I still hope to finish the year with my 52 books, but I confess it's harder. With the exception of a couple of (disastrous) books borrowed from the library, almost everything has to be read on my computer now. Found, downloaded and not terribly portable. I recently tried desperately to find a large print copy of a book by Kerri Sackville that all of my blogging friends are just loving right now. She contacted the editor for me, to find out where I could get it in large print. They found it. At Booktopia. To get it in the print size I need, the book goes from the usual $25ish to $65!
So I have my trusty laptop. And Joel went out and (overcompensated for how upset he is about my vision and my sadness about the reading thing) bought me a 100cm LCD TV that now serves as my computer monitor. It is set up in the bedroom. He got a new large keyboard and my laptop is hooked up to them and I can read and continue writing on a screen I can see. I'll have to get a photo for you (on my new overcompensating phone!). It's ridiculous, but incredibly sweet.
But it's thanks to my husband, and internet friend (thank you Simone; you know why) and the wonders of technology, I am still able to read as much as my headaches and eyes will allow. I'm very lucky to still have that.
(Remind me to write that ranting, venting post about how only 5% of printed material in this country is available in large print. Not even the Dept Human Services, dealing with my disability application, will send me my documents in large print! I know. I asked. I showed them the report from the Retinal Surgeon. Still getting the same print, which I literally can't read and the forms I now need Joel go fill out).
Anyway. Enough of that. Back to my book update. I'm going to be quick, not go too much into reviews this time (I might try to come back and edit this over the next few days though, when I have more time/energy). I just need to write these down, because I've lost track. I was silly enough to delete a couple of books from my computer after I've read them, and for the life of me can't remember their titles or who wrote them.
Ok. After the boring letdown of The Paris Wife, I decided to go fluffy. I downloaded this book mostly as a joke, but still it was my dirty little secret (as are the next four), and I just HAD to read it. I'd heard so much about this one.
27. Sweet Valley Confidential - Ten Years Later Ok, so I know this book was pretty eagerly anticipated by a lot of girls who grew up at the same time as me (I wouldn't have known about it were it not for the FugGirls who raved about it in the build up). I'm not sure I want to spoil it for you. So I have 3 words.
Seriously. Could she possibly have thrown more into one book, pulled the rug out and simply changed so many people so as to make them unrecognisable and ruined the entire series any more? I think not? Unless she plans to turn it into another series, and fix some of it, I was pretty ticked off at this book.
Next - My dirty little secret. You already know about it. But I can't help it. This happened.
And then what's a girl to do, but make books 28-32 these? Shut up. Don't pretend some of you aren't dying to go. And I'm a firm believer in re-reading the book(s) before you see the movie, so you can sit there and be annoyed at the bits they ruined.
I was in bittersweet-ville. Because when Eclipse came out last year, I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life and saw the movie with the two best friends I've ever had. This year, I'll be seeing it alone.
33. So after the 5 trashiest books in a row, I felt it was time for a change of pace. I'd gotten a hold of Northanger Abbey, the BBC version, which I'd never seen before. So of course, a re-reading of the book was in order first.
Honestly? It's my least favourite Austen. Which still doesn't make it a bad book, but it wouldn't make my top 50 books. It's the only Austen novel I'd say that about. Is it wierd that I feel guilty admitting that?
34. Same rule applied here. I was desperate for some Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (oh why did they have to break up. I loved them together, so much!).
So a re-reading of my favourite Shakespearean play was in order. Much ado about nothing. Beatrice and Benedick are one of my favourite literary couples. This may come as a surprise to you, but I'm kind of into snark. :-) All kinds of awesome. Doesn't matter how many times I read this (and I'll readily confess to watching the Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson version of the play even more often), I'm in love every time.
35. Time for a change of pace (having gotten some of the trailer trash out of my system with some Austen and Shakespeare), I decided non fiction and tried this book about Fibromyalgia. "Figuring out Fibromyaglia" (a condition I've had for 14 years, since I was 22) was written by a woman who was diagnosed with FM when she was in med-school, and she started actively researching the syndrome.
I don't really know how this book is accepted in medical circles (with FMS still being so contraversial within the medical establishment) but I was intrigued at seeing this from the point of view of a Doctor with the illness!
Written with the scientific credibility of a doctor and the compassion of someone “on the inside” who has spent many years using herself as a guinea-pig in a search for effective treatments, “Figuring Out Fibromyalgia” sheds light on new evidence on the causes of fibromyalgia, and which alternative therapies are supported by research.
This paragraph, stood out to me and almost made me cry at sheer relief of hearing someone describe how I feel every single day:
“Previous studies that found no abnormalities in fibromyalgia muscles were only looking at the muscle cells themselves and not at the connective tissue wrapping around the muscles,” Dr. Liptan writes. Some intriguing muscle biopsy studies have found evidence of inflammation in the fascia in people with fibromyalgia that are “similar to muscles that have run a marathon—but without the marathon,” says Dr. Liptan.
Honestly, that sounds about right. I've (coincidentally, my remedial massage therapist I've just started seeing did this treatment without me asking, and before I'd read the book, saying he felt it was the best option for FM patients) been recieving myofascial release treatments. It's early days yet, but he's the first alternative therapy practicioner (I've tried massage, physio, osteopaths, chiropracters, accupuncture, chinese medicine, some wierd crap by a freaky hippy woman in the Witsundays, Bowen therapy..you name it, we've poured money into it in the past 15 years) that hasn't made things worse.
36. The Bought Wife
After the (interesting for me, but still a little dry) non fiction, I was ready to try something light. Wow, did I overshoot.
I downloaded this knowing next to nothing about it (actually, it came in a pack of books, all 'romance' but really poorly disguised (well, had I had book covers, they wouldn't have been disguised at all!) Harlequin crap again. See here, in the cover, it says "Harliequin Historical romance". Well in the e-pub I downloaded it left the 'harlequin out' and so many of my friends love Historical Romances, I thought I ought to give it a go. This one sounded interesting, and it was better than the other 4 smutty ones that were so horrible I refuse to mention them on here, so they're not even getting counted. They were just trash, and not even good, guilty pleasure trash. Just bad writing.
37. Fortune's Rocks I'm a fan of Anita Shreve, I love the imagery she uses in her books, she transports you like few others can do. I've mixed feelings about this book. I struggle with the adultery factor - it's not giving it away, the book is about a young girl of 15 who falls deeply in love (requited) with a 42 year old doctor, and the fallout that follows. I'm rather fond of my husband and my children having their father, and I find it difficult to seperate that and just see a love story.
It covers some interesting themes, some things are glossed over, others dealt with beautifully. But I was left a little...meh...at the ending. It felt a bit sudden and rushed, and simply too much left out.
Having said that, I'll be going back for more.
38. I'm out of order here, I read this a month or so back. The Last Time I saw You.
The premise was good - a 40th high school reunion, perhaps the last time many will get to catch up with their classmates. It tells the story of several characters, all interweaving and their feelings about high school and each other. The glory days, and the places they've ended up, so different to the way they'd imagined. It's what you'd expect - wistful imaginings of roads not taken, opportunities missed, decisions they wish they could make over. I think it's received more generous reviews than I would give it though. It wasn't a bad read, but I expected more from Elizabeth Burg and from this book.
39. My current book. The Great Gatsby. I started reading this years ago, and for some reason couldnt get into it. I'm not sure. I started a few days ago and I'm really enjoying it this time. Again, something I was determined to read before Baz Luhrmann gets his dirty paws on it and ruins something else.
So that's where I am for now. I had hoped to be closer to the 50 mark by now, but I've still got a couple of months to go. It is certainly takign me a LOT longer to read on the computer than it did on paper. I'm not sure why, as I love being on the computer, but it's the way it's turning out. Next will be an autobiography or two, probably Rob Lowe's "Things I only tell my friends" and Tina Fey's "Bossypants" along with some harder fiction works, more emotional. If I'm in a better place. Otherwise, be prepared for more chic lit.
How are you going? What are you reading at the moment? Do you have any recommendations for me? I'd LOVE to hear them.