My wife and I often reminisce about our life before we had children. We especially enjoy talking about our weekends pre-kids. A time when sleeping until noon was not out of the question, and oftentimes was our preference. A golden-age when time turned to honey in the peace of our apartment; the only sound, the turning of pages as we read our books. It was a magical era when we had both the time and quiet on our side. Sentences were suckled, plot twists were savored and final pages were read and re-read. It was a beautiful thing...while it lasted.
Now, we have two kids who can best be labeled as "busy". That's what most people say after they babysit them. Their hair is usually sticking out awkwardly in one direction, their eyes are blinky and twitchy as they say something kind like, "Your kids are really...busy." They are energetic. They are talkative. They are funny. I love them. But - they never shut up. I'd say I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but eight straight hours of quiet sounds very good to me.
If I could reach into my wife's body and steal anything from her, it would be her ability to read through anything. She has a singular focus that amazes me. If a fire alarm went off as she read the climax to a Nora Robert's book; the next thing I'd be reading would be her eulogy. I can't do that. I have to have complete silence. No music. No ticking clocks. Even rain puts me to sleep or makes me have to pee...or both...hopefully not in that order.
The only time it's quiet in my house now is when everyone except me is asleep. Combine the lack of quality reading time with the fact I'm a slow reader, and you get the reason why the list of books I have read this year is an arm's length shorter than the list of books I want to read. I have a stack of books on my nightstand, a list of books in my Amazon cart, queued eBooks in my OverDrive account and books on hold at the library. Also, Ventipop readers seem to love the book posts more than any of the others I publish. So, I keep discovering more & more books I want to read. Once you grow up and have a family and kids and responsibilities, there are just too many books and not enough time. My kids ask me if I'm afraid of dying. I'n not afraid of dying. However, I am afraid of dying before getting the chance to read all these damn books.
- The 34th Annual Banned Books Week kicked off Monday.
- Compare the 2001 list of most challenged books to the 2015 version. Apparently, sexuality is no longer nearly as offensive as diversity issues.
- The National Book Foundation just announced their 5 under 35 debut authors of note.
- Last week, I posted a treasure trove of links for book lovers to get ready for fall reading. Here's another list of 17 books to read right now.
- Maybe you could grab a few of these books then head to a secluded cabin in the woods in upstate New York where the walls are made of book shelves.
- Do you get more and more tense as you read really long books? I didn't know this was a thing.
- Stephen King stated on Twitter recently, "Herman Koch is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. His 3 novels, taken together, are like a killer EP where every track kicks ass." Koch's three books include his most recent release Dear Mr. M: A Novel, The Dinner & Summer House With Swimming Pool.
- Here's a Washington Post feature on Koch's Dear Mr. M: A Novel.
- Speaking of Stephen King, James Patterson has canceled plans to kill him.
- Science buff? Discover selects six books to read this October.
- There are quite a few major awards for authors, but readers really want to win this London bookstores contest where the winner receives free books for life.
- "Sip Tea Slowly" & "Wear a scarf" are 2 of the 9 Tricks to Look Smart in a Book Club.
- Here's a spoiler-free list of 37 Books With Mind-Blowing Plot Twists.
- Hide the remote control, give up junk food & put the cell phone in airplane mode. These would be some of my tips but they aren't included in Verge's advice on how to read a book per week.
- Eke, Fell, Deserts, Whet, Outrage, Bombast and other words that aren't what you think they are:
- "On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, just a few blocks from Gracie Mansion, Harriet the Spy is forever taking notes about her neighbors and eating tomato sandwiches. In Portland, Oregon, Ramona Quimby is tormenting her older sister. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ponyboy Curtis is coming out of the theater, about to be attacked by a rival gang." - An excerpt from an excellent article from Atlas Obscura that mapped the real places that inspired the best kid's books.
- What were the best kids books from the past ten decades? Book Riot selects 10 MUST-READ CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE LAST 100 YEARS (BY DECADE)
- If a kid tells you they hate reading, get them to read a book from this reluctant readers list.
...The Last Drop
The Ostrich Pillow is the only way I can recreate my pre-kids apartment environment: