Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Coffee:Endless Summer Reading

Short Assignments

Old habits die hard, and I often wake up at 5:00 a.m., even though there is nowhere for me to go at that hour. It works out well though; I want to be at my desk before the neighbors are driving out to work. Every morning I sit at my desk, and give myself Anne Lamotte's advice:  short assignments.

My husband says I don't need to go to the gym, since I walk around from room to room so much! I do feel a little restless being at home. In another week I'll be at the Advanced Writing Institute, and the coming week will be mostly about preparing for that. And of course, I'm reading.

I feel as though I'm experiencing an embarrassment of riches right now. The review books I'm getting have been unfailingly good, and I have my own stack of books as well. In any spare time, I'm reading. This week I'm trying to finish up A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It's a rip-roaring good read, with swords and magic and dragons. My favorite character is Arya.

"Almost no one has a normal relationship with food."

I'm still thinking about Lionel Shriver's Big Brother. The comments on that review have been really thought-provoking. The quote above is from an interview with Shriver that appeared in The Guardian. Shriver discusses her strict regimen: she allows herself only one meal a day, and runs ten miles every other day. I'd say she writes from experience when she discusses fear, food, and obesity. In the interview, Shriver talks about her older brother, who died of obesity-related illness. And in this article, Viv Groskop discusses Big Brother, Shriver's relationship with her brother, and the "cult of personality that has grown up around Shriver."

Actual TBR Pile

This is my actual TBR pile...the books I really want to read right away! some are ARCs, and some I've purchased or already owned. As you can see, I've got my work cut out for me. Up next are Simon Van Booy's The Illusion of Separateness, and Emma Straub's Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

What's next on your list? Is your TBR pile as big as mine? I'll share more about my TBR stack and more next week. Look for a post on Bonnie Jo Campbell's Q Road next.... She is now one of my favorite writers, and I just hope she'll publish something new soon, because I am running out of books.


Frances said...

My TBR pile is scattered all about the house in an attempt to trick myself into believing that it is much smaller than it actually is. Quiet was a good read, and we share the new McCann as well as a view of summer possibilities being endless. Happy reading!

Lisa said...

Knowing that about Shriver's background would make a big difference in how I would read Big Brother. I got so mad reading So Much For That because I really felt like she got a lot wrong and I was concerned that I'd feel that way about this one, too.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, I had no idea Shriver only eats one meal a day. I'm not the disciplined!

Your TBR pile looks great. I really don't plan but need to read Madame Tussaud soon for my book club.

bibliophiliac said...

@Frances-I'm really looking forward to Quiet. I may try to squeeze that in along with a fiction book...I can't read two novels at once, but I can read nonfiction and fiction at the same time....The McCann was an ARC from Librarything, and I want to get to that soon too!

bibliophiliac said...

@Lisa-you may still find Shriver's writing off-putting, but I couldn't resist her sharp wit. Her writing is unsettling though. Shriver definitely has a strong personality.

bibliophiliac said...

@bermudaonion-her eating regimen is incredibly disciplined....Eating just one meal a day takes self-control!

The Relentless Reader said...

I've been waking up very early lately as well. I have no reason to but I sure enjoy the quiet at that time of day :)

bibliophiliac said...

@Jennifer-the early morning hours are the only time I can think and write without interruption! I don't really love waking up early, but I do love that time of morning. That is when I do my best planning and writing, before the minutae of the day wears me down....

Judith said...

Reading your superlative review of Big Brother, and then the Guardian interview with Shriver, I can say I'm glad she's channeled her angst about these issues into ART.

I was anorexic from 18-20 and then off and on throughout my 20s, and I am personally so glad that I have no interest in these issues anymore, but I *do* think they're important and am glad that she's writing about them.

I'm excited about your Advanced Writing experience coming up. Do let us know about it once you've recovered!


bibliophiliac said...

@Judth--thanks for the kind words. I will definitely post about the Advanced Writing Institute...I can't wait!