Monday, May 04, 2009

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson

Reason for Reading: Dewey Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge

Sometimes subtle, sometimes striking, the interplay between our lives and our books is the subject of this unique memoir by well-known publishing correspondent and self-described "readaholic" Sara Nelson. From Solzhenitsyn to Laura Zigman, Catherine M. to Captain Underpants, the result is a personal chronicle of insight, wit, and enough infectious enthusiasm to make a passionate reader out of anybody.
Dear Dewey,

I did not even remember that you had read this book! I picked it up for a totally unrelated reason, so when I was browsing your blog earlier I was very happy to see that you read it too! Funny story about this book! I am not an early to bed person, so I was sharing a room with my mother when we went to my great-grandmothers funeral and she went to bed way before I was able to. I ended up reading this book in the hotel bathtub! I am just that cool! I know that the charming comedian called and one of my friends sent me a text and 'cool' was not exactly what they were thinking! It served my purpose, though. It is not exactly the book I would have pictured me reading the night before a funeral, but it was sort of fitting. I am a very moody reader and I got the impression reading this book that Nelson was, too! We both can have the best laid plans, and then just as quickly our minds change.

I really like that you spent a large part of your review talking about the chapter "Eating Crow". You brought up a lot of the points that I found myself thinking while reading this chapter. It is a chapter on friends recommending books. Nelson feels disappointed when a friend recommends a book that she didn't like. You went on to say that all of your closest friends are readers. Most of mine are not, which has always been weird to me! Anyway, if recommendations bothered me at all, I would have a lot less friends. Even my grandmother is always giving me books that do not interest me in the slightest. It doesn't change how I feel about anyone. I am doing this whole 'Bad Blogger' thing right now. I know (when my memory is good) who reviewed or talked about the books that wind up on those posts. Sometimes I love the books, while other times they are just okay. It has never changed how I think about the person that recommended them to me, though! It does happen. I do sometimes get disappointed when I recommend a book or movie to someone thinking they will love it and they don't, but it is a momentary thing and then life goes on! I mean, the charming comedian doesn't like Star Wars, and while that baffles me and confuses me, we are still talking!

Someone told me that reading this book would add lots of books to my TBR pile, too. It didn't really happen! Most of the books that really called to me, I had either already read or already owned! A lot of the books that she talked about did not interest me at all, but it was still fun reading about her year of reading! The charming comedian was looking at the title and telling me how that was my life in a nutshell and that I could easily have written the same book! He knows me all too well, huh? I think most book bloggers and readers could write the exact same book. I read more than a book a week, though.

Okay, this was a ranty letter, huh?

Until next time...

To read Dewey's review of this book, click here.


  1. Boy Kail,

    This sure doesn't look like a break in blogging to me. LOL! I know first hand (pardon the pun)how hard it is to stay away.

  2. I enjoyed this book when I read it. It came at a good time for me as my mom had not too long before been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I'm like you, Kelly. If I don't like a book as much as the person who recommended it to me, it doesn't change my feelings about the person. Even when people have similar tastes, there can be differences. And reading is such a personal experience. We each react to books differently. However, I do feel a twinge of guilt when someone doesn't like a book I recommend. I know I shouldn't feel that way, but I do.

    I hope you enjoy your week!

  3. Teddy: I took a break for a few days!

    Wendy: I know what you mean, though. You want someone to love something as much as you do, and when they don't then you feel guilty for wasting their time. I can see it.

  4. Thank you for reminding me of Dewey's review of this. I had forgotten about it, but it was one of those that made me go "she's such an awesome person". I loved yours too! I don't mind it at all if someone doesn't like a book (or band, or movie) I like. It doesn't mean we can't be friends! I understand the guilt Wendy and you mentioned, but I don't worry too much unless I tell the person "you HAVE to read this, it'll change your life!!1" and then they hate it. I don't say that very often, though :P

    Anyway...I love books about books, so I plan to read this at some point.

  5. Loved this rambly letter to Dewey. Really, truly did.

    I can't imagine changing how I felt about someone just 'cause they recommended a book I didn't enjoy as much as they did. Sheesh...this guy I really like (as in enough to have been living with him for the past 22 years), reads book after book after book about evolution and book after book after book about the brain, and yet still I can think of no one I'd rather spend my time with. ;)

    Yep, I definitely think I need to pick this one up. Thanks Kailana!

  6. Yea, can you imagine getting all upset if people didn't like books you recommended?

    And, given that I can be a very moody reader too then I definitely think I need to add this one to my list.

  7. I really liked this book when I read it as well. There were just so many quotes that I went "yes! So true!" Thanks for sharing this!

    Quote: "Here's something I've learned: Having limitless choices is as difficult as having none at all. Maybe more difficult. They say . . . that too many possibilities beget anxiety, and anxiety begets anger and more bad choices. Suddenly, I see what they mean. When I'm in this off mood, the sight of those bedside piles makes me shake. There's simply no way the books there won't soon morph into dozens of new houses in my little Swiss town."

    My review of this book is here.

  8. Ana: I had totally forgotten about it, so I was glad to discover we had this book in common! I hope you enjoy it!

    Debi: I am glad you liked the letter format! Hope you enjoy the read!

    Iliana: Yes, I am a very moody reader, so this book suited me!

    Kaila: That quote is one of my favourites, too! It's how I feel sometimes!

  9. LMAO! Okay so reading in the bathtub with actual water in the bath is pretty normal for me so it's cool. But if you were reading in an empty bathtub just for a place to read that's like the awesome of coolness. Either way, yes you are that cool :P

    About recommendations - if a friend loves one I give I feel a warmth of reader happiness. If the friend hates or is even just meh about it, that's also a good thing because it can lead to really interesting conversations.

    And I agree this book didn't make me add anything to my TBR pile, either I'd already read them or they didn't interest me. But it was still a good read - I haven't come across any reader-memoir type books that weren't enjoyable. For me the love of reading is what makes them awesome, no matter the person's reading taste.

    Thanks for sharing another terrific letter review! You're so good at these Dear Dewey posts :)

  10. I enjoyed this post too, Kailana. I enjoy how you raise the interesting points too, like about recommending books and what happens if the person doesn't like it. It doesn't change my opinion of them! Reading is such a personal choice, as you say. I do have to read this book though, one day. Another one I've known about and just haven't picked up. This was the original title of my blog, by the way, "So little Books, so Little time" then I saw there were at least three blogs with variations of that theme, so I had to come up with another one :-D

  11. Joanne: lol! Yes, it was a waterless bath tub. hahaha It was my only option, really. The room was only so big!

    Susan: I hope you enjoy this book when you get a chance to read it!

  12. I have enjoyed this one when I read it. :D

  13. Alice: It was a very good book!

  14. Haha! I had to chuckle at you reading this in the hotel bathtub!
    I agree with you that I might be momentarily disappointed if someone doesn't like a book I've loved, but it's not something to dwell on. And I never think differently of someone because of the books they've recommended. We all have different taste and that makes things interesting, not the other way around.


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