I checked into Goodreads tonight and was dismayed to see that I am 9 books BEHIND in reaching my book reading goal of 75 books in 2012! Yikes. I know that it’s still early in the year and that reading goals can be amended, but I wonder what I have been doing lately!
I guess the big answer is: I’ve been busy! 🙂 I started working on January 30 and have now finished five weeks of training with one more to go! The training has been great and I’m learning so much, that it’s almost all I can focus on. My evenings have been full, as well, but I am still keeping up with the blogs I follow (although I culled a few) and mostly keeping up with twitter and facebook. I listen to podcasts in the morning and I participated in a readalong with Wallace at Unputdownables.net. I can’t believe that “A Moveable Feast” is the only book I read in February!
Well, I guess I also listened to an audiobook – Mildred Pierce – and I’m now watching the HBO mini-series that is based on the book. Kate Winslet was a big winner last year for her performance in the miniseries. It was an interesting book and the miniseries is pretty good. Two more episodes to watch.
But things are changing. After this week of working 8-5, my crazy all-over-the-place Emergency Department schedule begins. I work next weekend and will work many 12-hour shifts, which means fewer actual days worked. The pile of books – 10 high – is still waiting for me to delve into and I can’t wait.
Our next book club book is “Still Alice,” so I have to get my hands on that and hopefully read it before the end of March! I know I can do it and can’t wait to read it and see my book club friends soon!
I hope that you are reading everything that you want to be reading and enjoying every minute!
It’s February and I’m reading A Moveable Feast with Wallace at unputdownables.net. We’re halfway through the book now and I am enjoying it, although I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I hadn’t read The Paris Wife and heard the author tell of her experience in writing the book! Many are not enjoying it as much – his writing style, his attitude and self-importance. Below are the comments that I made on Wallace’s blog on this week’s reading (to chapter 17).
Some things that I’m keeping in mind about him as I read this come from listening to the author of The Paris Wife and my suppositions that I arrived at while reading that book. He is very young during this time and had already faced tragedy in the Great War. He was injured and fell in love with his nurse, who wrote him a Dear Ernest letter after his recovery and return to the US. I think he probably had some “demons” (read: PTSD) from the war that affected how he had relationships with people. Paula McLain also talked about how he could never be without a woman. He went from relationship to relationship, never ending one until another was started. It is noted that he hated his mother, his father committed suicide (as did Hadley’s) and he received ECT (shock treatments) at Mayo Clinic in his 50s.
He’s definitely not a sympathetic character, but that last paragraph (see below) does give insight into the depth of his feelings for Hadley and his acknowledgement of her hurt. I guess he contacted her late in his life – a few weeks before his suicide. It’s hard to see much of Hadley in this book (so far… I haven’t read ahead!) but I guess I keep in my mind other accounts of their relationship.
Hadley and I had become too confident in each other and careless in our confidence and pride. In the mechanics of how this was penetrated I have never tried to apportion the blame, except my own part, and that was clearer all my life. The bulldozing of three people’s hearts to destroy one happiness and build another and the love and the good work and all that came out of it is not part of this book. I wrote it and left it out. How it all ended, finally, has nothing to do with this either. Any blame in that was mine to take and possess and understand. The only one, Hadley, who had no possible blame, ever, came out of it finally and married a much finer man than I ever was or could hope to be and is happy and deserves it and that was one good and lasting thing that came out of that year.
My brain power is waning… I’m loving the new job but it’s exhausting learning so much! It’s such a good thing!! Yay! Earlier today I had so many thoughts about what to say in a blog… and now it’s kind of gone! Oh well… I’m enjoying the learning so much that I don’t mind if I aren’t as creative as I want to be right now! It’ll come again. 🙂
But I wanted to recognize the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth with a short blog post. I loved A Tale of Two Cities and am going to put it on my list of books to re-read in 2012. It’s been a long time since I first read it, so it’ll be fun to read again.
In other news…
I have really slowed in my reading. I’m plugging away on “A Moveable Feast” but behind in the assigned reading for last week and this. Some aren’t enjoying reading Hemingway, but I think it’s fun to read after reading “The Paris Wife” and hearing the author speak. I’ll keep on trucking… It has been easy to read it on the iPad. I tried to look up a word within the book, but it wasn’t in the dictionary. He must have made up words!
The blogs I read daily really are taking up a lot of my reading time. I must figure that out.
I’ve been enjoying old episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix instant. How fun to meet these characters in the beginning! I just started watching (and loving) the show a few years ago and it has many seasons under its belt!
I love love love Downton Abbey! I’m going to watch a bit of Sunday night’s episode tonight. It’s hard to believe this season is almost done! Love the fast pace of the British series.
Book club is coming up on Thursday! We read “The Center of Everything” and I’ll have to refresh my memory, since it seems like I read it a while ago! I look forward to seeing those peeps!
And SocialICE is this weekend! The ice bar downtown. It has been a fun event every year and I can’t wait to participate in another! It’s fun to see the fur hats, coats, and boots that come out, but I’m afraid I won’t be sporting any of that! Uggs and wool for me!
January 30 I start my new job. I simply cannot wait! It has been 8 months that I have been unemployed. Hard to believe! But now I’m just tickled to be starting. I went on Friday for pre-employment stuff – health and drug screening, HR form-filling, and information about the two days of general orientation for all new hires. So tomorrow I have to go in to get my TB test evaluated and then I have one more week of unemployed “bliss”!
So what will I do this week? Monday nights I have choir, so I’ll stay at my parent’s house and hang out with them. I will hopefully watch a movie or two. I’m hoping for some “what not to wear” time with my closet and then I need to shop a little for some updated business-y clothes. I would love to bake and prepare meals for the freezer – maybe something from my French book. I am going to the Cities for some celebrating with Deadra and family. I need to catch up on my magazine reading – goodness! – and then hopefully start a good book.
Speaking of books, I am so excited that Wallace’s next readalong is “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway! After reading “The Paris Wife” I decided that it would be the Hemingway book that I would most like to read. So I bought it (for my iPad!) and I’m ready to start the readalong in February! Yippee!
And speaking of movies (was I?), I went to see “The Artist” last night – and it was just so good. Amazing actors, beautiful music, funny “dialogue,” and a great story. Absolutely a wonderful movie experience. It made me want to watch a bunch of really old movies – the good ones. Ah…
Well, I’m off… to read, play word games, and watch some old episodes of How I Met Your Mother. One more week of doing whatever I want – before this new life begins!
I love to meet authors, or if I can’t meet them personally, to listen to them speak about their books and their passion for writing. I find it fascinating.
In the beginning of December I noticed a sign at the Rochester Public Library that Paula McLain, author of “The Paris Wife” was going to be speaking in January. I knew that Deadra loved this book and so I put in my request for it and invited Deadra down for the afternoon event. I started reading the book right before Christmas and ate it up. It was hard to remember that it was historical fiction and not a memoir or biography of the woman who was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. It is a beautifully written book and made me want to know more about Papa.
Paula talked about how she got the idea to write the book from Hadley’s point of view and how she read thousands of pages of letters that Hadley had written to Ernest while they were courting. Unfortunately, Hadley destroyed her letters from Ernest after their messy divorce (reminded me a little of the Love Letter Bonfire that Beth and I had a few years ago!), but as a result, she really got an understanding of how Hadley thought and felt.
Paula recommended we look at Hemingway’s passport photo from 1923 and challenged us to see if we didn’t get a little swoony at the sight. Deadra and I agreed that it didn’t do it for us, but I found this picture of him in 1921 that does make him look a little dreamy. (Sorry it’s so small!)
I also found this wedding photo from Hadley and Ernest’s wedding, which I thought was pretty fun.
It was fascinating to listen to Paula talk about her passion she found while researching for this book and I’m glad that I read the book before listening to her discussion. I also liked to hear the reaction she is getting from the descendents of the Hemingways. Made me tear up a little!
I will read Hemingway – Deadra and I think “A Moveable Feast,” his last book – sounds like a great one to read, so it will go on my TBR list!
As I was listening to her speak, I wondered if I could challenge myself to find an author discussion/book reading each month for the year 2012… I know I will keep looking for them and going when I can! I just love hearing authors talk about writing! If you click on the picture of Paula McLain above, it is linked to an interview done with her on The Hemingway Project blog. Good stuff!