Reading Update: November 14, 2010

Autumn leaves

I drove around a bend on the Interstate yesterday and the beauty of the golden, orange, and red leaves on the trees near the road arrested me. I love fall.

I’m still plugging away on The Haunting of Hill House, and I might even finish it today. Not really enjoying it much. Such a short book, and I really had to push to finish it. I just don’t like any of the characters, and it can be hard for me to read books when I don’t like the characters. Wuthering Heights seems to be the lone exception. I think the trick there is that I actually do have a fascination for the characters even if I wouldn’t want to be friends with them. In addition to not liking the characters, if I’m honest, I’m a little unsure about what in the world is going on.

I had a bit of a freak out yesterday when my Kindle‘s battery had absolutely no charge, and I needed to reference a book on it. Then I remembered I do have the Kindle app on my iPhone (and my Mac, for that matter). I think I have mentioned this before, but my NaNoWriMo novel is speculative fiction of the Irish legend of Deirdre. It’s going well. I wrote so much yesterday that I could skip a day now with no detrimental effect on being able to finish on time, but I’m going to try not to do that.

Next week I’ll be seeing some of my English teacher friends in Orlando as I travel to the NCTE conference. I will be presenting a session on authentic assessment in teaching Shakespeare along with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s education department, and I’m finished with writing my presentation. I want to try to practice it and see how it goes.

I listened to Valerie Jackson’s interview of Ken Follett, and doesn’t he sound absolutely charming? I definitely want to read his Pillars of the Earth series.

Ken Follett on Betweeen the Lines

I also listened to her interview of Stacy Schiff about her new book Cleopatra: A Life, and it sounds very interesting.

Stacy Schiff on Between the Lines

Valerie Jackson is a great interviewer. I definitely recommend subscribing to her podcast. It’s a great way to learn about new books.

photo credit: MaxiuB

Valerie Jackson

Between the Lines

Valerie JacksonValerie Jackson, whose husband Maynard Jackson was mayor of Atlanta, hosts a radio show on the local NPR affiliate, WABE, called Between the Lines. The show’s focus is books and their authors. I listen to the show on a regular basis through my podcast subscription (iTunes link). If you are looking for a good book podcast, you really need to try this one out. Ms. Jackson is an excellent interviewer. She has a way of asking just the right questions and drawing her subject out. I invariably find I want to read the book that her subject is discussing. In fact, I am not a mystery reader, but her recent interview of Sue Grafton made me want to pick up her books.

The most recent podcast I listened to was Chris Bohjalian discussing his new novel Secrets of Eden. I have never read any of his books, but his description of this particular novel was fascinating.

Here is Bohjalian’s introduction to his novel. It looks interesting—possible candidate for my TBR pile.

My Next Read and Clarification on DailyLit

I have decided (since I received my Amazon package) to read Louise Erdrich’s A Plague of Doves. If you would like to learn more about this book, listen to this interview with Valerie Jackson on Between the Lines:

Between the Lines: Louise Erdrich

Because I received such a nice e-mail from a representative of DailyLit about my concerns regarding Emma, I feel the need to clarify a couple of things. I have been and remain a huge fan of DailyLit. I think it has enabled me to read some books I otherwise might not have read. I complained that Emma was broken up in some odd places, and DailyLit’s representative assured me they are taking steps to fix problems like this. I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the service, and I would be grieved if anything I said in my review of Emma influenced anyone not to try it.