Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Salon: San Diego and reading goals

San Diego, I quite like you
Good morning! I'm coming to you this morning from sunny San Diego, California. I'm heading back to Des Moines in a few hours, but I've quite enjoyed a bit of respite from the snow. I'm here for a conference, where I got to present a poster session Friday night. It's been a wonderful time of professional development and relaxation, but I'm ready to get home to Mr. Nomadreader.

Travel and reading
Long flights do have the benefit of giving me more time to read than I usually get. On the way here, I read Leaving Everything Most Loved, the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery novel, which will be published March 26. Look for my review on March 29. It was divine to read it in mostly one sitting. Traveling with Maisie was like traveling with an old friend. I've missed her. I'm just finishing up Elizabeth Graver's newest novel, The End of the Point (out March 5). I'm loving it and can't believe I wasn't familiar with Graver's work before now (look for my review March 11.) I was thrilled to see The Lewis Man, the second in Peter May's Lewis trilogy arrived for me from the UK just before my trip. I'll be reading it on the flights home today. The first in the trilogy, The Blackhouse, was my favorite read of 2013 (so far.)

On making (and breaking) reading goals
March is off to a wonderful reading start, which is a welcome change after February somewhat fizzled. Since college, I've accepted (more or less) that I cannot possibly read all of the books I would like to. Yet I continuously make unrealistic reading goals in an attempt to read so many. Remember my declarations for February? I only managed three from that list (and eight overall, which I'm pleased with.) I still want to read all of those titles, but I'm letting myself respond to my reading whims more. I've found myself craving mysteries lately. When I alternate mystery titles with literary fiction, I find I read more. I'm also reading more library books. When I looked at the sources of my reading in 2012, I was shocked with how few were from the library, particularly given the average number of books I have checked out from the library.

Still, the list of titles coming out this month and next, both by authors whose work I've adored in the past and those I have not yet read, is far too long to actually manage. What is there to do but read as many as I can? My latest goal is to spend less time planning out my reading and more time actually reading (and sharing my thoughts with you.)

The Orange Prize for Women's Fiction
It's also that magical time of year: the Prize for Women's Fiction will announce its longlist on March 15th. I'm not currently planning to attempt the 20-title longlist as I did last year, but I am eager to see which titles will be honored. I expect a few titles from my TBR to rise to the top when they make the list. And I hope to discover some titles and authors that are completely new to me. The Orange Prize, more than any other literary prize, has introduced me to titles and authors I adored and would not have discovered on my own.

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  1. I'm looking forward to the Orange announcement too. I won't read them all, but I'm looking forward to reading quite a few, I loved the ones I picked up last year. On the 15th I'll be putting in my library reservations :)

  2. I also find I read more when I add mysteries in between more literary novels. The crime fiction acts as a sort of palate cleanser to refresh the mind!


  3. San Diego is a beautiful place...and California had particularly gorgeous weather this week...glad you enjoyed your visit!

  4. Jealous of your time in San Diego's warm temps. It's been in the 30's - 40 but cloudy and windy here brrrr. I get depressed the older i get and think about all the books I'll never get time to read:9 Can't wait to retire (hopefully in 2 years).

    Have a great week:)

  5. I have to tell you. I received an email this morning for yesterday's post but not this one. I just realized that maybe you wrote a S.S. post. I know what you mean about making tons of reading plans. I have huge plans for this month. I can't help it; there's just so much that I want to read! Why did you have to tell us about The Prize for Women's Fiction?! *bookshelves are creaking under the pressure* I hope March turns out to be a great month for you!

  6. My husband just left San Diego last night. He was there for some training but is glad to be back. It's beautiful but not so much when you are there for work!

    I have The End of the Point as I have a tour scheduled but haven't started it yet. The story of my life these days.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!