WIB Oct 13-19, Oct and Nov goals
Let’s get last week’s books out of the way first, shall we?
I started with Brenda Jackson’s Bachelor Unclaimed, one from the Kimani Romance’s Bachelors in Demand series. I did not make it to the third chapter. I didn’t even notice it was Kimani; I had no idea Brenda Jackson was black and was known for being the first African-American romance something something (see previous post); I’ve never actually read an “urban romance” or whatever stupid name they give it before–apparently all black people live in cities or something, idk. It’s as stupid as “urban fantasy” that takes place in the suburbs.
Anywhoodle, it’s not that I’m a middle-class white chick that made me put the book down; it is just plain bad. I know that some romances are written for the reluctant reader in mind, but my God, woman, we don’t need to be told something four times in the same chapter. WE CAN KEEP A THOUGHT IN OUR HEADS. I didn’t even twitch at the “How dare you–OF COURSE I WILL” of it. I couldn’t bring myself to care, and I’m not even getting into criticism of a culture that isn’t my own. (I do insist, however, that it’s in all women’s best interests to only say “how dare you” when, you know, you’re not going to give a different signal with the comment or in the next few comments. If you are outraged, you say so. If you are not, but you’re afraid of coming off as too slutty or whatever, GET OVER IT.) But Jackson delivers everything to you on a plate, head-hops, and generally writes in a way that’s utterly off-putting to me, and I won’t take it from shitty white people Harlequins, and I won’t take it here either. I’d be happy to suggestions for GOOD “urban” romance, but please, not Brenda Jackson. Or at least not a Brenda Jackson that was created for the quick-read market.
So then I only read one other book in the entire week: Adriana Trigiani’s The Shoemaker’s Wife.
Trigiani looks like an Italian hairdresser, or chef, or someone else who makes kinda smock-like clothing decisions.
I got it signed at BEA for my ex-co-workers at the library, and of course I wasn’t going to let it go until I’d read it myself. It’s reminiscent of the sweeping/family ’80s books I loved so much–Pilcher, Binchy, even Gouge–but I’ve gotta say, I don’t think it’s as well done. It’s heartwarming, but I think it sacrifices a lot for that sense of the heartwarming, like depth. I’m sure there’s a library full of my ex-co-workers who’d be willing to get into fisticuffs for me saying that, but it WAS an entertaining book that kept me turning pages most of the way. I’m not going to say it isn’t good. But it’s missing something, and that something really upset me after finishing it, because I wanted it to be more.
So, on to reading goals.
Out of the six books I wanted to read this month, I’ve finished (or given up on) four of them: The Sinister Lake Game, Saving Faith, Missing Since Monday, and 2030. That leaves Once Upon a Time, which is a collection of stories from my childhood, and Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, which is a fantasy I’ve been putting off for two years now because it’s fantasy and that’s not my genre. I will feel fine if I have one finished and am reading the last at the month’s end–that is, I don’t need to have them all done by the end of the month. Which brings me to November. I originally had a list of five books, two non-fiction, DURING National Novel Writing Month. Am I crazypants? I don’t just do NaNo; I also do National Blog Posting Month. That’s a lot of writing! Not a lot of reading! So I know I can’t get to my 500-book goal (which was, admittedly, created with the idea that I was reading a lot of children’s books and that I’d have a lot of free time–ha!–and that I didn’t have anemia and would spend most of the day exhausted from what little I tried to do in the morning), but I can at least set reasonable goals for myself and not try to overdo it.
So I’ve decided to rearrange my November list as follows:
Cloud Atlas (our book club selection)
Divided Allegiance (second book in that fantasy series)
Masks (quick reread off the to-read shelf–yes it’s Next Gen)
If There Be Thorns (quick reread off the to-read shelf that I couldn’t make it through last time because it’s painful; but I should at least finish it for the sake of the to-read list eventually being cleared off)
I deleted Rat Girl entirely and moved Lies My Teacher Told Me to my December list, which I’m still working on.
So…whatever, man. I do what I can. And I’m not going to feel bad about it.