Progress: Notes From A Reading Life – February 24, 2010

Progress: Notes From A Reading Life Button

Progress: Notes From A Reading Life ButtonI have been in a bit of a reading slump this past month.  Partially because I have been playing catch up on various projects, just haven’t been feeling like reading, and have been focusing a lot of energy weeding through my  book collection.  In that way, I have been doing some reading as I read first pages and chapters in determining what I want to keep and what I can send on to another good home. My last progress notes were on January 11, 2010.  I ended reading quite a few books in January, and for the first week in February I was doing okay as well, and then nothing until…

Cover Image - Keeping The Feast, by Paula ButturiniI started reading Keeping the Feast.   It’s a novel about using food to get through the hard times in life.  I read it as a part of the Winter Reading Series that Lisa from Books on The Brain hosted with Mari from Bookworm With A View. It also inspired me to put up a quick Literary Feasts post about the food in the book, which makes it appearance on the very first pages.  On Monday, I took part, or at least tried to take part in a chat with the author, Paula Butturini.  I did manage to ask one question and the chat was a lot of fun, but I mostly ended up reading along because the chat was moving way too fast for me.  Here’s where you can check out what Paula Butturini had to say in response to questions on her book.

Cover Image - Black Hills, by Dan SimmonsOnce Keeping the Feast got me back into the reading swing of things, I went on to start Black Hills for the That’s How I Blog! show with  Amanda, from Life and Times of A “New” New Yorker, who announced that she won’t be that for much longer since she is going to be moving soon.  We’ll all have to stay tuned to see what the new name will be for her blog.  We both only got between 100 and 150 pages into Black Hills, but we had Jen from Devourer of Books to guide us through and Heather from Age 30+…A Lifetime in Books to help us out, and we plan on scheduling a skype call in the next couple of weeks to discuss thoughts on the rest of the book.

The fact that only one of us had managed to finish the book did nothing to slow down the conversation, and we still managed to chat for about 40 minutes on Custer the horny ghost, how the main character was representative of the land, and whether Mount Rushmore really existed and what an insult it must have been to Native Americans.  Simmons is excellent at getting you right into whatever world he is writing about, but if you aren’t ready to work for it, you will sink before you get into the story.  I am looking forward to finishing up because it’s so interesting to learn about the lives of the Sioux and the Lakota Indians and all the changes taking place at that time on the American Frontier.  It’s a period of history that I rarely read much about.

Cover Image - Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterLast night before going to bed I picked up the soon to be released Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  I really had no idea of what to expect with this one.  I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice way to much to anywhere near Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As wrong as it may be, Abraham Lincoln was far less sacred to me so he if free to kill as many vampires as he wants.  I was surprised to see how easily I got into the story and I turned quite a few pages before I had to make myself go to bed, and remind myself that I had other things I needed to be reading.  Still, I even read a few more pages before I got out of the bed and started my day this morning.

I think what I like about it is that it’s not a mash-up, but is its own story.  The introduction is quite cleverly set-up and the rest of the book reads like a historical acount of Lincoln’s life which draws from Lincoln’s diary entries, speeches and other accounts and source materials.  I knew just the basics about Lincoln, but in a fun way (with Lincoln as vampire hunter) this book references a lot about his upbringing, the type of work he did, his warm relationship with his step mother and siblings and the cold one that he had with his dad.  I’ve read about 130 pages so far and I am hoping that the rest of the book proves to be just as entertaining.

Books read in the last week:

ZERO- but I should at least finish one of the above by Sunday. Hopefully all of them.  We’ll see.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,      2009   Jan 2, 2010

You may also like


  1. I really like Black Hills! I never thought about how Paha Sapa represented the land. That’s fascinating. And yes, I think Mt. Rushmore is SO BIZARRE. How can it really exist?! And how disturbing it would be to the native population.
    .-= Aarti´s last blog ..Review: Mornings in Jenin =-.

  2. I only read half of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters because I got really bored of the conceit, but I’m still really interested in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I did get a bit turned off when I saw there is also a book about Queen Victoria killing some sort of undead creature, so I’m not *entirely* sure I want to read it, but if you do continue to like it I may pick it up.
    .-= Jen – Devourer of Books´s last blog ..Literary Road Trip: Following The White Rabbit – Guest Post by Melanie Benjamin, Author of “Alice I Have Been” =-.

  3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sounds kind of interesting! (especially since you got into the story so easily) I think I’ll keep my eye out for it.

  4. Nicole, it sounds as if you've read many pages so far this month, but not in only one book!

    I read Keeping the Feast and also participated in the author chat. There would appear to be a lull in the comments and then suddenly many more would appear. I thought it was exciting to be chatting live!

  5. I've been in a bit of a slump this month too! For some reason it has taken me forever to get through my current read, no matter how much I seem to be enjoying it – I don't know what my problem is! I am cracking up at the thought of Lincoln being a vampire hunter 🙂 Can't wait to hear about that book review!

  6. I can quite understand your situation. I have read nothing this month… but started many 🙂

    I have been bust too and this last week is going to be busier on us 🙁

    I think u should take things easy and maybe nxt month will be much better than this one 🙂

  7. I have been IN THE WEEDS this week. I feel like I am slogging through molasses or something when it comes to reading. (heaving a big sigh) Well, next Tuesday I get on a plane for Hawaii. I am really excited about the destination, but just as excited about the long flight. Uninterrupted reading!!!! How weird am I?

  8. This has been a really slow month for me. As I spend longer and longer on each book, I get more anxious about the books I still have waiting to be read.

  9. I had a great time chatting with you on THIB the other night – I STILL haven't finished Black Hills but that's more due to the fact that I'm not really in the mood to read at all lately (the Olympics are much too interesting and life is much too crazy!). But I'm really looking forward to figuring out Skype so we can discuss the ending of it all. 🙂

  10. sounds like you did make progress on reading. I can't wait to see what Amanda does with the name of her blog. That will be interesting.

    On another note, I was hoping you'd be interested in participating in my National Poetry Month Blog Tour in April.

    Here's the details:

    and if you are interested, please fill out this form:
    My recent post Call for Bloggers to Celebrate National Poetry Month in April