Catching Up

22813605I made a good decision to abandon a book this weekend.  It was tough because I really liked the author’s previous book so much.  I was highly anticipating this one, but it just felt reeeeaallllyyyy slooooowwwww and incredibly detailed, and I just didn’t feel compelled to pick it up again.  I got 90 pages in and then I had to cut bait.  I think perhaps it was just my frame of mind and I’ll try it again another time.  But, by letting it go now I was able to dive into a book I was genuinely eager to read:  Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger.  I’m racing through it and find it most compelling.  Tough subject matter (Gay was brutally gang-raped at the age of 12, and has struggled with morbid obesity ever since) but I was prepared for that going in.  I’m drawn to books about weight and body image struggles because I’ve always been a bit on the chubby side myself and have gone through ups and down with body image my whole life.  But honestly, I think even if you’ve never experienced a “weight problem” you might still want to pick this one up.  It’s a searing examination of what it’s like to be a fat person today, in our world, with our society’s fat phobia and miniscule airline seats and reality TV shows about losing weight.  It’s a brave book, and I’m really into it so far.

51jNORv6nQLI’m also listening to an audio book that is about as far away from Hunger as one can get:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, read by the amazing Jim Dale.  I believe that my audio book reading for the rest of the year will be the remaining books in the series.  I’ve read them in paper form years ago, of course, but experiencing them again in this format is a true treat.  I’d forgotten how insufferable Gilderoy Lockhart was – Dale nails his smarmy voice perfectly.  I’m one disc from the end so the action is really getting good.  Yes, I listen to audio book CDs (from my library) in my car!  I haven’t succumbed to an Audible subscription yet.  I keep thinking I will one day, and then I remember the gazillion podcasts I subscribe to and listen to on my phone, so I hold off.  One day!

As for 20 Books of Summer, I’ve read books 10 and 11, but haven’t yet written about them.  Look for a mini-review post in the next few days.  I am most certainly NOT going to have read all 20 books by September 3!  At this point I honestly don’t even remember what books are on my original revised list, ha ha!  I’m pretty sure that Hunger wasn’t on there.  Oh well, who really cares?  At some point in the next couple of months I’ll have read 20 books and written about them, right?  It will all work out.  🙂

So, if you’re participating, how are you doing with 20 Books of Summer?  If you’re not, how are you at abandoning books?  Do you feel a pang of guilt, especially when it’s an author you’ve previously enjoyed?  What’s the last great audio book you listened to? let me know in the comments.

 

 

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44 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. I literally just finished listening to book 16, but I have to review it and 14 and 15. I went off my list a little; the book I just finished was recommended by Fiction Fan just recently, and I’d rather read and review recs than hold white-knuckled to a list to create a better sense of community. I have to finish a book for book club, so I know at least I’ll get to 17! Yes, I’ve been listening to a lot more audio books in the last year than I have ever before. Some genres are totally suited to it.

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  2. Hunger is on the top of my TBR list! I still have to pick up a copy (my library doesn’t have it). I was a “chubby” teenager, and I remember really struggling with it. I wish I hadn’t felt that way about myself. I was healthy, but couldn’t see it that way because I wasn’t what society deemed “perfect.” I am hoping my children will have a better perspective on weight when they’re old enough to realize how much society judges women because of it.

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    1. Amen! It’s funny, when I was in high school I thought I was so big, but looking back on it now, I was totally a healthy size for my age. I’ve come a long way mentally on this issue as I’ve gotten older, and thank goodness there are so many more responsible and feminist resources for young women now to combat commercial messages.

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  3. I have been busy listening to Anna Karenina, which has totally thrown off my 20 Books of Summer. If I count this epic as 3 books, then I can maybe get to 20. But I am way behind reviewing everything I’ve read. Oh well…
    You should totally skip an Audible subscription. I don’t think it’s worth the money. Check if your library has a Hoopla subscription, which would make audio and e-books (and movies) available to you via an app. Super easy and totally free! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the perspective on Audible! We do have an Overdrive app and there are downloadable audiobooks. There are certain editions of things that I’d like to try that we don’t have, however, like Colin Firth reading The End of the Affair for example, that I could get on Audible. But you’re right, it’s a wonderful resource that libraries provide! For free!

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  4. I’m with you on the 20 books of summer – currently reading book 16 have written reviews 11 & 12 today (for posting later this week) but not sure I’m going to make it by the deadline – Last year I missed by a mile but I was done by the end of 2016!

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  5. I used to be that reader, the reader who gutted through and finished a book come hell or high water. But. I decided to stop doing that to myself. There are too many books out there that I’m dying to get to and not enough time in the day to get to them. So, I’ve adopted the 100 pages and if it doesn’t grab me, well, on to something else.

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  6. I firmly believe in DNF’ing books. I actually have a DNF review I’m working on right now! Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy, and part of my mission is to help people avoid potential bookish pitfalls. Which book did you DNF? I also, I think it should totally count towards your 20 Books of Summer– you gave it the good ol’ college try! But, to each their own.

    I haven’t read anything by Roxanne Gay yet– but most of her complete works are on my TBR. XD Have you read any of her books? Where would you recommend I start?

    Also- I *adore* Jim Dale’s recordings! I fully support you continuing to listen to them all. Is this your first experience with Jim Dale’s HP audiobooks?

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  7. yay for Jim Dale! Listening to the HP series is on my bucket list – I’m glad to see that you think he’s amazing as well. And the Roxane Gay book sounds so amazing – I’m glad that you were able to get to it!

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  8. At first when I began reading your post I thought you were going to say that you hated Hunger, and I was SHOCKED because everyone keeps saying how good this book is. But then I realized that you loved it too, so it all makes sense now 😉

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  9. I keep toying with the idea of listening to the Harry Potter books, but it’s the Stephen Fry ones I’ve been thinking of. At the speed I listen it’d take me months though… maybe years! Haha – I’ve abandoned the 20 Books completely – I was so far behind and had abandoned five of them. Total failure – but who cares? 😀

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  10. I love the Harry Potter audiobooks to bits! I’ve listened to the Stephen Fry narration and thought it was great. He has such an excellent audiobook voice. I’m glad to see you’re enjoying Hunger too. I’ve got a copy on request at the library and I’ve been really looking forward to reading it. I need to emotionally prepare myself a little though. It sounds pretty distressing.

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  11. I was listening to an old (I think) interview with Roxane Gay on NPR last night and got home and saw your great review. Looking forward to reading Hunger and some of her other work even more now.

    I haven’t posted in forever, but I’m about at the same place you are with the 20 books of summer. I think I’ll finish up with 10 or 11, several of which were not on that original list. And that just means the others will still be around for next year, right? 🙂

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    1. Ah, so you’re not going to continue past Sept. 3 then? I debated whether or not to chuck the whole thing or keep trying past the due date. I think I’ll keep going and see what happens. It may be 20 Books of Winter before it’s all said and done! 🙂

      Hope you get a copy of Hunger soon. It was a terrific book, finished it last night.

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      1. Since I swap out and read so many other books than those on my 20 books of summer list, I am not sure it matters if I go past Sept. 3 or not. I will just keep reading regardless! 🙂

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  12. Even though I wasn’t doing the same challenge, I had a list for the past 3 months which included 15 books and I just finished the 8th, so I can relate to your middleish sensation. (Cuz of course once you make a list all the other books look amazing off the list.) And only a couple weeks left to finish. Yah, not gonna happen. But, like you said, whatever: they’ll get read! I’m content with that. The last audio book which I most enjoyed was Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods, which is weird and smart and, at first, truly sounds like it’s going to be the WorstAudioBookEver. But, he’s actually the perfect narrator after all. Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

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  13. I’m so glad to hear you liked Hunger. I didn’t get to it before I had to return it to the library, but I’m definitely going to.

    On not finishing books–it’s VERY hard for me to do. There’s only maybe 2-3 books I’ve walked away from in recent memory. Even then, I feel like I’ll someday go back and read it…SO HARD!

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  14. Hunger does sound like an interesting read. I will look out for your review.

    I don’t struggle with abandoning non-ARCs. If a book isn’t working out for me, I just drop it. However, its a struggle not to DNF ARCs that I am not into. Last week, an ARC that I really wasn’t enjoying almost sent me into a reading slump. Sometimes, you have to drop a book if its just not working out.

    I am embarrassed to admit but I am yet to read any of the HP book. I plan to do so someday though 🙂

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    1. Diana, I think there are many out there who haven’t read them. I was an adult already when they came out and became big in the U.S. Honestly, if I hadn’t been working at the library at that time, I might not have known about them for quite a while. I have to say that I love them, and so far they are definitely worth the reread!

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  15. I had fairly loose guide rails for my 20 Books – but I’m doing pretty well (I won’t make the full 20 I don’t think). Of the books I explicitly targeted, I’ve read 10/12 and DNFed another; the last book on that list is just going to stay on the shelf for a while longer though. After that I was always improvising and I still am 🙂 I’ve definitely become a believer in a DNF when it’s more pain than fun – as you said, it let’s you get to good stuff sooner!

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  16. I am damn good at abandoning books, and frankly it feels amazing every time. It’s so freeing. As I always tell myself (and it has been proven true in the past!), if the book is meant for me, I’ll come back to it. I came back to Shirley Jackson, to my great benefit! 😀

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