Thursday, April 26, 2007

I just can't help myself...


I know, I know, I just can't help myself...I had to include a shot of the crazy rose bush in my back yard, because it's only this gorgeous for such a short period of time. I'm not a great gardener, I'm more of a wishful gardener, but I have a couple of great plants in my garden, this being one of them.

I love how all the lit bloggers I visit always post about the new books they acquire. I'm right there with them, and I get a vicarious thrill, too. I can't help myself in that department, either. I'm sure everyone in the neighborhood can hear the cheers when a box comes for me from Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powells.

Today I got a box with two books by David Mitchell that I ordered, Black Swan Green: A Novel and Cloud Atlas: A Novel.

But I have to admit, my joy was tempered a little when I realized I have another of Mitchell's books, Number9Dream, on my shelf of books to read. I started it, and though I liked the writing style, the story, which includes many of the main character's daydreams, was a little hard to follow. So I ended up putting it down.

"Putting it down" are three of the saddest little words. I always have to give myself permission to put books down. It feels like a failure to me, but I have to keep telling myself that there is only so much time in life, and I want to make my reading count.

But I've heard great things about Cloud Atlas, and lots of people have Black Swan Green on their top books of 2006 lists.

Has anyone read them? Please let me know what you think!

10 comments:

iliana said...

Love the roses. I used to feel really bad about putting down books too but I figure there are so many others waiting in the wings I should read something that is really grabbing me. And, I actually have gone back to books that I've put down. It might just have been the wrong time. Unforunately can't say anything about David Mitchell. I know I want to read some of his books but that's about it :)

Robin said...

Me, too...love the roses! They're gorgeous! And I completely agree with Iliana...I used to feel bad when I put a book down, but I have also gone back to them at a better time.

Gentle Reader said...

Iliana--I think you're right, I need to read what's grabbing me, and maybe I'll pick up again some of the ones I've put down. Thanks for the encouragement!

Robin--I like the positive spin you and Iliana put on putting books down--instead of feeling badly, I'll focus on the fact that maybe I'll pick them up again someday...

Robin said...

The first book I gave myself permission to put down was Gone With The Wind. I got to the last 50 pages, and couldn't stand Scarlet O'Hara for one more minute. That was over 40 years ago, and I've never gone back...perhaps I should try again?

Stefanie said...

You torture me with your roses! I've read Cloud Atlas and liked it very much. It can be frustrating though because the stories stop in the middle but then they get picked up again later and it all makes sense, so when you read it, don't give up!

jenclair said...

I started Ghostwrittten and read over half before giving up and saying I didn't care what happened to any of them.

However, Black Swan Green was one of my favorite books last year!

The roses are gorgeous!

Gentle Reader said...

Robin--I wonder if Scarlett would elicit more sympathy now? I always found the character in the movie a pill, but I haven't read the book :)

Stefanie--I didn't mean to torture you, but I'm glad you like the roses. I will try to give Cloud Atlas a fair shake, and will let you know what I think. From the first few pages, I'm intrigued...

Jenclair--that's the major reason I give up on books--because I just don't care what happens to the characters. I'm glad to hear you liked Black Swan Green!

Matt said...

I have Cloud Atlas sitting on my TBR shelf. I've read good things about it. I hope you like it!

Bookfool said...

The roses are beautiful and I like the way you put your gardening skills, "a wishful gardener". I think I'm a bit of that, too, although I'm gradually improving each year.

It's hard giving up on a book, especially when you've spent good money on it! But, I do think it gets a little easier with age. Why waste your time on something that isn't a joy? I haven't gotten to Cloud Atlas, btw, but it's on my TBRs.

Thanks for the reminder about Daily Lit in your post about Edith Wharton (I loved The Age of Innocence). I totally forgot about it when I switched emails.

Gentle Reader said...

matt--I'll let you know what I think about Cloud Atlas--it's somehow slipped to the top of the pile, so I've already started it.

bookfool--wish I was a better gardener, wish I had more time for it, wish I could grow more shade plants, but my climate won't allow!

I love DailyLit--it's addictive!