Friday, June 17, 2011

reader's block

Do you get Reader's Block?  Life is too busy and crazy so you sit in front of your bookshelf and stare at it for an hour and 17 minutes without finding a good book to read?  Or you wander the library for 54 minutes and find NOTHING that interests you?  Or you ask the twelve year old for a suggestion? 

Life gets that way around here.  I read a lot of magazine articles and scriptures and the fine print on coupon policies, but sometimes a BOOK is beyond me. 

Short stories, you say?  Yes, that's true, but a high school teacher once told me that a short story was meant to be read in one sitting...  she quantified one sitting as "under two hours".  That ruined me.  I NEVER have two hours to sit and read.

So what do I do then?  Tell myself I haven't read anything from 19th cenutry England in awhile and begin Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor.  It was hitting the spot until I kept passing out from exhaustion from these busy summer days.  Such books work the brain.

Then I began Ten Circles Upon the Pond.  It's a story of a young Catholic mother's desire to have lots of children in the face of the Women's Movement and the push that kids ruin the environment.  It was well-written and actually very poetic, but I couldn't keep her kids and my kids straight. 

So last night I picked up an old friend: Anne - with an "E".  Anne Shirley has been a bosom friend for years.  I even bought the whole series with my own money as a pre-teen.  Anne of Green Gables is indeed a friend to many.

I thought I might try to read the whole series again this summer.  We'll see.  Books begging to be read always show up.

The End of Days - Helen Sendyk - a Holocaust memoir.  Nothing that stands out to give you more information - sorry.
The Giver - Lois Lowry - a book club selection; it was not something I would have chosen on my own because it is a book for young adults and it is "futuristic".  What will our world be like someday?  A young man holds all the memories for the community and the responsiblities and burdens that come with that calling.
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan - I think Michael Pollan is a splendid and educated writer.  It is a nonfiction push to eat local and seasonal.
Rumspringa - Tom Shactman - An interesting nonfiction/journalistic view of how the youth in an Amish community are not so different from us.
The Dawning of a Brighter Day - Alexander B Morrison - a nonfiction account of how the Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-day Saitns began and grew in Africa
I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree - Laura Hillman - another Holocaust memoir though this is geared towards teens.  I liked the title.
The Walking Drum - Louis L'Amour - This book was another book club selection.  It was not my favorite, but it definitely fell in line with the hero myth.  The hero is larger than life, on a mission of vengeance, and saves the day after a struggle.  It was an easy read though - and long for those that look for length in books.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyle - This is a story told from the point of view of a young boy who is confused about all that is happening around him durring World War II.  His father is chosen to be the comandant of Auschwitz.  It is a moral tale which helps one to forgot that some parts of the story are not believable.  The young boy mispronounces words such as the "Furher".  He thinks it is really the "Fury".  If he were speaking German there would be no misunderstanding, but the author is Australian.  We forgive this little foibles as the story comes to an emotional climax.
Little House on the Prairie Cookbook - Barbara M. Walker - I LOVE Little House on the Prairie.  I even read the cookbook!  I've even cooked from it.  The lemonade is in our family repertoire and we made lard cracklings, and many others besides.  I love revisiting all of the stories in one volume.  Food was so scarce to Laura that it made a very deep impression on her, and we are forever grateful for that bit of history.  My childen love that Almanzo ate pie for breakfast!
The Distant Land of My Father - Bo Caldwell - I enjoyed this tale.  It is a fictional account of a daughter who leaves China in World War II with her mother and becomes American.  Later in her life she decides to return to China to find him, and in so doing, finds out about him.

Do you ever have Reader's Block?  Do you have a trick to overcome it?  Or do you just ride it out?

Who's your favorite book character?


  1. I DO get reader's block from time to time, when nothing looks appealing and I can't find anything to hold my interest. Then I'll read a youth novel or two, and by then, I'm ready for something weightier and can usually find something.
    I checked out the Book Snob blog and I like it. I'm hoping that will come in handy for giving me ideas of what to read when I don't have any idea on my own. I think I'm a book snob, too!

  2. Had no idea about the Little House Cookbook!!!! It sounds super cool! Did you read the article in the New Yorker about the story behind the Little House books? Apparently Laura and Rose were all drama!!!