Posted by: turtlebella | 21 August 2007

Yippee! Another reading meme!

Now that I’m not an academic anymore, I spend all my time reading books. Well, almost all my time. I do spend some time doing continuing education for Nia. And I am still revising articles from my dissertation (and soon to be for the post-doc paper perhaps). Otherwise, I read, a lot. It’s not a bad thing. After all, as the t-shirt I am wearing today (really! just a coincidence!) says, “reading is sexy.”* I’m sure this is way more than anyone would possibly want to know. But it amused me to write it.

I saw this one at Bookworm‘s.

What are you reading right now?

Torregreca: Life, Death, and Miracles in a Southern Italian Village by Ann Cornelisen. Also, the Blue Guide to Southern Italy by Paul Blanchard and Michelin The Green Guide to Italy. All of these in preparation for our upcoming visit to Campania, Basilicata, and Puglia.

But also, History Lesson for Girls by Auelie Sheehan because I need a novel. (Torregreca is technically a novel, but it reads more like not a novel, more like a memoir).

I’ve also been a bit on a fluffdom jag, so also reading Bidding for Love, by Katie Fforde. So fluffy I’m a bit ashamed to admit it. The funny thing is, I only read British so-called chick-lit. For some reason, it seems more justifiable.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?h22349neapolisdewit.jpg

Uh, yeah. I have to have books lined up or I get antsy.

Seasons in Basilicata: a year in a southern Italian hill village by David Yeadon. This is what originally inspired this trip to southern Italy but it deserves a re-read as the first time was a couple of years ago now. Does it sound like I’m planning on moving to southern Italy? Well, I wish. But also- it’s incredibly hard to find information about southern Italy, aside from tidbits in the Green Guide and the brand new edition of the Blue Guide.

And because I need to read a novel, Pushed to Shore, by Kate Gadbow.

For my fluffdon needs, something by Carola Dunn.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?

There aren’t any. I don’t read in the bathroom and actually I’ve never really understood this behavior. But the magazines in my living room (that I actually do read!), Dwell and Cooks Illustrated, and Saveur.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?

Unlike Julie and the sqvirrel, I read everything I was supposed to in high school. So I’d have to admit to hating, just hating, Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Tess may have been an example of a ‘new’ woman but she drove me nuts.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

jhumpa-lahiri.jpgThere isn’t just one, I don’t think. This is like asking me what my very favorite book is. Just.can’ Okay, I’ve consulted the sqvirrel and he says that he has often heard me recommend Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. And yeah, I love those stories. And the Pulitzer committee (there’s a committee, right?) can’t be wrong either! And I’m sorry, but how gorgeous is Lahiri?! Not that this should be a criteria. But jeez oh man.
Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?

No, there always seems to be someone different when I go there. My neighborhood branch is mostly a children’s library so I only go to pick up things that I’ve put on hold from the other neighborhood branches. Now, they do recognize me at my independent bookstore, Common Good Books, and I am on their frequent reader list, so I do get credit to use towards a purchase every time I go there.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?

Emotionally Weird, by Kate Atkinson. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read it, in the teens probably. It comforts me, somehow. Everyone else finds it contrived or something.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving?

Eat, yes. I was never allowed to do this when I was a kid. One of the things I swore I would do upon growing up. Bathe, yes. Is there anything more indulgent than reading in the bath? Heaven. Watch movies or TV, sometimes (although usually I’m blogging, surfing the web, or playing Spider solitaire while watching TV). Listening to music, yes. Everything else, no. Although I once did read while in a long drive-thru line at a Wendy’s. But I felt really bad about it.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?

Uh, yeah. But really, that was the least of it.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

The Attack, by Yasmina Khadra. Completely and utterly devastating. Not sure I put it down once I started reading it.

*I get lots of comments about this shirt (which I bought through most people think I readingispink_med.jpgmust be a librarian, like only librarians are allowed to like books? Probably I should have been a librarian when I grew up. But. I had bad librarian role models. My high school librarians were mean. I don’t know why. But they should have loved me, I mean no one had checked out Windswept, by Mary Ellen Chase and the like since 1965 or whatever. I’d become one now, but I have a feeling that 1) you have to get a degree in library science and thank you very much I am so not going back to grad school, and 2) it’s probably not just about reading, anyway.



  1. I’d be a librarian too, if it weren’t for that stupid degree. I actually did go to library school for a while. I quit halfway through. It was horrible. However, there was one class which I adored, called Collection Development, which was all about reading.

  2. AH, southern Italy. Wish I could go.

    Love the shirt, by the way. I might need one.

  3. The tshirt is the best. The artist that makes them also does a tshirt that says, “knitting is knotty.” Very cute.

    Yeah, grad school: no way! Can’t they just let us be librarians. How hard can the dewey decimal system be, anyway? And does anyone still use it?

    This morning I heard on the radio that my city may have to close library branches or reduce staff salaries due to budget shortfalls. I want to cry! I’m hoping that because my neighborhood branch is brand new they won’t close it. But then I don’t want anyone else’s branch to close either! :(

  4. Great answers!

    I liked Tess, I have to say (the book, not the heroine), but I always appreciated Jude the Obscure more.

  5. Aliki, I have a feeling I probably would have liked the book more if I read it as an adult! Maybe then I could have separated the book from its heroine. As it was… And of course, this has kept me from reading other Thomas Hardy novels or even seeing the movies!

  6. Congratulations! A Blog really interesting. Best regards.

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