Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Salon: Restless

Do you ever find yourself restless? I don't mean unable to sleep. More in the sense of not being able to settle down to anything? Normally I am a list maker and I delight in crossing things off lists. But right now I seem to be existing in a state of mild irritation, unable to complete, heck unable to start, almost anything. This feeling is infecting my whole world. Have I made hotel reservations for dance Nationals in July? Nope, and if I don't do it soon, we'll be sleeping on the beach. Somehow I suspect that having sand in her costume would not improve R.'s performances. A bed would be a better option. Have I e-mailed the friend I promised to e-mail? Nope. And while she's so busy she probably won't notice my lapse, it still bothers me. There's more but I won't bore you with the litany. Suffice it to say that it also affects my reading and reviewing. I just can't seem to climb into my books and revel in them in the way that usually provides me with such pleasure. Maybe it's the books I'm currently reading. But more likely it's me.

So in an effort to combat the lethargy and anomie, I decided to try retail therapy. And of course, not being a true girl, my retail therapy consists almost entirely of shopping for books. So I dutifully tucked the Christmas gift cards into my pocket (and just having them unspent this long highlights the extent of the problem for me!) and headed out. And I found a wagonload of books to come home with but aside from the fact that many of them were from my wishlist, I can't seem to muster up the oomph to open any one of them and start reading them. I know, I know; this should be a sign to return them and not look back but that just ain't gonna happen, sistah friend. But I need a gentle push so I'm going to fall back on my old stand-by and make a list and you, gentle readers, are going to pick the book you most want to see me read and review. In short, you are going to give me purpose. So here are the options in no particular order:

King Lear by Shakespeare
Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Raising Jake by Charlie Carillo
A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer
The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan
The Palace of Strange Girls by Sallie Day
Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb
A Stopover in Venice by Kathryn Walker
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith (I actually bought The Unbearable Lightness of Scones but I am completely incapable of reading series out of order so I'm subbing the next one I need to read in the list instead)

Nothing terribly out of the ordinary and many of which have been reviewed on numerous other blogs in recent memory but c'est la vie. If you think I should read something else entirely from my tbr shelves instead (and feel free to check my LibraryThing page and then to spend hours sifting through my tbr books) let me know and that can be added into the mix. I don't know yet if I will pick the book with the most votes or with the most interesting reason I should read and review it or the recommendation from my most prolific commenter or the recommendation from an entirely new commenter I've never seen on my blog before. But reach me through the fog of ennui and give me that purpose I need. So get cracking and let me know what I should open next.

So far this week, I didn't move my bookmark in my visit to the British Raj in India, nor did I move my bookmark in Dicken's London. And the sparkly vampires did without my interest for another week. I added a new bookmark to a dog book but promptly abandoned it in the passenger seat of my car. I have slowly (much more slowly than anticipated) moved a bookmark into a reissue of an older book that isn't what I expected at all when I read of two young men who imagined an old woman into being and then must confront their creation, a twist on the Pygmalion myth. And bookmarks did go all the way through a funny romance complete with wing-nut Italian relatives, an account of five years on Corfu by a British family chock full of quite eccentric members, and the story of a young woman searching for answers about the car accident that almost killed her years ago and falling in love before she even has all the answers.


  1. I get that all of the time- when I'm so restless that I can't get anything done. The house remains untidied and my book pile doesn't shrink. Yuck!

    As for the books that are on your list, this is what I would recommend:

    1. "This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes: I loved this one, even more than her latest one. I've only read it once (library copy) but actually bought it because it was so good that I wanted to read it again. Chick lit with substance!

    2. "A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents" by Liza Palmer: I entered a contest for this one on another site and it looks soooo good!

    3. "The Toss of a Lemon" by Padma Viswanathan: I haven't read it, but it sounds worth reading!

    Okay, that's it for me! Happy Sunday and I hope that you're feeling nice and settled soon.

  2. Well, I skipped merrily past your just-bought list and looked over your tbr books. Delightful books you haven't read include Georgette Heyer's _A Civil Contract_ and _The Grand Sophy_. They are very different books, but both great. Sophy is good for laugh out loud scenes, and Contract is good for more human humor. Those are my top recommendations.

    I think you'd like _The Kids Are All Right_. It's an easy read, too. I enjoyed _Bet Me_ a lot; Crusie is a good antidote to ennui about relationships.

  3. I get into that same state from time to time; hopefully it will be short lived.

    Hope your new books are good reads. I did like Toss of a Lemon.

  4. This happens to me, too. Right now I have a question mark on my blog under the 'currently reading' heading! I absolutely loved Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - it's a fairy tale for adults. Sea of Poppies is on my wish list. Good luck...

  5. I haven't read a Field Guide to Burying Your Parents but have read Liza Palmer's two previous books and really liked them. I have been reading good things about her latest.

    I think you should read this one - the title is just so unusual!

  6. Horrors, Kristen! And I'm the complete opposite....I am loving every single book I read. Especially The Stone Angel, which I read start to finish today. And which you must also read so you can tell me how much you hated it. ;->

  7. I know that feeling well. I experienced it just this weekend. There were things to get done but I couldn't find enthusiasm for any of them. All I wanted to do was sleep!

  8. Seems like there are a few of us in such a restless state. (Raising hand ... me too, me too!) The only one of your new purchases that I've read is Lark & Termite, which I enjoyed - but considering your restless state, not one I would recommend right now. There are a few passages (just a few) that are a little confusing and hard to get through, IMHO, so that is probably not what you need right now.

    Hope the restlessness passes soon! (for all of us!)

  9. Read Lear - it's just so rich and chewy and epic.

    Then read the Miss Pettigrew for dessert!

  10. I'd love to hear about the Shakespeare. But that's me. I hope you settle on a book soon!


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