock-Holmes-ebook/dp/...
http://www.amazon.com/Les-Mis%C3%A9rables-English-language-e...
http://www.amazon.com/The-Adventures-Tom-Sawyer-ebook/dp/B00...
http://www.amazon.com/Grimms-Fairy-Tales-ebook/dp/B004TS2B4W...


Lots more free books on Amazon.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662899 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 10:41 PM
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In 2012 I read 148 books;

I don't read as many books as I used to. In fact, in December I only read one book and haven't finished it - but then, it's the Three Kingdoms Romance, which is in six volumes with each volume being around 250 pages. (I'm about a third of the way through volume 5.)

I also just bought and started reading Salman Khan's "The One World Schoolhouse". Khan is the founder (in 2004) of the Khan Academy, probably the world's biggest educational institution with (as of midyear 2012, and as well as they can track) about 6 million students scattered literally around the world. Check their website, khanacademy.org .

Part of the issue is that I live in a motorhome and don't want either the volume or the weight of paper books. So I don't shop the used-books stores any more. And the booksellers mostly aren't giving decent prices on ebooks yet - they still can get away with giving a slight discount as compared to paper, while dispensing with probably 3/4 of the cost of putting the book in our hands.

(That 3/4 is for mass-market fiction. Specialized and technical stuff has a different cost structure, and I expect the price differential between the two categories to become even steeper.)

A side benefit of that is that in my search for cheap/free books, I often hit Gutenberg Press and pick up pretty obscure books. A few months ago they had two Civil-War-era memoirs: "Old Plantation Days", from a white woman who actually got to hear the bombardment of Fort Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War while on her honeymoon, which talked about how nice and pleasant things were and black slaves were mostly well-treated and loved their masters; and "Fifty Years in Chains", by an escaped slave. It made for an interesting comparison, although I'd love to find a memoir from a slave-owner who was old when the Civil War started, rather than an idealistic innocent young woman.

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Author: Art53 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662901 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 10:53 PM
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"In 2012 I read 148 books; am trying to finish a quick Nevada Barr today and some cooking cozy tomorrow so I can bring that up to 150." - catmeyoo


Wow! I'm impressed. That is a lot of books. I try and read a chapter or two in a real book each day. Right now I'm reading Amy Tan's book "The Opposite of Fate." I've got a stack of books that I've got piled up after I finish Amy Tan's book.

I watch TV shows, play on the computer, cook, grocery shop, get showers, do dishes, hunt squirrels, etc. I usually end up reading in the middle of the day. Most of my TV watching is during prime time. I usually got two or three shows each night except for Friday and Saturday night when we watch Netflix movie DVD's together.

Looking forward to True Blood coming back on! I loves me some True Blood!

Art

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662920 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/30/2012 11:50 PM
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A side benefit of that is that in my search for cheap/free books, I often hit Gutenberg Press and pick up pretty obscure books.

Have you ever read a book titled "Emmaline" by Judith Rossner? I can't believe this book hasn't been made into a movie.

It was a tear-jerker and the ending so shocking I won't give it away here.

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Author: catmeyoo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662925 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/31/2012 12:14 AM
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Right now I'm reading Amy Tan's book "The Opposite of Fate." I've got a stack of books that I've got piled up after I finish Amy Tan's book. -- Art

I love Amy Tan and her writings about her relationship with her mom and her life in the Bay Area.. She was always supportive of the public library, speaking at many of our main and branch library programs and reading from her works. One of our librarians Judy Yung, who worked at SFPL for many years, began to write books about Chinese American women, the immigrant experience, etc. and eventually left her librarian job to do full time work researching, writing and co writing, mostly about the Chinese in the Bay Area. A third public library Chinese American woman writer supporter from the area was Maxine Hong Kingston, much acclaimed Bay Area scholar. She also was kind enough to speak to audiences at our library programs for free when asked. Although she majored in engineering at Berkeley later on she decided she wanted to write and switched to English for graduate studies, and taught at Berkeley for many years. Her Woman Warrier; Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction one year and her book China Men was awarded the National Book Award one year.

You know who else was very generous with her time—-the wealthy and best--selling romance writer Danielle Steel, who lived with all her children in the Spreckles Mansion, San Francisco.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Spreckles+Mansion+San+Fr...

She did not want to appear at a public program, but she volunteered to spend time in the afternoons reading books for our Library of the Blind branch which happened to be in the Presidio Branch close to her home where she could walk over and record. She spent many hours doing that in this tiny recording room in the basement of the Presidio Branch and asked that we not publicize or make a big deal of it. She would always come in wearing a headscarf and dark glasses so as not to be recognized on the street.

Amy Tan plays with the famous rock band The Rock Bottom Remainders, which include people like Dave Barry, Maya Angelou, Ridley Pearson, , Barbara Kingsolver, Greg Iles—they played several times through the years at the American Library Association conventions. In fact I see they are playing at the ALA Convention in Los Angeles this summer.
http://rockbottomremainders.com/

And they played at many other bookish and not so bookish events.

I just learned there is a 1994 book about their experiences called Mid-Life Confidential:The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude by Roy Jr. Blount, Stephen King, Ridley Pearson and Dave Berry. It is already out of print or quickly going out. I found a “very good” copy to order for 75 cents and 3.99 postage. I’m so glad I decided to respond about Amy Tan, otherwise I would not have found this book.

You and Bonnie should get yourselves to San Francisco for Chinese New Year some time Art. It is so much fun, the weather is great, the festivities are glorious and the food is delicious. 2013 is the Year of the Snake and the activities start in early February. If I had any ambition I would get myself there, but then there is my little cat family, you know how it is. Excuses, excuses.

http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/casfmenu/a/chinese_new_year...

--from Wikipedia:
“The Rock Bottom Remainders were a rock and roll band consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language book, magazine, and newspaper authors. The band took its self-mocking name from the publishing term remaindered book, a work of which the unsold remainder of the publisher's stock of copies is sold at a reduced price. Their performances collectively raised $2 million for charity from their concerts.

The band's members included Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, as well as professional musicians Josh Kelly on drums, and Erasmo Paulo on saxophone. Founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark[1] died on May 24, 2012.[2] The original band members collaborated on a book about the band, Mid-Life Confidential. Published author Al Kooper also was a member for some time.”

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Author: Art53 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 662950 of 744482
Subject: Re: A shelf full of books about books Date: 12/31/2012 9:28 AM
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"A third public library Chinese American woman writer supporter from the area was Maxine Hong Kingston, much acclaimed Bay Area scholar." - Catmeyoo

I've read that book! It was excellent! I think I've read the one about Woman Warrior, girlhood among ghosts too.

"Amy Tan plays with the famous rock band The Rock Bottom Remainders, which include people like Dave Barry, Maya Angelou, Ridley Pearson, , Barbara Kingsolver, Greg Iles—they played several times through the years at the American Library Association conventions."

There is a chapter in the book I'm reading now about Amy Tan playing in the rock band. It's pretty funny. I was wondering how her husband, "Lou" , felt about her taking off to pay with her band? They got married the same year we did. Amy Tan is one year older than I am.

"You and Bonnie should get yourselves to San Francisco for Chinese New Year some time Art. It is so much fun, the weather is great, the festivities are glorious and the food is delicious. 2013 is the Year of the Snake and the activities start in early February."

I was born in a Snake Year so next year is supposed to be my year. A Snake year is supposed to be my lucky year. The problem with me traveling is my arthritis in my hips and back. When I wake up in the morning I'm really achey and it takes me quite a while to get going in the morning. I hobble around the house when I first wake up. I use a cane to kind of balance myself. It really is painful. I take Naproxen (generic Aleve) twice a day.

Anyway, so yes I still travel some, but it is quite onerous and when I wake up and don't feel good I'm grouchy and don't want to interact with people or go anywhere. I just want to be left alone till I'm feeling better.

"Founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark[1] died on May 24, 2012.[2] The original band members collaborated on a book about the band, Mid-Life Confidential. Published author Al Kooper also was a member for some time.”

The older we get the more of our generation that will have died and crossed over. A couple of years ago I remember my father in law (RD) making the comment "everyone I know is dead!" He said it in a funny way. RD died on January 10th of this year so soon he will have been dead for a year. He was a Church of Christ preacher so he was always saying funny things.


Art

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