Readerly Rambles: 05/19/2014


Here’s the deal: I’m stalling out with my book blogging for two reasons. 1) My reading is slow at the moment. Not slow as in bogged down with bad books. No, I’m immersed in lovely reads, but life is interfering with my reading time. 2) I told myself I would review — in some capacity every single book I read. Sigh. It just isn’t going to happen. I’m going to go back to the format of wrapping up what I read at the end of the month and then showcasing my TBR for the upcoming month. I’ll still review for “events” like read-alongs and such. I’m at least going to keep doing a weekly check-in for my reading, but mini-reviews will be my best bet for the future.

To TBR or Not to TBR: Every year I get pumped about the TBR challenge. I sign up and then I fail miserably. I am a book harlot. I flit from book to book to book all willy-nilly. I think I’ve decided — just at this moment — to ditch my TBR challenge. I really do better with themed challenges where I can fill in what books I like here and there.

Also, my reading plans have changed since I made my TBR list in December. I started the Barsetshire read-along in March; I’m behind, but I am adoring every single word. Trollope is certainly a favorite author now (aside: next year is the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope’s birth and there will certainly be some serious Trollope reading in 2015). I have a new Classic’s Club spin to read. There’s talk of a possible Moby Dick summer read-along. My knitting group will be reading Game of Thrones in June. And I’m itching to pick up something short and jazzy and modern to balance out the big books and the classics. In other words, my TBR pile is no longer my TBR pile.

Journaling: I’ve fallen in love (again) with paper and pen journaling. My obsession with lovely books of blank paper and smoothly-inking pens never wavered, but I have quit a stockpile of blank journals. Then the other day I had an AMAZING IDEA. I want to take my most recent blank journal gifted to me and make a 5-year reading log. Basically I would write the date at the top of the page (e.g. 1 January) and then I would make a column of dates on the page (2015, 20 16, etc…). Then at the close of each day I would write down what I read. Yes, GoodReads can keep up with my reading to some degree. But perhaps I read pages 47-86 in Bleak House, re-read the poem “Leda and the Swan” by WB Yeats, and then read an unpublished Shirley Jackson story in The New Yorker. Wouldn’t that journal be so rich looking back on it?! I could see seasonal trends, reflect on how much I read, and see when I tend to not read.

There’s one problem. I want to start this TODAY. However I should wait until January 1st so I have 5 years and not half – years. Or I should have started it on my birthday. Hum. What to do? Go ahead and fill out my book record or be patient?

Now, some book chat: Yes, I am STILL reading Barchester Towers but I think it may be my most favorite book of the year. There is one thing you need to know about Anthony Trollope:

All the best parts of Jane Austen + All the best parts of Charles Dickens = Anthony Trollope’s novels

Yes, it is that good. There is witty repartee, exceptional dialogue, and marriage plots galore like Jane Austen but with the depth and breadth of Charles Dickens in the number of characters, description of the setting, and social commentary. I’m in heaven.

What’s up next: My goal for this week is to wrap up Barchester Towers and finish my Sherlock Holmes audiobook. Next on the list is to crack open The Game of Thrones AND Moby-Dick. As you can tell I like big books and I cannot lie.

Let’s see if I can add on the Moby-Dick without drowning (see what I did there?)



  1. You should start your journal now. If you wait you might forget. You are itching to do it ,so start. In the front of the journal write yourself a letter explaining how you had this amazing idea and had to start right away. It will add to your journal. Just my two cents.

  2. Definitely start now! You don’t want to lose the next 6 months! I like big books too. I’m so needing to read a Trollope! I’m stuck in book club picks right now.

  3. I’ll be the “third” – start now while the idea is fresh and you are excited about it. As for slowing down your blogging due to the busyness of life – take your time! I feel like a bad blog-reader at the moment because May is so crazy busy. In 13 days my oldest will graduate high school (not that I’m counting down or anything). How did I get this old? I’m so excited for her and the next season of life that is coming, but at the same time, she was/is the *first* baby. How did she get to 18 all the sudden?!?
    Enjoy your reading! I hope to be a “readin’ fool” in the month of June to make up for my lack of reading time now. 🙂

  4. Book harlot. I wouldn’t know anything about that… *cough* I’ve found that it’s important to re-evaluate what’s working and what’s not. I gave up a challenge earlier in the year because it just wasn’t working for me and causing needless stress. Reading shouldn’t be stress!

    A Moby-Dick read-through, you say?

  5. I adore your reading journal idea!!! I sort of do that with my “read a million pages before I die goal” but I admit I miss stuff sometimes and it’s just on my blog, and it would be ever so cool to do it in a pretty written journal! And I’m with everyone else–you should start now. Just think of all the things you’d miss having in that lovely record if you wait until the beginning of 2015. Of course, really you should do what *you* want to do…I just can’t help but be excited for you to start. 😛

  6. LOL! I tend to have the same problem with journaling. I want to do it but I think I should start on January 1st. But then when I don’t I feel like I have to wait a whole nother year. I actually really like your idea. And I’d steal it but I started a regular notecard daily journal with the same theory and failed miserably.

    And life. It’s so pesky sometimes!

  7. I am, and have been for YEARS, an avid journaler. I love the idea of a five year journal chronicalling one’s life,mbut one’s reading? I hadn’t thought of the way you described before, and yet it sounds wonderful. Far more lovely than goodreads to be sure. I’ll always have an allegiance to pen and paper, so day to pick up, so uncontingent on electricity.

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