Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Salon 5 - Back to Basics

My original thought for today's post was what works well for your blog. Then after this past weekend's discussion I drafted up an entire post about my current discontent with blogging. The act of writing the post was very cathartic, but I felt that if I published my thoughts I would be perpetuating not only my discontent, but the discontent of others as well. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what my opinions are. Well, they matter to me, of course, but I am not going to use my blog and other people's blogs to voice those opinions anymore. I apologize if anything I have said has offended anyone. Truly, it was not my intention. There has been so much contention lately and frankly, I don't want to be apart of it. It makes me anxious and sad and fretful and worrisome and I don't need that negativity to be part of my life.

A small and short note on last Sunday's post. My conversation on Sunday was not meant to stir the pot and tick people off. I don't twitter or subscribe to every book blog, so I was not privy to all of the current discussions on ARCs other than the discussion on Bethany and Trish's blogs about negative reviews. If I had known there were so many, I would have read through those comments instead of starting my own discussion (regular readers will know that I don't try to start controversial topics here). I am not anti-ARC or against bloggers who accept ARCs/review copies. How silly would that be? I was personally just curious how people felt--to be honest because my own review of a book I received for a blog tour wasn't as successful as my other posts. I think for the most part the commenters did a good job of expressing how they felt rather than attacking other people, although we all do have our own opinions. End note. :)

Over the past few months I thought about giving up blogging for oooh about .5 seconds. Then I thought much more seriously about taking a blogging break. I've decided that neither are fair to me. I do blog for myself. Even before blogging I kept a journal of the books I've read. Even if I stopped blogging, I would still write my thoughts down. The added bonus is that I sometimes get to enter into discussions about what you thought as well. And then there is the double bonus of learning about new books and genres. And then the triple bonus of meeting all of you. I have been blessed Blessed to have met such wonderful people who share my passion. Without you I'd be rather lonely in my little book world. You've enriched my reading life and I can't thank you enough.

So, I'm taking a really really deep cleansing breath and I'm getting back to what I love: books. And the people. Keeping it simple and not worrying so much about things that in the grand scheme of things just don't matter. I have always loved that bloggers have been so respectful and accepting and I am going to do my part to uphold that. There has been too much hurt being passed around lately, and I think we could all do better to remember that bloggers are real people with real feelings. I don't mean to lecture, but I think it is easy to forget that everyone is his/her own person.

The books. What am I reading now? A few weeks ago I posted about books that intimidate me. Because I got a little ahead during the read-a-thon, I am taking the time to face my intimidation and fears and slowly read Middlemarch. My copy is 840 pages long and I'm not going to lie and tell you that I understand everything that is going on! Sometimes I feel like Ms. Eliot is too smart for me, but I'm not giving up. But I'm over a fourth of the way through and mostly enjoying my slow journey.

Next up is Oscar Wao for my face-to-face book club (I'll have to take a break from Middlemarch to read it). I chose the book and am really excited about it, but also a little nervous because just recently I found out that there is a lot of language and sexual content? For just me that would be fine as long as it isn't gratuitous, but it makes me apprehensive to have picked a book that others might find offensive (this is a work book club). I know many of you have read it and really liked it--any words of reassurance?

I still have a few reviews that I need to get out--Fun Home and Beedle the Bard--from the read-a-thon. The first I want to re-read again because I loved it so much and feel it deserves a closer reading. The second needs a re-read because at 5:00 in the morning, my eyes were really just glazing over the words. Yup, no retention there! Having those reviews in my back pocket makes me feel a little bit better about taking several weeks on Middlemarch. But I will conquer! Maybe East of Eden after that since so many of you chastised me for being intimdated of it! :)

Next week's Sunday Salon? If I can get my act together, my topic will be influence. I'm really excited but it will take some time to get everything together.

I hope everyone has a really wonderful week. I'm actually in Salt Lake right now (well, I will be...I'm writing this post on Thursday!!) spending time with my grandparents. I'll be behind in bloghopping for at least a few days, but I'll be around.

42 comments:

Amanda said...

I need to read East of Eden soon, too.

I had no idea your last salon resulted in controversy! I hope no one got angry at you. :(

Elise said...

I am actually reading Oscar Wao right now. I am only about 60 pages in but like it so far. There definitely is bad language (strong bad language) & sex, but (so far) I haven't been offended & the sex hasn't been gratuitous. The only other complaint that I have is that there is some Spanish mixed through. Most of it I know, but there is some slang & I have no idea what it means. I asked one of my students (who actually lent me the book & who's first language is Spanish) & he said that most of it is Dominican slang, so he didn't know what it meant either. Let me know what you think, esp. because you will probably finish it before me!

Oh & also - please read East of Eden. It is one of my all time favorite books & I am actually planning a reread of it this summer.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I remember when I first read "The Naked and The Dead" by Norman Mailer, back in the days where you just didn't use "language" in a book and so he used the euphemism "fug." And (being pretty naive at the time) the whole I was reading the book I was trying to figure out what in the world that meant. But basically I think that, especially with sexual content, you can be so much more effective by suggestion, just letting the reader's imagination take hold.

Diane said...

I really enjoyed Oscar Wao! Hope you do too.

claire said...

I'm hoping to read Oscar Wao and Middlemarch sometime this year, too. I read through your intimidation post and have read only Karamazov and Queen Loana from your list. I really loved both, but basically I love everything I read from both authors. I have an intimidation list myself, and it's very long. One of the books I'm afraid to touch right now is Ulysses. I also was very intimidated by Proust but have just finished his first book and am so gratified. I think that the intimidation really only stays there when we haven't started reading. But when we do, the feeling fades away and we just treat it like any other book, ready for us to make an escape. Good luck in your current reading! Happy Sunday! :D

Richard said...

I'm sure everybody would agree that you need to do what you need to do, Trish, but I didn't see anything negative in either last week's post or in the zillions of comments that it inspired. Just seemed like a healthy discussion to me! I'd actually be fascinated in reading what you wrote up for this week but don't want to publish--but I'm just glad you want to keep blogging in whichever direction you end up taking. You do great work here!

Vasilly said...

Trish, your post last Sunday was great! I don't think you hurt anyone's feelings. You're right about the negativity that has been going around lately. I don't know what's going on but Marie at Bostonbibliphile called it "growing pains". I think she's right. This negativity wasn't around at the beginning of this year.

I've taken blogging breaks since I started blogging but it was because of hectic schedules. One of my favorite things about belonging to the blogging community is finding people who share in my passion of books and reading. Most bloggers don't get that in their everyday lives.

About Middlemarch, there is a 5-year challenge going on to read the books we think we "should've" read already. I joined a while ago. You don't have to join, but they are having a May read-along of Middlemarch.

http://fillinthegaps100.blogspot.com/2009/04/middlemay.html

I hope you get to East of Eden one day. It's my favorite Steinbeck read.

Happy Sunday and have a great week.

verbatim said...

I read your post about ARCs but never got around to reading the comments -- seems like it was a touchy subject? You've never been anything but respectful of other people, Trish, so if some were offended I think the lesson is that if one writes anything of substance at all, there is bound to be someone, somewhere who will be offended. I would certainly miss reading your blog if it
weren't around, so I'm delighted that you haven't given that much thought! I did enjoy Oscar but the prevalence of Spanish in the book was disruptive to my reading. I'll be interested to see what you think.

Lezlie said...

Good for you, Trish! Both for continuing your blog for *you* and for tackling Middlemarch. :-) And I agree with Richard. I didn't see anything bad come out of your post last week. I thought the discussion was most interesting!

Lezlie

Molly said...

Great posts -- both last week and this week!!!

I had to read Middlemarch for a class last summer. I did enjoy it - but I know I missed a lot. I would love to re-read again VERY slowly (and I agree, Ms. Eliot is an incredibly intellectual woman).

Melissa said...

Trish, I really enjoy your Sunday Salon posts. I'm guilty of using mine as a week in review post most Sundays and I feel like I ought to get away from that and write more meaningful posts. I say that, but I fully intend on doing an April wrap-up post for today's, lol.

But seriously, I think last week's post was great, as was today's. I'm glad you're not taking a break from blogging and I'll look forward to reading whatever you choose to write about!

Happy Sunday!

Scrap girl said...

I really enjoyed your post last week. I don't really get the whole ARC thing as it seems to be more American based. Don't ever give up writing your blog, I love coming here and checking what you are up to. Good luck with Middlemarch.

Laura said...

I did not find your post last Sunday to be negative at all--just a great discussion point. Anyways, hopefully we can all get back to talking more about books and less about all that other stuff! :)

Go you for diving into Middlemarch! It's impressive that instead of simply letting it intimidate you, you are showing it YOU are the boss! :) I hope that you find it worthwhile in the end.

debnance said...

I wish children and those who consider themselves slow readers would see our blog posts about books that intimidate us! I think those who don't see themselves as good readers often don't realize that there are books out there that intimidate even the best of readers. And lots of those books are the ones that teachers in schools feel compelled to assign, further intimidating readers....

jacketsandcovers said...

I really enjoyed your last Sunday Salon; it was refreshing to be so honest. ARCs are such a complex issue for both book bloggers and publishers, I don’t think any one will ever see eye to eye. I bummed that people became offended, although people invariable do. I know you don’t stir the pot and never intended to with your last post; you just asked for what works for us personally when it comes to ARCs.
I think at one time or another all of us have asked why we do this. I’ve contemplated quitting every once and a while, but the I remember, like you, that I do this for me rather than anyone else. I'm glad you’re continuing your blog for you. You can't do it for anyone else.
Eliot, Steinbeck, Bronte, and Dostoevsky all scare me, and I understand that feeling of authors being too smart for me. Joseph Conrad is one of those people for me, and I had to reread passages in order to understand several times.

I haven't read Oscar Wao, but have never heard of any problems with the language and sexual content.

mjmbecky said...

You'll be in my area this weekend. :) As for your post, well said. I think we understand the gist of your thoughts, and think you had every right to explore your own thoughts. Thanks for posting. I like seeing what you have to say!

Trish said...

*Amanda - I think I was unknowingly entering an existing "controversy." No one is angry with me--at least I don't think. :) Are you reading East of Eden for you Fill in the Gaps?

*Elise - So glad you're liking Oscar Wao and don't find it too offensive! I've heard that about the Spanish...I had actually found some quotes from Diaz about the use of slang, so I'll have to share some of that in my write up. Note to self: Need to read EofE soon!! :)

*Rhapsody - I certainly agree that suggestion can sometimes have more effect than saying outright--I've definitely felt that in my experiences. I haven't read anything by Mailer!

*Diane - Glad you enjoyed Oscar! I haven't started yet, but I hope I'm in the same camp.

*Claire - Proust--LOL...definitely imtimidated by Proust. I think I'm with you on feeling the intimidation before actually reading. I have to work myself up to picking up some of these books but am usually surprised! I'm having a little bit of troubles with some of the politics in Middlemarch but am overall enjoying it.

*Richard - LOL! Something along the lines of "who cares what others are doing, stop taking yourselves so seriously!" It was a horrible tirade and it was great to write but not good to post. :) There wasn't a lot of negativity in that post, but it was one of several (that I didn't know about), so I think some people were tired of the "anti-ARC" sentiment. Oh well, let's all move on, right?

*Vasilly - I don't think it necessarily hurt people's feelings rather than just rubbed them the wrong way? And yes, absolutely I love blogging because I haven't found people who love talking books in real life. It's wonderful to be surrounded by such booklovers! I've seen the Fill in the Gaps around, I'll have to check it out.

*Verbatim - The comments were very honest but for the most part I felt they were respectful. There was a little bit of conversation on Twitter and other blogs before and after mine, so my post was just a piece to the puzzle. But thank you so much for your kind words. :) Have you read any McCarthy? He uses a lot of Spanish in his writing.

*Lezlie - Oh Middlemarch is a beast! I'll be reading it at least for another two weeks (one of those weeks I'll be reading Oscar Wao). It is slow going, but I'm glad I'm reading it. Have you read it?

*Molly - I think the parts of Middlemarch where I'm having the most trouble is with the politics. Ladislaw is just now starting to work for Brooke and Featherstone has passed and there is all of this contention and "gossip" it seems between the men of Middlemarch and I just don't get most of it. :) Did yu read it for pleasure or class?

*Melissa - Oh, use your Sunday Salon however you like!! Honestly, I don't read quickly enough for me to do a week in review. :) Especially now with Middlemarch, each week would be the same. But I enjoy reading a lot of different Sunday Salon topics--don't feel guilty!! LOL. Hope you have a great Sunday as well. I'll be here and there on the blogosphere (especially as I catch up from my vacation), but I'm not going anywhere!

*Scrap girl - Thanks for the Middlemarch well-wishes. :) I've been thinking about the International group this past week and it makes me wonder--you have the same audience that the Americans do because it is a global audience--it's not like you have less American readers than I do. Wonder why publishers haven't caught onto that. Or maybe it's simply the cost of international shipping??

*Laura - I'm going to kick that Middlemarch's butt! :) I didn't think that I was being negative in last week's post, but I think it was taken that way by some. Oh well--you can't please everyone!

*Debnance - It is interesting this business of intimidation. I'm actually a relatively slow reader and reading an 840 page book written 150 years ago is terrifying to me. What if I don't understand any of it? Luckily I am understanding *most* of it and can probably figure out the rest through conversation and the Internet. There is a lot to be said about what is assigned in schools and how it continues to perpetuate the fear in timid readers. Although, my step-sister is 17 and is loving her assigned reading this year--Catcher and To Kill a Mockingbird. I think she's thinking, hey, this stuff isn't as bad as everyone says!

*Jackets - It does feel good to be honest, and I've had an inner debate about whether or not it is good to be having these honest discussions or just letting them go. I'm trying to figure out if any good is coming of them or if it is causing a bigger rift between some bloggers? Who knows. I'll continue to be honest, but I'm not going to give my input on things that don't matter (whether to meme or not, whether to comment back or not, whether to...blah blah blah). Everyone needs to figure out what works best for him/her. And inevitably someone will get offended by some comment that wasn't meant to offend anyone. Ick! :)

Dostoevsky and Conrad scare the crud out of me, too. I had actually signed up for a Conrad course a few summers ago, but then decided to transfer schools and dropped the class. I still have the big fat volume of his works sitting on my shelf collecting dust. :)

*MJMBecky - Ah, Salt Lake? A lot of my family lives here so this is almost like a second home. I feel so lucky to know so many supportive bloggers--you guys are the best!

Nymeth said...

You're one of the sweetest bloggers out there, Trish, so I'm pretty sure everyone knows you didn't mean to be hurtful. Causing controversy also makes me extremely anxious, though, so I understand how you feel. But it's all over now, and we can go back to the friendships and book talk we're here for :)

About Oscar Wao, I actually can't remember about sexual content, but I do remember a lot of violence. It's not gratuitous at all, though...it's important and eye-opening. I never knew about the horrors that had taken place in the Dominican Republic. And this is recent history, which makes it even more shocking. As for language, I think most of the swearing is in Spanish...does that make it better? :P I'm not sure if it's just me, but swear words always seem less strong in foreign languages for some reason.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Mari said...

I have been meaning to read Middlemarch for awhile now. The length is daunting, though. :)

bermudaonion said...

I don't think anyone's feelings were hurt either. Just worry about yourself and everything will be fine.

Debi said...

I know you just want to drop it, but I just have to say that nothing you said last week, in fact, nothing I've ever heard you say, has ever sounded the least bit offensive or disrespectful of others!!! NOTHING! I'm fairly certain you don't have it in you to be rude to another human being. And that's one of the many things I adore about you, Trish! So please stop worrying, okay?

I'd really like to read East of Eden soon, too. I'm not exactly intimidated by it, but I am leery. I've only read three of his books so far. Two I loved, and one I totally despised. And I so don't want this to turn out to be another despised one, you know.

Hope you're having a wonderful, wonderful time with your grandparents, Trish!

Lezlie said...

Trish ~ I have not read it yet, but I'm pretty sure it's on one of my upcoming Teaching Company courses. It will be a while before I get there. I'll be keeping track of your experience in the meantime! :-)

Lezlie

Dar said...

I agree contention makes me sad, nervous and anxious too and I'm not really fond of that either. I did a lot of thinking after last week and after I get some of my obligations cleared out I want to get back to book basics too and enjoy some of what is hanging out on my shelves. Trish you are the sweetest person out there. I am grateful to have formed a friendship with you and I look forward to many years of great books and all that goes with it! Hope you're having a wonderful time with your grandparents.

Susan said...

I have no idea what happened, and I think I'll stay out of it if only because I'm already under duress at work, and am avoiding conflict whenever I can. Besides, I think our blogs should be a safe place to give our opinion. I really like how you say that you are doing your blog for you, and anyway you would end up writing your books down in your journal! I laughed at that, so would I - I do anyway, keep a backup list of what I've read, just in case the computer fails......I think we should be able to give our opinion about what we read, on our blogs - anyway, I just posted a so-so review of Blue Girl by Charles de Lint, which everyone else loves, so we'll see!

Take your time reading Middlemarch, because it is such a rich book, and I found that I took a two week break in the middle of it. Very rich books tend to do that to me, I find. It's like I'm pausing to sort in my mind what I've read and liked and thought, and then can go on. At least I'm reading Possession the same way too now! Very slowly and delightfully. I think of it as enjoying the rich characterization and story-telling. I hope you like Middlemarch at the end of it, I certainly did.

I really want to read Oscar Wao!

Karen Beth said...

Thanks for your heartfelt post, my dear. As a person who has barely dipped her toe in the blogosphere, although I've been blogging for years on various sites, I think one of the reasons I was so hesitant to get too deep into the book blog scene is that I felt contention and confusion being passed along from several corners. I wanted to feel the freedom of posting, not the obligation...and I certainly didn't want to get caught up in controversies or have my opinions on books swayed by those who aren't the same type of reader I am. I'm so sensitive!

That said, I am excited about the 20 or so book blogs I've started following since the read-a-thon, and the conversation and spirit of sharing that I have experienced in the past month online, and I owe it all to your friendship and your wonderful blog's influence.

Middlemarch is wonderfully difficult, isn't it? But it is very rewarding if you can stick with it. I've had to read it in three different classes now, and I can never finish it time to discuss with the class. :( Reading it on my own would be such a different experience--it's on my list for this summer and quals! Maybe we can have a few phone chats about it then? Have a safe trip home from Utah.

Amy said...

I actually long for a bit of a blogging break. I think it's okay to take one if you want to. But you should never feel forced into it!

I also hate starting controversy. Even though I've posted some things on my blog that are controversial, I do always feel anxious about it. I generally am a people pleaser. I have also, like you, written posts that never see the light of day.

As far as the books you're planning to read? I'm afraid I'm not much help!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I don't think you hurt anybody's feelings with your last post. But everybody does seem to have an opinion about ARC's. Sometimes I think we feel more stress about our posts when we put them out there and invite opinions in. And even if you weren't aware of some of the other conversations taking place, you obviously were on the same wavelength. I agree - blog for the reasons you want to blog. Why worry what everybody else is doing.

Sorry you had to get our rain in SLC this weekend. I hope you've been having a wonderful time.

christina said...

Trish - I am so glad that you are keeping your blog. I enjoy reading it too much! :)

I hear ya about the chunksters, especially classic chunksters being intimidating. Good luck.

Also, I can't wait to read your review on Fun Home. I think that I am the only one who has read it reviewed it so low. Hmmm...maybe *I* need to go and re-read it.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Wendy said...

Trish: I don't think your post last week was offensive in the least - I agree that there has been a lot of negativity of late (but more in the comments of these posts than the actual posts themselves). I think it is healthy to talk about things...and I think it is natural to question ourselves from time to time. I ended up posting something about ARC myths after your post not because of what you posted, but because of the comments I kept reading all over the place about accepting ARCs.

I admire you trying to read some books which intimidate you! I am going to tackle Midnight's Children this month which I admit is very intimidating to me! *laughs*

Melody said...

Great post, Trish!
Honestly, I don't think you had written anything negative in your last SS post, and I love a good discussion and reading everyone's opinions. :)

Back to books... I haven't read anything you listed except Beedle the Bard. That's such a fun book to read.

I hope you've a wonderful week in Salt Lake with your grandparents!

TheBlackSheep said...

Wow, who would have thought what you read and blog about could annoy people. Frankly, I come to your (and anyone else's bog), read what I want, comment when I want and scroll by the rest. Scrolling doesn't mean it's bad, just that I'm not interested for one of any number of reasons (lack of time or lack of interest in a particular book usually). Anyway, I hope that doesn't stop you from blogging in the end.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Stephanie said...

Hope you are having a great weekend with your Grandparents.

You know what? It's your blog. I don't think you should worry or stress so much about it. People like you and your reviews. They will keep coming back even if you aren't doing author interviews or blog tours. Be true to you!!

samantha.1020 said...

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Middlemarch as it intimidates me as well. And East of Eden...I'm so there with you. I want to read it but just haven't been brave enough yet :)

Jeane said...

I did notice there were lots of discussions going around, but I didn't get the impression a lot of it was negative- or hurting people. I'm glad you're going to continue blogging, I really like visiting here!

Terri B. said...

Re "eyes glazing over" ... I was reading in bed last night and suddenly realized I'd "read" about 5 pages and had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what I had just read! So, the book was put down, the lights were turned out, and this morning when I woke up I went back 5 pages to see what I'd missed. I guess my desire to read was stronger than my sense last night.

I enjoyed your post about ARCs and actually found it refreshing to find I was not the only one thinking about "why I do what I do" and how to keep my blogging enjoyable and how not to become overwhelmed.

BTW, I love reading your blog and enjoy having contact with others who love reading as much as I do :o)

Lisa said...

I hope you had a great trip!

I LOVED East of Eden. It was one of the best books of the year the year that I read it. I immediately bought Grapes of Wrath but haven't read it.

Michelle said...

I am sad that you are in SLC this weekend and not next! I miss you!!!

Trish said...

*Nymeth - I'm about a quarter of the way through Oscar Wao and really enjoying it. I haven't gotten to the violent parts, yet. There is definitely a lot to think about in the book!

*Mari - I'm taking Middlemarch really slow--not sure what other way to tackle it! :) The length is rather frightening.

*Bermuda - Yup, I think worrying about ourselves is a good idea.

*Debi - Sometimes I'm a little bit jokey or jesting in my comments and I always wonder if someone who doesn't know me quite as you or Nymeth or some of the others might take offense to my rib poking. :) I try not to worry about that too much, though. Maybe we should tackle East of Eden together!

*Lezlie - I haven't been bloghopping in a while and probably won't until I can get some personal things sorted out, but I've noticed your Lesson posts and have been really interested!

*Dar - I'm grateful for you as well, Dar! I hope you won't change your current reading just because of the discussion these past weeks--I hope you'll stick to doing what makes you happy!!

*Susan - I'm about halfway through Middlemarch and am taking a break for Oscar Wao. I hope to read Possession soon, so I look forward to hearing what you think!!

*Karen Beth - This is what I'm afraid of, that new bloggers will pick up on some of the contention and be leery of the blogosphere. As you can tell by the comments, there are soooooo many loving and supporting people. This is such a wonderful place to hang around and I hope that no one gets discouraged!! I've seen some of the blogs you're haunting and they are good ones! :) I have to admit that after I got halfway through Middlemarch I had to get onto Sparknotes to look up some characters. What a beating? I keep wondering what Dr. Grass would say in class.

*Amy - I know what you mean about being a people pleaser and with all the other messes of life, I'd rather keep this a happy place. I think just staying out of some of these conversations will do me good.

*Natasha - When I mentioned offending anyone, it was more of a general statement--I don't think I said anything in the post or my comments that people could take offense to. It is hard with written words to sometimes hear the person's tone, and I'm afraid that my jokey and teasing nature will come off sounding the wrong way!! And LOL about the rain! We had a deluge in Dallas while I was gone, so the sprinkling wasn't so bad in SLC.

*Christina - Oooh, I'll have to look up your review for Fun Home! My friend Amanda recently read it and didn't like it either, but I found it to be really powerful. Each her own, though, right?

*Wendy - Yes, the comments is definitely where the negativity is rather than people's posts. It's unfortunate that there is so much dissatisfaction as of late. I LOVED Midnight's Children but it is a long read. I do hope you like it!

*Melody - Beedle the Bard was fun but I don't remember any of it! :P Luckily it is short enough that I can re-read before writing a review. Hope you had a good weekend!

*Blacksheep - I think it is more the way that people are blogging that annoys some people. But you're right--we should read and comment where we want to and not worry about the rest!

*Stephanie - Thanks--it was so great to see my grandparents. Wish they lived closer. Being true to yourself is such great advice!! I think I do stay pretty true, but I sometimes get caught up in the junk as well. Going to try and steer clear of that.

*Sam - I've heard such great things about East of Eden that I don't think I'll put it off any longer. We should all just have a group reading of it--hold each other's hands! :P

*Jeane - I hope that people aren't taking offense of hurt by some of the things that were said (some people in the comments form were quite honest and there has been a lot of discussion elsewhere). Not giving up blogging, but I'll probably be taking it slow the next few weeks.

*Terri - Thanks Terri--I love reading your blog as well and feel so lucky to have met such great people. And while reading Middlemarch I've had several eyes glazing over moments. :) Most times I keep moving and hope I'll figure it out. :P

*Lisa - Ugh I know! I'm going to read it soon...I'm going to! I think I'm more intimidated of Grapes of Wrath for some reason. So funny!

*Michelle - :( I was so sad I didn't get to see you. I saw some cousins at Grandma's that I haven't seen in like 10 years. Very weird. Sure your family filled you in. Have a great time at the wedding!

(

Shanra of Libri Touches said...

*is dim and mised this a fair while* Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling so bad about posting that last Salon post. *hugs* And I'll leave the comment at that. (I apologise for bringing it up again, even a little, but you were not offensive or anti-anything. Not in any way anywhere. And that should be said, I think. So I just did. ^-~)

Now... Books! I'm intimidated by Middlemarch too. Thankfully, when she showed up in my Victorian literature class, my tutor had been kind enough to pick Silas Marner, which is a lot shorter. (Of course the trade off was Bleak House by Charles Dickens and we don't get along at all, so maybe it's been a bad thing in disguise.)

Good luck with Oscar Wao! I've not read it myself, but I'd be worried to find out such things too in your situation!

Hope you've had a good time with your grandparents!

tanabata said...

I didn't get around to commenting on last week's post so please excuse my late-to-the-party opinion.

I'm so behind on blog reading that I've missed a lot of the negativity and controversial posts. Plus, one thing I've realized is I'm not actually that interested in discussions about the act of blogging, I'd much rather read posts about books and reading, or the lives of the readers. So I tend to skip those discussions anyways.

I started blogging because I like reading, not the other way around. Sure sometimes I envy the big, popular blogs, but ultimately it's my hobby and I need to stay true to myself, even if that means not 'marketing' myself and remaining small.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I think that not worrying about what everyone else is doing is a good thing, as is getting back to the books! And I do hope this hasn't come across badly. I only mean to try to express how I feel. It is so hard to not offend when we only have words to rely on.

Good luck with Middlemarch. That's one on my someday list, along with War and Peace and some of those other classic chunksters.

Sara Jillian said...

I've been out of the blogosphere, but I have been reading lots of blogs; you're doing great, Trish!

I can't wait for you to read East of Eden; I remember my cousin brought it one Christmas but wasn't interested in reading it so I asked her if I could; it was a three day trip and I finished it in that time! :)

Cheers!

C. B. James said...

I think Middlemarch is the best novel in English there is and I'm not afraid to say so. ;-) But, take your time. In Eliot's day books were published in volumes and had to be read over a period of several months, sometimes over a year. I'm doing Les Miserables one part a month--I just finished part four. I kind of like reading a long book this way.

Consider hanging on to your copy of Middlemarch to reread twenty years from now. I read it in my early 20's and last year when I turned 43. It's worth a second visit after a long period of life lived.