This week’s question for Booking Through Thursday is:
Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?
The only season where my reading habits sometimes change is during the summer, when I tend to read a higher percentage of “fluff” books than at other times of the year. This past summer I took this to the extreme and decided to read all the unread chick lit books sitting on my to-read shelf. I enjoy the occasional piece of chick lit but this summer I went a wee bit overboard. My brain turned to sickly sweet strawberry jam by the end of the summer. I was yearning to read something with more substance and a bit less predictable.
So in the past month, I’ve been picking up books with a bit more heft as I attempt to return my brain from its gelatinous state to something a bit more capable of reading about challenging characters and topics. Time for my brain to digest the books instead of the other way around!
Today’s Booking Through Thursday question has a 9/11 theme:
Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since. And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?
One thing that disheartened me greatly in the aftermath of 9/11 was the way some people were stereotyping and generalizing about Muslims and/or Arabs. I am not a Muslim but my husband is one. After 9/11 I had to listen to coworkers, acquaintances and even family say things like “we should bomb that whole part of the world to oblivion” or “all Muslims should pay for what happened.” The lumping together of people of a certain culture, religion, or ethnicity has always disturbed me. But, after 9/11 some of the backlash affected my life. Since 9/11, my husband or I have been stopped for a random security check on every single flight that we have taken together. I also worry about my husband’s family that live overseas in an area with much political turmoil and where bombings and terrorist attacks are a much more common occurance than they are here in the States.
This week’s Booking Through Thursday Question:
I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.
Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.
Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?
The most recent time that I felt something close to peer pressure to read a book was when the last Harry Potter book was released and everyone ran out and bought it @ midnight…and then they stayed up all night reading it. I’ve always lagged my reading of the Harry Potter books by a year or two after they were released. I still haven’t read the final Harry Potter book. I just read book 6 last year and expect to read book 7 in the next few months. so don’t spoil it for me!
Since I am in several book clubs, I do end up reading a lot of the fiction and non-fiction best sellers that “everyone is reading”. Often times I find the same book getting picked in different book clubs within a few months of each other, for example “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Three Cups of Tea” were both popular suggestions and picks in my book clubs in this past year.
I don’t feel that it is my “duty” or obligation as a reader to read all the trendy books. I read a lot, and some of those books sometimes happen to be the latest popular book.
The Omnivore’s Hundred is a list of 100 items that the folks at Very Good Taste thinks every omnivore should eat in their lifetime.
To play along at home…
- 1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
- 2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
- 3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
- 4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
My results of The Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (once or twice @ brunch)
4. Steak tartare (love it!)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue (mmmm, melty cheesey heaven!)
10. Baba ghanoush (with some pita bread: a meal in itself!)
11. Calamari (eaten a lot of these puppies)
13. PB&J sandwich (more times than I can count!)
14. Aloo gobi (my husband makes some of the best)
15. Hot dog from a street cart (New York, New York!!)
17. Black truffle (several times. most recently with some ravioli @ B&B in Vegas)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (several varieties from local vineyards)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream (one of THE BEST ice cream flavors)
21. Heirloom tomatoes (fresh from my own garden– perfection!)
22. Fresh wild berries (used to have wild blueberries & strawberries in the woods near my house growing up)
23. Foie gras (many-a-times!)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (another fave!)
29. Baklava (many times– we made this for a Freshman year Greel Literature presentation)
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas (solo, and on top of a salad)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (how could I avoid this in New England!?!?)
33. Salted lassi (another hubby specialty)
35. Root beer float (when I was young… I don’t like Root Beer anymore)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (not recently, but once or twice in my past)
57. Dirty gin martini (one of my fave drinks!)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores (every summer!)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (a summertime favorite!)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (in my lunch whe I was a kid)
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (if rabbit counts, then yes)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (when I was a kid)
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
So, I’ve had 58 out of 100. It looks like I still have quite a bit of eating to do! How about you?