Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday 5 - Book 'Em

When I found myself with time to blog today, I had to go check out what was going on at Friday 5. Don't get there as often as I have in the past, but I always enjoy participating.  And this week's entry is so perfect for me!  Here is what the host of Friday 5, scrivener, had to say -

"I am a total bookworm, but I’ve mostly avoided indulging that passion of mine in this space. Today, however, I feel the need to be reminded of why I love books and reading, so please share your thoughts on books as you answer these questions." are my thoughts on some books!

1. What book did you struggle to get through but is something you’re glad you’ve read? - Sometimes reading something worthwhile, can be a struggle...although ideally, not.  Seems less worthwhile if it is a chore.  Still, I try to push myself sometimes and not be lazy even in my pleasure reading.  A few months ago I read The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  People tend to rave about it and I had been curious for some time.  It is one of those books that disappears from libraries, but we finally held on to a copy long enough for me to read it.  Let's just say I was underwhelmed.  But still glad I can now say I've read it.

2.What’s a book whose popularity has baffled you? Not exactly baffled, because I think I understand what makes popular books popular.  But The Da Vinci Code? I mean, yes, I get that it is all action packed and each short chapter is like a little cliff hanger (sort of like Goosebumps for grown-ups).  But please don't pretend that it is great literature. That is not gonna fly.  Um, don't hate me.

3. If you could make everyone you know read one book, what would it be?  Right now I am feeling very fond of The Elegence of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  While sometimes the characters can annoy you...just like real people...the story and the writing are so lovely.  Some of the passages made me want to cry.  Not in that sad way, but in that beautiful ache way.  So, I'd encourage others to take a look.

4. What book have you liked less and less as time has gone by? Anything by Tom Robbins. As I've gotten older, I am more bothered by his (or his characters') misogeny and fondness for, shall we say, very young women.  I still name Still Life With Woodpecker as a book that made a difference to truly did change how I thought about fiction.  And I still have a fondness for Robbins colorful and engaging style. But I do find myself liking some things about his books less as time has gone by.

5. What book have you loved more and more as time has gone by?  I'm going to say Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr.  Although I liked this book when I first read it several years ago, I think I appreciate it in a different way as time goes by.  Doerr style is quite understated, but her characters are vivid.  This story about an older couple settling in a tiny Mexican village to reopen an old copper mine is full of life and death in a matter of fact way.  It is really so beautiful and really has stayed with me in a way that I have come to appreciate over the years.

Wow.  Not sure anyone else will enjoy this little game as much as I did, but I would love to read anyone else's answers in comments or on your own blog.  I'd really enjoy that!

Hope you all have a good weekend! Stop in tomorrow for SECRETS and a little birthday post.


Anonymous said...

I openly admit to my "Confederacy of Dunces" love. Maybe it's sort of a "you have to know an Ignatious" book.

Couldn't agree more on "Da Vinci Code."

Haven't reread Tom Robbins in a while -- might be time to revisit.

silly rabbit said...

1)I had a heck of a time forcing myself to finish "Hawaii". My goodness that man can ramble on forever about every vein in a leaf! But it did teach me a great deal about writing.
2)Any of the "Twilight" series of books baffled me to pieces. But I don't like romances or soap operas and they are kind of both.
3)If I could only recommend one book it would be "Setting Free The Bears"! You have to read it to find out why.
4)I fell in love with "The Electric Kool-Aide Acid Test" back in college. I was a big Ken Kesey fan and interested with him, though Tom Wolf wrote it. Recently I reread it and wondered what on earth had fascinated me so much.
5) See #3. hee hee

silly rabbit said...

Just an additional FYI... my SSS post is scheduled to show up at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. =:]

laura b. said...

James: I know I am in the minority there. Have you read Neon Bible? I preferred that one.

Silly: I have still not made my way through Hawaii. I'm guessing it might not happen. Although I am willing to try Setting Free the Bears :)
And agreed re Twilight. Boy.
Thanks Silly Rabbit!

secret agent woman said...

I actually liked "The DaVinci Code," but as an easy vacation read, not "literature." I don't know about books I like more or less over time, since I don't often re-read books. As a kid, I would force myself to read a whole book just so I could say I had. "War and Peace" and the Bible spring to mind. I read all those long Michener books back then, too(Hawaii, The Source, and a few others), but really was pretty engrossed in them - I loved the level of detail. But these days, I usually regret forcing myself to read a book I don't like. I read all of "Julie and Julia" and wished I hadn't wasted my time with her narcissism. So I just don't anymore - I started "Eat, Pray, Love" and decided I didn't like the author well enough to continue. And, interestingly, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" fell into that category. I got one chapter into it and gave up - I could not stand the author's writing style. I don't know why, it just set my teeth on edge. I recently downloaded a bunch of books onto my iPad and am planning to start diving in tonight.

NoRegrets said...

So now I have a few books to read! Yeah, I read Confed of Dunces, and I too was underwhelmed...

laura b. said...

Secret: Since reading is kind of an addiction of mine, but I'm not always all in, I love re-reading things I've enjoyed. It is comforting or something, like an old friend. But sometimes I have been disappointed to re-read something I once loved and now think - huh.
iPad! So jealous!

NoRegrets: I love it when you post about books on your blog!
And always glad to feel like I'm not taking crazy pills :)