Her Reading Room – Flash Fiction

LQ4d15U-9780She had a reading room all her own, filled with books she collected over the years. Dusty old tombs from the library book sales. Discarded books that she wanted to give a home to. Unloved books that needed the warmth of a loving soul that would give them new life.

She had new books. Crisp pages and unmarked paper. Stiff spines and smelling of glue and wood pulp.  The old books smelled of time and dust and people. The new held the smell of adventure.

She had picture books and encyclopedias. Fiction, non fiction, how to books. She had books on gardening and sewing. Books on Asian culture and mythology; Greek and Nordic mythology. Fairytales ruled a top shelf that was colorful and arranged like a child would.

Some of her shelves held neat rows of books from a series, while others were arranged by her favorites. One shelf was devoted to books she had plans to read. That shelf was getting more and more full as time went on and she visited more book sales. This book thing was an affliction in some ways.

She had her big open windows to let the gorgeous sun in with a comfortable chairs set so that whatever her mood, the light was just right for reading. The shelves themselves were big and filled one whole wall. In the back corner she had her writing desk and a big bulletin board she frequently had filled with thumbtacked pages of some idea she was writing. The cork board was always cluttered with notes and ideas.  However having the books around her and the dark corner, made writing so much more simple since she couldn’t get distracted.

An up to date sound system, with speakers that were tucked away, filled the room with music from Debussy to One Republic. It all depended on the mood. Sometimes you need a bit of pop music to read by.

And since there was nothing like having tea or coffee while reading, she always kept an electric kettle filled on a small table with cups and tea and instant coffee. Granted, most of the time her drink of choice was cold by the time she actually finished it. When one met the man of their dreams on page 150, tea became unimportant.

Yes, this room was magical, opening worlds she could only dream, or read, about visiting. Her room became the 10351141_814052365327874_232371573355012167_nTardis.

 

Okay, I was inspired by the image of the personal library, to write a bit of flash fiction about it. And as for the last line, I saw this marvelous picture and it has stuck with me. I get shivers looking at this picture.

Enjoy my rambles, dearies.

Kate

 

I’m Not Going To Feel Guilty!

Okay, so a week or so ago I posted a Barnes and Noble blog post on the perks of dating a non reader, The Non Reader & Me.

Points 4, 5, and 9, are what have been getting to me lately.  I feel guilty that I’m not reading new books from the library. I’m not finishing books from the library, and I just feel like my own stack of Emilie Loring’s and less deep books.  I just want to putter with books that have no due date or anything pretentious about them.  (the points, by the way are : 4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads. ,5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read., and 9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.)

I feel like I should be reading new books, not old books that are comfortable like a friend or curled up in that chair you love. The guilt! Oh the guilt. I can’t be a true reader if I read books that I’ve read over and over, can I?

But this is silly.  Especially when you see my two stacks of books to read…. Oh pardon, it’s three stacks.Second Stack Stack to read

But I’m worrying about having things to read. Yes, I will admit, this is slightly insane, the guilt that is…. Though the stack of books is really ridiculous.  So, I am going to sit back and relax….. (I feel like Matthew Mcconaughey is in my head as I say that)  And just try to read my stacks of books.  That being said, I just checked another Emilie Loring book out of the library today, even though I have several of hers in paperback…. Just not the one I wanted….

I’m not going to feel guilty!

Signing off

Kate

The Non Reader & Me

I have always sworn up and down and sideways that I will marry a man who loves to read. (Oh and he won’t be obsessed with football) I want to be able to share books and have this mind meld kind of thing going on with books……. I’m not so sure I want it to be that way any longer. Barnes and Noble’s blog just posted the 18 Unexpected Perks of Dating a Nonreader, and honestly, I pretty much go for every single one except for #16, but that’s only because I get car sick, so reading is not possible.  I never thought much about all the advantages to being with someone who doesn’t read like I do, but wow, so many of these have crossed my mind that it’s not even funny.

I guess it’s like wanting to date a writer if I am one. That has gone by the wayside too.  Too much competition. I’ll stick with being the writer and reader and date a hands on kind of guy.  The list is below, but please check out the original article above.

1. More space for your growing book collection, because they don’t have any.
2. Your opinions about books are always right.
3. You can freely tell them the entire story of the book you’re reading, spoilers and all, because they probably aren’t going to read it.
4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads.
5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read.
6. They think you’re super smart because you read so much.
7. They encourage you to blog about books so you have an outlet to talk about your literary adventures and opinions (true story).
8. They never stay up all night reading like you do, so they can be counted on to wake you up when you sleep through your alarm.
9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.
10. They make sure you get fresh air by forcing you to put down the book and get out of the house.
11. They never borrow your books and forget to return them, or return them in poor condition.
12.All your literary friends like them because they don’t engage in pretentious literary one-upmanship.
13. They know a lot about other things like engineering, cooking, music, wilderness survival, how to change a lightbulb…
14. They won’t judge you for thinking that the movie version of the book was actually pretty good.
15. They’re never late meeting you because they got wrapped up in a novel and lost track of time.
16. They do all the driving, so you can read at your leisure in the passenger seat.
17. They never mess up the order of the books on your shelves.
18. They’re willing to learn about literature from you.

Above all, by dating a nonreader, you open yourself up to new experiences and life lessons you might otherwise never discover. So if your heart is telling you “yes,” but your brain is telling you that you have too little in common to make it work, remember what The Princess Bride taught us: “Love is many things, none of them logical.”

Signing off

Kate

 

Saturday Inspires – Bookshelves

I have this thing about bookshelves. Maybe because I don’t have very many and what I do have is filled to the brim, but you want to see me drool, show me full, gorgeous bookshelves.  I want a house big enough for all my books, with a little room to spare.  I want to marry a man who will let me have those bookshelves… or he comes with a house that has empty bookshelves.  Honestly, I really don’t care, but I want gorgeous bookshelves.

So, today’s inspiration is gorgeous bookshelves.  Start the drooling.

For those interested, BookshelfPorn is a really good drool-worthy site.

Signing off

Kate

Outside the Box of Reading

10520846_780916705308107_765205069315425455_nI’m going to make it a short post for this Friday, 10 days into my 31 Days of October challenge.  I was scrounging around for a post idea that wouldn’t take me too long, and this image popped up from my local library via Facebook.  Isn’t it great?

I tend to not read the norms of society. Sure, I delve into some popular fiction (I just posted on Divergent and Cassandra Clare), but for the most part, I tackle things that don’t make the ‘airwaves’ so to speak. I like obscure books that really have a story behind them. I want something to sink my teeth into and really remember or want to read again.  There are very few books that have made this dramatic impact on me, but their are a few I can think of in the recent years.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones.  This book is written entirely in verse. You think, oh I won’t like that, but it’s incredible. I own it now, and come to think of it, I should read it again.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti. While I’m not all into the women are better than men, sometimes men suck (just like sometimes women suck), but this is an amazing coming of age story about a girl returning all the things her dad has stolen from every one of his relationships with women. Important things. It’s a look at how some men can be jerks. And it’s a lot of fun.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  Lots of people don’t really go for the slightly predictable and fluffy ending of this book, but any delightful book set in epistolary form gets to me. I love it. I wish the woman had written more than just the one book.  And that it takes place just after WWII, well, I like that time period best.

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.  Need I say more? It’s a classic. Maybe it’s too norm, but not too many people in my age would say they read it and liked it.

Anything Emilie Loring.  I have had several people mock my love of this author and the fact that I’ve ordered in all of them to my library so a whole shelf is devoted to her. But her books were clean, fun, and decent.  There was a mystery, usually.  The guy got the girl. The girl was spunky and someone who wanted ‘world peace’ (just kidding) she wanted to make a better life for herself. The men were dashing; air force captains, owners of mills, congressmen, lawyers, doctors, and other men that you could look to and admire. Honestly, I kind of want a man out of an Emilie Loring. They had class.

I could go on, but I said I wanted a short post!  So, do you read inside the norm or do you break from it?  What books have impacted your life that maybe no one knows about?  Yes, most of mine are fiction, but I write fiction and to write good fiction, you have to read good fiction.  There have been non fiction books that have affected me, but I won’t go into that right now.  So tell me what books you would put in this list.

Signing off

Kate

Fall-Time Classics

woman_reading_romanticIt’s getting to be that time of year where I start to think about fall.  I know, it’s barely even August, but where I live; these mountain homes; autumn comes early.  We can have a freeze in three weeks. (and we just got out of one in June…..) And for some reason, this year autumn is making me think of the Classics. You know… classic books?  Jane Eyre (which I’ve not finished…), Jane Austen, Hemingway, and others.

This Classics thing is on my brain so much that I want to suggest to my librarian, whom I talk to regularly, that we need to have “The Autumn of Classics’ to get people reading them. Start pulling the classics from the scrunched in shelves, and making people sit up and take notice. Set them all around and have covers out.

It’s apple weather, it’s sweater weather…. It’s classics reading weather.

But that’s just me.

What time of year do you think the Classics fit in? See I was always a springtime early summer Jane Austen, but now… Do you read the classics at a particular time? Don’t they fit in with apples, tweed, fox hunts, plaid, straw, pumpkins and falling leaves?

Signing off

Kate

Fifty Five Things You Might Not Want To Know About My Book Tastes

mountains to climb

mountains to climb (Photo credit: atlases)

I started off this morning reading John’s posts on this questionnaire about ones reading tastes. I liked the questions enough to answer them all in one post; I’m not so snobbish to say you can’t read them all at once, and personally, I think my responses will be just a tad less snarky than John’s. Sorry John, but you have snarky answers. He got it from Tara Therese who got it from another blogger… moving on. If you go to do it yourself, watch out for questions 33,34, and 40 on other people’s lists. They are missing. I’ve added in the ones John put back since I figured he had found the original source. Enjoy!

1. Favorite childhood book?
Honestly, I’m having a hard time coming up with the answer to this because I loved so many. Little House in the Big Woods and the rest of the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is my first thought. That one book in particular I loved to read over and over. Anything by Elizabeth Enright or Edward Eager. Both big favorites with me.

2. What are you reading right now? Indemnity Only, Erotic Poetry, Ballistics  by Billy Collins,

3. What books do you have on request at the library? Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence (though it’s been on hold for almost a year. I think it’s lost) and a couple DVD’s. I had more but I’ve got them all checked out right now!

4. Bad book habit?
I collect too many books I never get around to reading, I read way to late at night, I read when I should be working, I check out more books than I can read at one time…. The list goes on

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Right now It’s only 15 items, though I can get 20 which I usually do. And Two are dvd’s I won’t list. : The day of the jackal / Forsyth, Frederick,
Horoscopes for the dead : Collins, Billy.
Ballistics : Collins, Billy.
The trouble with poetry and other poems / Collins, Billy.
Indemnity only : Paretsky, Sara.
City of bones Clare, Cassandra.
In the green kitchen : Waters, Alice.
Living in the raw desserts / Calabro, Rose Lee.
Ani’s raw food desserts : Phyo, Ani.
Butterflies through binoculars : Glassberg, Jeffrey.
Do or die : Brockmann, Suzanne,
City of ashes Clare, Cassandra.
You can’t take a balloon into the National Gallery / Weitzman, Jacqueline Preiss

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, but I wouldn’t mind a Kindle paperwhite for reading poetry and obscure things I can’t find but online.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Never just one. Several. See my #5 question. Plus the several I own.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I read more books for reviewing, because I review, and I read less because I don’t have as much time.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
Uhhhhhh….. Hmmm Probably a christian book for review. It was cheesy and choppy.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Anything and everything by poet Billy Collins. I’m seriously addicted

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Probably only once or twice a year. I’m reading a mystery, which is not comfort zone, and I’m loving it. But I stick with what is comfortable most of the time. Depends on what my library has in stock.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Romance. Cheesy Harlequin, older classic romance, chick lit that’s really romancey and sexy, classic romance.  Classics, IE Jane Austen. Poetry, cookbooks, books on writing. Gardening…..DIY

13. Can you read in the car?
NO! I get so motion sick it’s pitiful. I should try audio books. I can read on a plane though, once through takeoff.

14. Favorite place to read?
In bed. By the kitchen baseboard heater where my chair at the table is. Outside in the summer on one of our benches, or the couch on the front porch. Or if I’m really lucky, hiding somewhere under the pines in our yard.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I’ve not had the best luck loaning out books. Now, if it’s a paperback, not a huge deal. Hardback, only if I know you really, really, really well, or if I’m not terribly worried how the books comes back to me. But mostly no. I do not loan out books. It’s too risky.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Lord no!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
If I own it, and there is a word I don’t ever remember, I use a pencil to lightly write in the meaning in the margins. Every once in a tiny while I will add notes. Again, with a pencil. but only my own.

18. Not even with text books?
Uh, don’t use text books anymore, and that’s what scratch paper is for

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
I’m only fluent in English.

20. What makes you love a book?
Uh, I have to just like it. How do you explain loving a Jane Austen, then a trashy romance? Or a really cool mystery then a cookbook? Lots of factors.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it’s something that I think fits the person I’m wanting to recommend the book to. I don’t just automatically recommend any book. If I know someone who likes poetry, then I’ll mention it. A good cookbook? Then it has to be something I know the person will use. I take personality into context.

22. Favorite genre?
Historical romance fiction

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Mysteries, IE, Patterson, Connelly, (the Castle book in my stack) and fantasy. I’ve heard a lot of good things out there, but don’t want to take the time to try.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
All the time. I love these kinds of books

26. Favourite cookbook?
Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten. Or anything from the Barefoot Contessa, Giada Delaurentis.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I started reading the Forgotten Man, but have yet to finish it, but really, really good.

28. Favorite reading snack?
Coffee or Tea, but they always get cold!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I rarely follow hype.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t read a lot of critiques so I can’t say.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It depends on how the book was laid out and whether or not it will be a good book for someone else to read. I hate to give them, but this is reality. Not always is every book a decent book.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French, Gaelic, Hebrew, Italian, GREEK!

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read
Hmm, maybe The Three Musketeers because I was 15, and it took me three weeks. But after trying that book, loving it and wanting more, I’ve really stepped up my game and try everything usually.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin
A couple of the classics that I’m blanking on that I’ve just not wanted to tackle quite yet due to how big they are.

35. Favorite Poet?
Emily Dickenson, but now I’m a HUGE Billy Collins fan.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
20 easily, not counting all the books I purchase for 25 cents from the Friends of the Library.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
All the time. I rarely finish a book these days, and DIY books you never read cover to cover. Half the time the books are for research for my writing.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Hermione Granger, Anne Elliot (Persuasion), Captain Wentworth (same), Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Bella Swan(Twilight, I’m a girl and I can relate to clumsiness), Jameson Rook (Castle mysteries) Oh, Mr. Knightely

39. Favourite fictional villain?
George Wickham, Draco Malfoy, and probably others, but rarely contemplate.

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on holiday
Something that won’t get damaged or if I lose it, not the end of the world, but probably an Emilie Loring or Cecelia and the Chocolate Pot By Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I love that book and it’s long enough to hold my interest for a few days. I don’t go on vacation so….

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A couple of days.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Couldn’t finish The Count of Monte Cristo, yet. Would not finish a really bad Luanne Rice book recently. At least I think it was hers. Audio book. So stupid.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
People that interrupt me and the news.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (probably a first where I like both book and film) and Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. The Breaking Dawn. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers stone.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Ella Enchanted. Oh they ruined it!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
About $35 and I can still remember when I did it and how many things I got.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Library books often get me skimming it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
if it’s boring as heck too much swearing, really idiotic plot, or I just don’t have the time and it’s not enjoyable enough for me to pick it up again

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
To some extent though not as much as I’d like. I have my nonfiction separated, my to read pile, my maybe pile, my favorites shelf, my new favorites shelf, my foreign language dictionaries shelf, my paperback romances shelf… I could go on…

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Depends. I usually only get books I’m probably going to like, or if they are inexpensive from the used books at the library, return them for another. I tend to hoard books… even when I shouldn’t.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
The Hunger Games, no desire to read it.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
I can’t think of a book that made me this way. I’d probably put it down and not finish it if it did.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. It was a James Patterson so I thought it couldn’t be that good. Also What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. The book is written entirely in verse. So so good.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Sense and Sensibility. I still have not gotten through that book!

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Ah, any of my Emilie Loring romances and I love to read when no one is up, though that doesn’t happen much because I’m usually the last one up!

 

Whew! so now you know more than you cared, right? But fun to do. I have been a bit behind in writing posts due to being tired, time constraints, getting a cold or something illness, working on the farm. Farm life does not lend itself to writing life. So hopefully some new content next week!

Signing off

Kate

Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.

 

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off

Kate.

A Note To My Readers Regarding My Book Reviews

I’m sure all of you think by now that I only read Christian books since that is only what I review. On the contrary.  I rarely read Christian books of any sort other than the ones I review, and that is due to a contract I have with Book Look Bloggers a subsidiary of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.  I signed up for their service quite a while ago, IE you can tell by my first book review, and as part of the contract, they send me a book free of charge for my honest review of the book.

It has been interesting delving into more religious based books considering that even though I grew up a Christian, I did not read a lot of Christian based books other than my school books.  And the only books that I read that are Christian based happen to be the ones I review.

When I am reading on my free time, my book choices vary like the market place in Marseille.  I joke that I keep my library in business by ordering the random assortment of books that I’m forever reading.  Recently I’ve been on a Maisie Dobbs theme or anything that deals with WWI and WWII.  I’m reading All Quiet on the Western Front, and I have several other books stacked up in various places I’m reading. In fact, I have way too many books to read. I just recently remembered that I was reading The Forgotten Man… apropos since I forgot it.  I need to start that up again.

I read Janet Dailey‘s Americana series when I’m in a romance mood, or my beloved Emilie Loring‘s, which have also been in my rotation as of late. I read classics, poetry, cookbooks (cookbooks are not meant to cook out of but to read in my opinion), gardening books, how to make wine, the architecture through the ages, essential oils and related.  My tastes are as varied as my music likes….. I was listening to Jason Derulo‘s “Talk Dirty to Me” and One Republic‘s new song on the radio today, grooving along, while a few days ago it was all folk and BroCountry.

So, why do I only write Christian book reviews?  Because I’m too lazy to write any other book review. I have to force the reviews out of me in the first place. I’m just not into the whole ‘book report’ thing. I’m trying. Really hard, because hey, a career in writing book reviews is good, but I just don’t think it’s for me.

So, that’s just what I do.

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