I’m doing it again. Worrying about my reading speed. For someone who usually reads 10 books in a month, I shouldn’t ever have to worry about this. But it’s just so funny that I’m not reading at my normal speed, held up by both my blogging and my continued interest in non-fiction books. I have always loved to read about history (and politics, more recently), but having that interest supersede my fiction reading is unusual. Does it have anything to do with my reading goals for the year? I don’t think so. I can get the latest fantasy books from any library, if I want to, without having to buy them (this doesn’t keep me from wanting to buy them, however).
I’m blaming my reading issues in February on there being less days in that month. Surely I could’ve managed another book, if I’d just had 31 days. What were the creators of February thinking? But rather than run into a last minute fiction force-feeding, in record time, I thought I’d have it easier this month. I finished reading In Defense of Thomas Jefferson: The Sally Hemings Scandal, just a couple of days into March.
Then, I told myself I needed to read something light and fictional, before picking up either The South Was Right! (James R. Kennedy & Walter D. Kennedy) or The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism (Michael J. Behe). Why couldn’t I have found the box, in my storage unit, with Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution? Or The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God, by Lee Strobel? For some reason, I was really wishing I could start with those. Oh, well. I’ll have to get them from a different library, because Cooper Library doesn’t have them.
When you’re fully into non-fiction mode, I’ve found it can be very difficult to switch over to fiction mode. Usually, I’m in fiction mode, with a sideswipe at history, here and there. Turning on my Kindle Fire, I made myself open up 100 Cupboards, by N. D. Wilson, which I hadn’t read yet, though I downloaded it months ago.
I was pleasantly surprised by the book, as it completely immersed me in the town of Henry, Kansas, and the descriptions were so good, you could practically chew on them. You were so set in the realistic family, with the father being seemingly uninteresting (at first), and yet capable of quoting Shakespeare and even turning the words to his own purpose, making both him (and his words) funny and impressive. The fantasy part of the tale sneaks up on you, as the curiosity of the children leads you to uncover one cupboard after another. Literally. By the time I was finished, I was ready to read the second book, immediately.
My head really wanted to leave the fiction behind, but I kept telling myself I needed a few more fiction books under my belt, first. Of course, being on spring break will help me catch up, but there are so many other things I need to be doing! It’s not just a week for goofing off, as much as I would like to do so!
The time had come for another foray into a Georgette Heyer book. I will try to resist the urge to preach on this subject, as I do so often on this blog. Suffice it to say, Heyer is the queen of the Regency romance, and she will never be beaten. If you judge her books by the genre, you have already sold yourself short, and missed some of the funniest, most clever tales of REAL people you’ll ever come across. So, I picked up Sprig Muslin, and dove into a story that I’ve read so many times before, but it never gets old.
After that, I braved the Cooper Library’s kids’ section, trying to avoid being in the full view of any of the college students. It’s not that I mind anyone knowing what I read, but when they’re all sitting around studying so hard, it made me want to squirm. Would them seeing me be like I was showing off that I could read fun stuff, or would I just feel like I was reading childish things? I didn’t want to find out, so I stayed amidst the shelves.
I carried away Cybele’s Secret, by Juliet Marillier, along with a few other books. Several years ago, I read Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing, which was based on the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I remember enjoying it immensely, but the details of the story are a bit vague in my memory. Now, I’m going to have to read that one again, because I absolutely loved this one. Cybele’s Secret continues the story of one of the sisters, as she accompanies her father on a trading expedition to Istanbul, Turkey.
The story contains both adventure and romance, of course, but what I really enjoyed was how the author dwells on the joys that come with being with family and looking at a person’s character, rather than their outward appearance or occupation. In the original story, the sisters were very close, and this comes across in the new book, even without all the sisters being present. And without giving away the ending, I was thrilled to find that the story didn’t just end with a kiss and a promise of a happy future. It ended with a return to family and taking that loved one into the fold, reminding you that others are involved in your life, even when you’re wrapped up in the discovery of true love. Only THEN did it end with a kiss. : )
Now, I’ve started reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, and I don’t really know what to think of it. I’ve never read Shiver, or any of her other books, because I didn’t feel the need for another tale of a girl and a werewolf that have to be together, no matter what the consequences. Yes, I know that might not be the story at all, but how many teen novels out there are about falling in love with love, and giving up your family and who you are, in order to be with that person? Selfishness reins, in some of those books, and I like to remember what love is really like.
Thus far, it is very well written, and I enjoy the characters, but it isn’t a very happy book. The characters seem to brood, and the water horses are quite frightening. A secluded island, perched on the edge of a brutal sea, peopled by lives regularly touched by tragedy. I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve finished it.
And I’ll probably continue to tell of my “woes”, as I try and reach my book goals, while reading my way through the history sections of the library. It’s definitely a challenge.