Truthful Tuesday: More on Reading Preferences

Truthful Tuesday continues this week on the subject of books and reading.

  1. Are there any books that you can read over and over again, and never seem to tire of?
    Yes, but not too many times and usually there is a space of several years between readings. I have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice three or four times, and some of her other novels twice. Like I said, I have to be in the right frame of mind, so it doesn’t happen a lot. There are just so many books and so little time!!
  2. Have any of your favorite authors written any books that you just didn’t care for?
    Of course. No author writes a masterpiece every time, and of course, what constitutes a masterpiece is a matter of opinion usually. One of my favorite authors is Barbara Kingsolver, and I will usually buy and/or read anything she writes that I come across, but occasionally it doesn’t interest me much. Not all of Jane Austen’s novels are great, but the worst is the one she didn’t finish, and the version I have, the author who finished it for her wrote a very dull tale. Sometimes an author will write a trilogy or a series of books about the same topic, or set in the same place or with the same characters, but then I decide to read something else he/she has written, and don’t care for it. This happens especially with mystery writers who then write something else. I’m sure there are other examples but I can’t think of them right now.
  3. When it comes books, do you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction? The genre is unimportant.
    I like both fiction and non-fiction. I actually got on a non-fiction jag for awhile, but non-fiction books often take more time to read so fiction is easier. But you know what they say: Truth can be stranger than fiction!

    Also I am in some book groups so I read whatever the book selected is, whether fiction or non-fiction. I like book groups because I get out of my comfort zone and read something different, and often it is wonderful!

    My favorite genre is historical fiction, where I can learn about a time and place and at the same time enjoy the story. The only problem is knowing which parts are true and which are not. But usually I don’t care too much.

Truthful Tuesday: Reading

Frank has some great questions this week for Truthful Tuesday about one of my favorite subjects: books and reading!!

The Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself an avid reader?
    Not “avid” but enthusiastic, for sure! (Avid is a woman in one of my book groups who checks out ten books a week and finishes them all! I actually have a life outside reading!) I grew up being encouraged to read, and I read a lot of the books kids, particularly girls, read in those days. But I wasn’t a great reader because it took me a long time to read most books. I avoided classes and majors that required a lot of reading, to my detriment. I now know why: I have ADHD, and get distracted, so if I’m not totally engaged, I will forget what I’ve read by the time I get to the end of a page or am thinking about something else and not what is on the page.

    When I was in my early 30s, I resolved to become a better reader, and set a goal for myself of 12 books per year – doable, only one per month, but more than I had been reading. One of the authors that inspired me to read more was Jane Austen, and I read all of her books as well as some “spin-offs” and “fan fiction.” My resolve to read 12 books a year put me on track to read more and regularly. Especially after I retired, I’ve been reading more and more. Now I have an account on Goodreads, which has a reading challenge every year. I set my own goal (which is now 40 books a year) and am conscientious about achieving it! I’m also in two book groups, so I read different types of books.
  2. What was the last book you read all the way through, and how long did it take you?
    Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal, picked by a book group I participate in. This book is Pride & Prejudice updated to Pakistan in 2000-2001. Being a Jane Austen fan, I found the story highly entertaining. It took me 4-5 days to read it. If I really love a book, I will spend hours reading, neglecting my blog for days!
  3. Are there any books that, try as you might, you just haven’t been able to bully your way through?
    I’ve been trying to get through a book of speeches by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I read a page or two, then go back to another book I’m reading (I often read more than one book at a time) that I enjoy more. I’ve been on page 204 for weeks. I want to finish it, but I don’t know when and if I will.

Monday Peeve

Paula at Light Motifs II has a weekly forum for people to let off steam!! It’s the Monday Peeve!

monday peeve kitty cat

Paula was talking about unreliable narrators in novels and it made me think about the book I just finished, which I really liked, called Homelands by Alfredo Corchado. The book is non-fiction, a memoir about binationality and immigration. Being an immigrant from Mexico, like three other friends, pulls him in different directions. Is he American or Mexican? Anyway, this isn’t a book review so I will get to the point!

He often injects conversations into the narrative. Although he starts a new paragraph, he DOESN’T USE QUOTATION MARKS! So it gets confusing when you are not quite sure if the person is speaking or not. He doesn’t make a distinction, except to start a new paragraph. Further confusing the issue, he will refer to the person who’s speaking only as he or she, and because he often goes on tangents, it’s not clear who “he” or “she” is. The use of pronouns isn’t enough when you are reading a tangent about something that happened in the past, with no real break between that and the “present-day” narrative.

Relatively minor, but it’s only a peeve after all! I will give my rating on Goodreads as I do with all my books, but he loses a star for this lack of quotation marks and the resulting confusion!

I do recommend the book, however, for readers who want to know what it’s like to be an immigrant, especially from Mexico, from the inside – that is, the immigrant him/herself, not a narrative of someone looking at it from the outside.

CFFC: Homophones & Homographs

English is such a crazy language! I’m glad I don’t have to learn it as a foreigner! We have many words with more than one pronunciation (homographs), and many words that sound alike but are spelled differently (homophones). Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week plays on the theme of red: a pair of homophones RED – READ; a pair of homographs READ (present tense) and READ (past tense); and another homophone pairing: READ and REED. So here are my REDS, READS and REEDS.

RED: (adjective) a bright primary color

Partial view of a park from a large sculpture with a red hole in the middle
An inviting little table at an Airbnb apartment near Paris
Our neighbor showed off his new toy: a snazzy, shiny, red sporty car!
An intelligent take off of MAGA (and red like MAGA hats!). I saw this sticker sign in Chicago.

READ: (verb) past tense of read: I read an entire book yesterday. But I have not read any of the books in the two photos below, which are written in other languages.

I wonder who has read these sacred Islamic books?
I wonder how many ancient Egyptians read The Book of the Dead in hieroglyphics?

READ: (verb) present tense. I like to read every day.

What book do I read in this photo? I don’t remember!
Sometimes I read magazines.
No one can read this book (except the pages I’m sitting on!) – it is a stone monument to the Russian author Pushkin, in St. Petersburg.

REED: (noun) any of several species of large aquatic grasses, such as those pictured below.

FPQ: Best and Worst of Book-to-Film

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week is: What movie adaptation of a book you have read before you saw the movie has done the best job when it comes to casting the actor (or actors) in the movie to match your image you had of that character (or those characters) in the book. Conversely, what movie adaptation has done the worst job of matching the casting of the characters to those you envisioned in your head.

I thought it would be impossible for me to answer this question, because I really don’t see many movies these days. But then I remembered the Harry Potter series.

I read the first book long before the movie came out, but as I watched it, I remember thinking that the casting and set design were perfect – as if Hogwarts jumped out of my brain the way I had envisioned it and projected that way on the screen. I think overall I enjoyed all the Harry Potter movies more than the books, but the books were good, too. And the best adaptations (at least the ones I thought about) were the first four books.

Rupert Grint with his fiery red hair and zany expression was a perfect Ron Weasley. And Alan Rickman as Snape – nobody could have done that role better, with his deep voice and cynic tone. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry was perfect – his dark hair with bangs hanging over his scar, his round glasses – the glasses made him seem vulnerable and I think the author, J.K. Rowling, intended it that way. She was involved in the making of the films, so that may be the reason why the adaptations – characters, sets, everything – were so good. The photo below is how they looked in the first movie – so British and a look of mischief on Ron’s and Harry’s faces!

Now for the worst – it was easy to come up with several candidates for worst casting, but the most glaring difference, in my opinion, between book and film was A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. The director of the movie, Ken Kwapis, cut a lot of the plot because it didn’t make sense with the actors chosen for the two leads – aging Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. While these guys are both fine actors, and perhaps their star status was what the casting director was thinking of, the story was ruined by the fact that these actors were TOO OLD! In the book, the two guys hiking the Appalachian Trail were middle aged, and one of them was quite physically fit. Some of the things that happened in the story (the book) were just not plausible for two old guys to do. As a result, the movie was nearly unrecognizable as the same story as the book. In fact, I read the book and saw the movie to participate in a Book-to-Film group at by our public library. While I was in this group, I saw several very good matches of book to film, but this was not one of them. The other people in the group had similar feelings.

Read the book A Walk in the Woods. Don’t watch the movie. Here’s a photo of the book cover:

LAPC: The Objects of My Every Day

P.A. Moed is the host for this week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Objects.

I bought this little metal sculpture of a javelina at a street fair in Tucson, Arizona. Its home is in front of my fireplace. One of my cat’s toys is under her chin right now. (My cat’s favorite toys are balls that she rolls around the house until they get stuck somewhere.)
This is one of my ‘Covid-19 pandemic’ pictures. Our food is delivered to our door every day and often includes either bananas or oranges.
Another ‘Covid-19 pandemic’ picture – we had accumulated several masks and a pair of plastic gloves that had been sitting around forever, so I found a little basket to put the masks in. Now we always know where to find a clean mask!
I originally took this photo for another photo challenge – maybe favorite snacks?
Another pandemic picture from early in the lockdown – our TV set, mounted on the wall, tuned to our community’s closed caption channel which that day was broadcasting a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
An everyday object – a pencil – in an unusual place: stuck in a display of evergreens.

Here’s a gallery of some things I’ve photographed in the past.

FDDA 22: I Write Because I Must

Faandango’s Dog Days of August 22 prompt is: Why writing matters to you.

Why do I write? I always have and probably always will. I blog, I write a journal (although far from daily), I write poems, essays, and autobiographical pieces mostly.

When I hear something about Trump that is particularly egregious, I will expound on the topic in order to get out my feelings and frustrations. These rants are part of my journaling, but sometimes I can develop them into decent essays to use for my “public” writing – either my blog or in my writing group. I have even written letters to the editor to be printed in our local newspaper.

When I am pondering a big or serious problem, I write to organize my thoughts. Sometimes this helps me come up with a solution.

I write in order to remember things (and almost forgot that I intended to write “I write in order to remember things” just now!). I have a poor memory and writing things down makes meaning for me, fixes the information in my mind. Sometimes people will see me taking notes at a lecture and ask me why I do it – I do it to remember it! But not only that, I also write to keep me from getting distracted.

In other words, I write to focus my thoughts.

Writing has always come easily to me and I love to do it. I’ve been writing stories and narratives since I was a kid. Once I learned to write and spell, I began writing coherently (but even before that, I wrote random letters because I liked it). I usually illustrated what I wrote, because I also like to draw. I dreamed of being a famous author one day. That never happened, but it’s okay – it doesn’t matter anymore. Although I am working on a book about my ancestors, I have put it aside after writing six chapters but vow I will get back to it.

Writing is something I’m good at. I write because I must.

I love words and language and I’m a stickler for grammar and spelling!!

Reading is important too – reading helps a writer write better. I do a lot of reading now, but I didn’t when I was younger, because I got distracted easily. Certain writing styles inspire me and if I read a lot of books by the same author, I start imitating their style by injecting it into my writing.

Nowadays, I seldom write longhand – typing is infinitely easier and since word processing was invented, it’s so much easier to edit. If I don’t have access to a computer, then I will write longhand – such as when we are on an overseas trip. A notebook is one of the first things that I pack! I endeavor to write a journal every night when we are back from sightseeing, which lasts a week if I really persevere, less than that if I’m too tired. Plus my handwriting is deteriorating as I get older.

Now I usually write a few things during my travels, but mostly use my photos to help me remember what happened and when, and then I write about it when I’m back home. An example of this is my travel journal and blogging, notably my Journey to Egypt posts. It helps me relive the experience, which is even more important now that I cannot travel due to the pandemic.

Writing ties into almost everything else I love to do – reading, photography, drawing, making scrapbooks (nowadays these are photo books that I create online). Sometimes I am inspired to write a book review, and have been known to keep a food & weight journal. I would write inspirational things to keep me motivated on my “weight loss journey.”

Writing is part of who I am. That’s why writing matters to me.

45 Best Resume Tips & Tricks (Writing Advice & Samples)

All pictures downloaded from Google Images.

SYW: On Waiting, Refrigerators, Speaking, and Elevators

I love starting the new week with Melanie’s Share Your World!

Questions:

WHERE DO YOU NOT MIND WAITING?
I don’t mind waiting almost anywhere if I have either a charged phone or tablet, or a book with me. If I’m in the middle of a good book, I actually LIKE waiting, so I have a good reason to read!  I’m fine if I’m not overheated or in a crowd of people.

WHAT IS IN YOUR FRIDGE RIGHT NOW?
It’s chock full of lots of leftovers and produce we purchased yesterday at the farmer’s market. The door shelves have drinks and condiments. There is literally no room in there for even one item more!

IF YOU COULD ONLY SPEAK ONE WORD TODAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Wow, that’s hard – I can’t imagine only being able to say a single word in a day – it reminds me of a book I read where girls and women were restricted to only 100 words a day. 

It would depend on the day. If I were in the middle of something and wanted to be left alone, I guess I would say, “Leave!” Then I’d use gestures to get my point across.

WOULD YOU RATHER BE TRAPPED IN AN ELEVATOR FULL OF MEN WITH BO OR WITH THREE SOAKED DOGS? (THIS ASSUMES THERE IS NO COVID-19.)
COVID-19 or not, I would probably prefer the dogs. Men (or women) with B.O. is absolutely the worst smell in the world – it makes me gag! In fact, I even thought of it a couple of weeks ago when one of the SYW questions was what is the worst smell.

GRATITUDE:
I am grateful for all the people in society who wear masks in public and maintain 6 feet of distance. These are the people who care about others and realize that when living in a society, one has rights but also responsibilities. Taking these simple measures during a pandemic makes sense and is for the well-being of all.

I am also grateful for Mary Trump, whose book comes out this week. Anything that will help people understand how dangerous 4 more years of Donald Trump would be, so they will vote him out of office, deserves my gratitude.

Book Challenge: Classics, Cover Art & Personal Reading

Day 28: Classic novel you haven’t read but plan to: I looked up my “want to read” books on Goodreads, and right at the top was Middlemarch by George Eliot. There are 57 books currently on my “want to read” list on Goodreads! And instead of reading them, I read other books that interest me at a particular time.

Day 29: Book cover you love: That’s a hard one! Some books are great but their covers are awful. Yet I suppose people may be attracted to a book by its cover art. The cover I love is a book I have not read, but the cover art is by Gustav Klimt. It is a biography of the artist, Gustav Klimt: 1862-1918 by by Gilles Néret.

Day 30: Book you are reading right now: I’m just starting 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is not one of his usual horror books and is the book that will be reviewed in September at one of the book groups I am in. It is a very long book (!) about a time traveler who tries to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. In order to read it, I am putting aside The Twelfth Transforming by Pauline Gedge, a novel of ancient Egypt set in the time of the “heretic” king Akhenaten. (I’m obsessed with ancient Egypt right now – it takes my mind off the pandemic and Trump.) This is also a long book, but it’s on my Kindle and the Stephen King book is from the library.

Thank you, Sandman Jazz for this June challenge!