Thursday, June 16, 2011

Curling up with a good book


Years ago, when I was interviewing for internships and potential jobs the prospective employer asked a number of questions about my schooling and related work experience.  Then they'd asked about my strengths and weaknesses and sometimes provide a hypothetical situation in which I would have to describe my course of action.  And almost inevitably they would ask about my hobbies.  Things I liked to do outside of school and work.  With the exception of gardening, I added that in the past few years, these are the things I'd typically list.

If I think about the things I like to do for pleasure today these items still top my list.  The thing is, I don't actually do any of these items very often (with the exception of running, which I have started to do regularly again.) It's not because I don't want to; it's because I rarely have the time to.  When the kids are playing nicely together or have finally gone down to bed at night I spend my time frantically trying to switch/fold loads of laundry or put the dishes away or clean the crumbs and greasy hand prints off of the table from dinner. There is never enough time to get done the things I should be doing (my floors are disgusting!), let alone do the things I want to be doing.

At the beginning of this year I set some personal goals for myself and one of them had to do with reading. In my Spring Soul Season list I included 'read two books.'  I've been making a point to read almost daily.  Never much, usually just a chapter here, a few pages there, most often before bed.  I forgot how much I love this past time.  How much I need this past time, this escape.  In May some friends and I started a book club and I'm happy to say I read both of those books I set out to finish this spring.

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The Help by Katherine Stockett was recommended to me by Amanda.  I loved this book and I knew I was going to love it on page 1.   I was immediately sucked into the South, the characters, and the time in history. Although I felt like the end was a bit rushed and I wanted just a little more out of it, I still gave it 5 stars. I have a feeling I'll be thinking of these ladies for awhile and I'm looking forward to hearing that the author has released a new novel.

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Our first book club book was Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.  I've only read one other Picoult book so I was looking forward to this.  Overall I liked the story; I was chugging through it because I wanted to know how things would play out.  But I didn't have a great connection with the characters and didn't "feel" a lot of the relationships.  Among our book club ladies I think I can safely say we all thought it was a bit lacking and felt a bit forced.  I originally gave it four stars on Goodreads but just changed it to three.  I'd still read another by this author, but I didn't love this.

I'm currently reading Mudbound by Hillary Jordan and I have a number of books in my "to-read" pile.  It feels good to reclaim this hobby.

P.S. I'd take any and all reading suggestions!


Kelly said...

Hi, I'm another follower from good old EHS. I've commented before and I know your brother and SIL. Anyways I have just picked up readying again as well. Little ones sure can make it hard but like you said at night is the best time for it. I just finished a book this weekend and I LOVED it! "Goodnight, Beautiful" by Dorothy Koomson. It was a book that I could hardly put down. The last 100 pages I literally could not put it down (stayed up until 1AM b/c I had to see what the ending would be). Another book that I just read which was a nice quick read was, "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpor, Sonja Burpo and Lynn Vincent. Truly an amazing story! I have a few others on my list and I'll pass on the titles if they are any good. Please keep posting books that you have enjoyed. I love when people recommend good reads!

Kate said...

Hi Kelly, did I never reply to your last comment? Dang it, I don't think I did. I'm sorry, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it, reading it actually brought tears to my eyes!

Oh, oh, oh, thank you for the book suggestions. I'm putting Goodnight, Beautiful on my to-read list. And guess what? Heaven is for Real is our next book club book! I'll be reading that one next. Can't wait!

Em said...

I'm looking forward to reading The Help after hearing its glowing review from you and others! I also can't wait to get back to the Millenium trilogy. I have a lot of reading I want to do this summer, and I agree that I feel so much better when I carve out a little more time for one of my favorite hobbies. :)