A Busy Book Week in Bibliophilopolis

Or at least it could be. Lots of stuff going on in town. We’ll see how much I actually get to do.

(1) Tomorrow, author Majie Alford Failey is discussing her book, We Never Danced Cheek to Cheek: The Young Kurt Vonnegut in Indianapolis and Beyond, at Bookmama’s Bookstore in Irvington. I stopped by Bookmama’s last week as their “Shared Pages” book club was discussing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one of my favorite short stories. At that time, I learned of this week’s event and bought a copy of the book. It’s only 150 pages or so, and I’ve already started it.

(2) Wednesday, the “Great Books” reading group is meeting at the Nora Library to discuss Sinclair Lewis’s classic book, Main Street. I’ve always wanted to read this and have downloaded to my Nook reader and gotten started, but I doubt I’ll be able to finish by then. I need to get to one of their meetings soon, though, as I asked to be included in their emails long ago but have yet to show up for anything. 🙂

(3) Thursday (Part I) The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Book Club, in honor of Banned Books Week, is reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I completed my reading of this classic just yesterday and plan to attend this meeting for sure, barring unforeseen crises at the office (this is the club that meets in the middle of the day on a weekday; many of its members are retired).

(4) Thursday (Part II) My book club, The Indy Reading Coalition, meets to discuss Rex Stout’s Some Buried Caesar. I just read this short book last year, and don’t know if I’ll re-read just review to re-familiarize myself with whodunit. I can’t miss e meeting, though; my attendance record of about 58 out of 60 meetings is something I take pride in. 🙂

Do you ever have weeks this filled with book-related ‘events?’ I think is is a first for me…

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September Reading

Okay, so it’s already the morning of the eighth and I’m a little bit late with this monthly post. As a result, I’ve already finished two books this month. One I had already read about two thirds of (We Make a Life by What We Give by Richard Gunderman) but it still counts as a September book. I hope to write a post dedicated to this book soon. The second is Chris Edwards’ Spiritual Snake Oil: Fads and Fallacies in Pop Culture. The author lives in central Indiana and gave a brief talk and book-signing at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library last week. This book – as you might guess by the title – shines a critical light on much of the pseudoscience in today’s world. More on this one later as well.

Enough of what I’ve finished already. What do I still have to go? Well I have a couple required reads as usual. One, for my personal book club, is Rex Stout’s Mystery Some Buried Caesar. This will actually be a re-read for me as I read it when it was the chosen book for Indianapolis’s “One City, One Book” program awhile back. I even went to a discussion about it at Bookmama’s Bookstore. It’s short and I know I can blast through it in a couple days when the time draws near. Stout is also an Indiana native (although he grew up in Kansas, I believe).

The second “required read” is for The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Book Club. The club is switching things up in September by NOT reading a Vonnegut novel this time. Instead, in honor of Banned Books Week, we are reading the frequently banned or censored classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This book happens to be one of those classics which I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read. That is about to change. 🙂

A semi-required read would by Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone, which I’m about 75% done with at this point. Is a six-hundred pager, though, and I originally started reading it since it is the September pick for the “Critical Mass Book Club” at the Carmel Public Library (where I went last month for the Flannery O’Connor discussion). While I’m not officially affiliated with that group, I was impressed with its size and vibe when I visited.

I have another book that I’ve already started that I’d like to wrap up this month too. That’s Christopher DiCarlo’s How to Becone a Really Good Pain in the Ass. Another author and voice of the skeptical movement, he visited Indianapolis recently on his book tour. This book will doubtless be similar to the Spiritual Snake Oil book I’ve already finished, but it is a little heftier and more of a guide to logical and critical thinking rather than a debunking of specific fads & pseudoscience, etc.

A couple other wild card reads might be For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway and The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham, both classic which I’ve been wanting to read for some time.

Well, that’s it for me (isn’t that enough!?). What are YOU reading in September…?

More new Book purchases!

Friday after work I stopped by “Jerry Musich’s Rare & Collectible Books” at 86th & Ditch on the north side of Indianapolis.  I was primarily searching for any Sir Walter Scott that he might have, but “all” he had was a complete set, which was (A) more than I wanted to spend and (B) too nice for me to read (I’ve mentioned before that I’m an inveterate highlighter/underliner and note-taker) since they were more ‘collectible.’  I ‘saved’ the trip by picking up a couple other books, though.

For my Project: Civil War, I bought a biography of Stonewall Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, Portrait of a Soldier by John Bowers.  Also, as a follow up to my January reading of Rex Stout’s Some Buried Caesar, I bought another Stout mystery, The Second Confession, which I look forward to reading. This latter book is older, and more of a collectible as it is the 1946 edition.  Pretty neat.

The other book was one I downloaded to my nook® and a title that will likely not be unfamiliar to you.  It’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  I’m already about 15% into this one just from reading this morning.  It comes highly recommended on several of the blogs I follow, and I confess I find Lisbeth Salander quite an intriguing character.  I’ll write about this book when I’m done…

Here is a link to a quick summary of the bookstore.

Finished my 2nd book of 2010

Well, I completed a single day, (probably) four-sitting read of “Some Buried Caesar” today. It was a relatively short book (274 pages, small paperback with ‘normal’ font size) and moved pretty fast.

I’m not usually a reader of whodunits, so I’m not sure how I was supposed to go about it. In the end I decided to just ‘enjoy it’ and not put pressure on myself to try to solve it (it’s a good thing, ’cause I didn’t). When I got started, I did try to make a list of characters (I.e. “suspects”) but I found myself referring to it most often just to keep the characters straight,

This is my first exposure to a Nero Wolfe story – although I had certainly heard of the character before. I thought it was an interesting choice for his creator, Rex Stout, to make his hero a sedentary, lethargic, obese, and somewhat arrogant character who depends so much on his lieutenant, Archie Goodwin. The character’s popularity, however, seems to make me think this doesnt really bother too many readers.

All for now & back to Waverly…