READING DOWN THE HOUSE Report #1

Snoopy was created by Charles Schultz

Snoopy was created by Charles Schultz

Recently I issued myself a challenge to read up all the books in my house that I haven’t read yet. I officially have 17 such books, although I know perfectly well I have a few more that I haven’t pulled together and listed.

If you’d like to join, there’s plenty of time…the finish date is Dec. 31, 2014 🙂

I bet you think this is a review of the first book I vowed to read, The Book Thief. But no, I am doing a round-up of all the library books I had to finish before beginning the challenge!

There were 4 this month:

The Waterproof Bible -  by Andrew Kaufman

The Waterproof Bible – by Andrew Kaufman

The Waterproof Bible is a novel written in a humorous, modern style, and you are surprised when it turns out to have fantastical elements in it.  The main character, Rebecca, has the unfortunate ability to broadcast her feelings to everyone around her, whether she wants to or not. She becomes incapacitated when her sister dies, and her brother-in-law does not seem to care. Enter a green Honda Civic-driving alien with mother issues, and things start to get really weird! Interestingly, this book’s theme is similar to that in one of my favourite movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Commitment - by Dan Savage

The Commitment – by Dan Savage

I had already read Dan Savage’s book The Kid, in which he and his partner Terry adopt a child. The Commitment is quite different. It continues Dan and Terry’s personal story, based around their decision whether or not to get married. It also includes a lot of research and reporting on the “issue” of gay marriage in the US. I wish I had read this book when it came out in 2005 because it would have still been topical for us Canadians. (Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2004). Sadly, those battles are still being fought in most American states. The book had its funny side, especially since they faced extreme pressure to get married from Dan’s mom, and some begging against it from their kid! I remain a big fan of Dan Savage and his weekly sex advice column, Savage Love.

Inside HBO's game of Thrones

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones

This was a big glossy photo book of the first two seasons of Game of Thrones. I sought this out to learn more about the houses, family trees and history of the seven kingdoms. The book was irritatingly lacking in maps. I loved all the photos, drawings and details of the set design and costuming. Plus, it was just a nice book for browsing…

Jon Snow, Night's Watch, GoT

Jon Snow, Night’s Watch, GoT

The Khaleesi, Daenerys, GoT

The Khaleesi, Daenerys, GoT

Finally, I remembered to get back to my Best Graphic Novels of 2012 list. At this rate I will always be a year behind!

Anya's ghost - by Vera Brosgol

Anya’s Ghost – by Vera Brosgol

Anya’s Ghost

I read a decent number of graphic novels and this one really stood out. It combines a realistic slice of teen life with a snappy supernatural character that keeps growing in intensity. There was so much going on – high school drama, friends, embarrassing parents and little brothers, immigrant fitting-in issues, an historical mystery, and more – but it came together beautifully. The high school party scene is unforgettable and so true to life! And the ghost…what a sweet, pitiable girl! And what a menace! Highly recommended.

That was my reading for October. Plus, you can add NME‘s special edition Arctic Monkeys magazine – I love them!

I have now cleared the way to read the first of the 17 books that are queued up on my own book shelf: The Book Thief, by Mark Zusak. Most of you have already read it and recommended it so I know I’m in good hands!

If you have started reading up the books at your house, feel free to post about them in the comments, and link to your blog, if you have one!

16 comments

  1. Fiona

    I am so glad you re-linked to the “best of” Graphic Novels list. I’ve been trying to remember where that was.. I have to read at least one from that list before I finish up my library job (with its huge supply of graphic novels!)

    Did you get to the end of Season 3 of GoT? We have a couple more episodes to go.

    I’ve tried to make a “Reading Down the House” list but I seem to be the only person stumped by the fact that the books on my “unread” list are there for a reason! They are dull! I don’t have a huge number of books at home so I think I’ll have to make a list of the Library books I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t followed up.

    • I have an issue with the reasoning for my unread books, too. I bought them for a reason – I was enthusiastic about reading them at the time – but mostly I got sidetracked by the latest library books. So I really do want to read the books I have at home. However, I have to admit that they did not call out to me as loudly as other books – or else I would have read them! They are mostly fiction and mostly rather serious, and I usually prefer to read nonfiction and some lighter fare. Perhaps I buy the books I’d like people to see on my book shelf rather than the ones I really want to read 🙂 At any rate, that’s why I gave myself over a year to read them – I will read 1 or 2 a month and intersperse them with other new books (graphic novels, nonfiction, etc.) No, we haven’t watched Season 3 yet – no legal source available – but I am sure we will break down sooner rather than later!

      • Fiona

        Ah! Now that’s a good plan, to read 1 or 2 interspersed with others. I know I’ve kept certain books for a reason…I need a plan to read them! (Side note on GoT: argh! I should have wondered if our copies were above-board, but I didn’t even think (we record all free-to-air and cable TV at work under a school license….we have 6,000 programmes on ‘off-site’ backup in our house.) Still no excuse though….

      • I’m sure it will not be long before I crack….

  2. I am meaning to do this with you, but need to get around to listing my books (and tossing the ones I’m never going to read). Some of mine are very dry books and I wish I could get the knowledge without reading them!

    I hope you enjoy The Book Thief 🙂

  3. Lisa

    I am similar to Fiona – if there is an unread book in my house it is because I didn’t like it when I tried to read it, I am not in the right frame of mind to tackle it, or it is my husband’s book and we have different tastes at times. Having said that, I don’t tend to buy a lot of books, and rely on the library for my reading material. I did, however, have to buy my latest book club book, ‘The Rosie Project’, in order to have it read in time. It was an amusing story about a character very similar to Sheldon of ‘The Big Bang Theory’

    Currently, I am 3/4 of the way through a book recently given to me…The Book Thief! I won’t say anymore except that I am disappointed with the movie trailer I recently saw. I’ll wait to say more after you have read it.

  4. Any other challenge and I would have joined in but I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up with reading novels – a quick flip through a magazine is all I get time for at bedtime most days before dropping off. I did read a book someone lent me last week – first one for ages -I cried all the way through and it was exhausting! I am still recovering LOL. I will be checking in though to see how you are doing – meanwhile I will challenge myself to reading and using new recipes I haven’t used before from my cookbooks – that is kind of a similar challenge isn’t it!!!

    • Great idea on the recipe challenge! I have not only a few cookbooks, but lots of individual recipes that I collected and “meant to” try but never did. Don’t you love a weepy book once in a while?!

  5. Hello there
    Going to join you in Reading down the House – so I’ve put a post together listing the books I’ll attempt to read between now and then – trouble is like you I will see something in the library and think ‘oh that looks good’ and I know it will be opened before those on the list. And then there are some on the list that need others to be read first – at least the thought will be there – followed through hopefully lol
    Take care
    Cathy

  6. As you know, I’m not ‘reading down the house’ cause, well I’m pretty lean there. But I tempted to STOP adding books to the library list! I read three books and am well into the fourth that I took away (all taken from my mothers house, and the first three didn’t return). I’m tempted to add the alien book you mentioned, but perhaps I need to work on my existing list? Enjoy the Book Thief, I must follow up on the movie.

    • Lots of reading being done, then – that’s what counts! Andrew Kaufman has several books. His latest, Born Weird, got really good reviews, and also has a fantasy element.

  7. I’ve read two books from my list- one very short, one long, but I had already made good progress through it. Kindle books, as I have been knitting a lot recently so have needed my hands…next up, finishing to two physical books I have started, and starting another Kindle book- I think I will read Bad Science next…

    Here is my post about my finished books (I have updated my book list post as well): http://bettybeesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/book-reviews-queen-elizabeth-queen.html

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