Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Read-a-thon: Day 1

The first day of my personal reading challenge is complete and I'd like to think that I'm on my way to meeting the 1200 page goal. For those wondering how I read as much as I did when I reveal my page count, I am one of those readers who does their best reading in the dead of night or in the wee hours of the morning. I'd like to think that habit was a result of the fact that I used to do all of my required reading in middle an high school before I went to bed. That would of course explain why I can never get a ton of fun reading done during the school year.

As you know I started out by reading Emma by Jane Austen and in the early hours of the morning I finished it. That brought my page count up to 212 and I had the satisfaction of finishing a book I also felt guilty for not having read. Although I didn't post a review of the book my general opinion was that I enjoyed it extremely and it obvious proved to be better than the movie adaptions that I had previously seen. I have to say that I was delighted to learn that Mr. Knightley never says anything about how he held Emma in his arms as a baby and takes joy in holding her in his arms as an adult. I always found that line to be a tad creepy when I was watching the Kate Beckinsale movie adaption and it made it seem like Knightley was about 20 or 25 years her senior, which he isn't.

I also felt like Emma was a great book to read in order to get more insight into the social conditions of the time period. What I love so much about Austen is that there is a bit of romance in her books, but it always takes a backseat to her wit and subtle, effective social commentary.

I do have to say that I would have got around to reading this book faster if I had had the foresight to buy a better edition. For all those wondering, please don't buy this particular copy of Emma.

There are no footnotes or any chapter notes at the end of the book, which is a huge letdown for me. It is just the plain text presented in the tiniest font possible and with small spacing. I never really got the point of book magnifiers until I struggled to follow along with the story because inevitably I would skip a line or two. There was also the added problem of not being able to keep track of who was speaking when because most of the time entire dialogues were lumped into one large paragraph. So the lesson learned here is that the edition and format of any book, especially classic ones are particularly important.

After I finished Emma, I picked up Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin.

I finished this book today which had 368 pages and brought my total page count to 580!! Now I did post my review of this book on my Goodreads account, but I refused to do a review for this blog because I want my first official review to be on a book that I actually liked and had a ton of positive things to say about.

I picked up this book because I previously read and enjoyed Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Giffin and promptly bought up all of her other books at used book stores. Those books had been sitting in my TBR pile until now. Let's just say that I wasn't particularly happy with this book and I would urge you not to read it.

In this instance the book blurb really did a lot of good for the book, but not for the readers. All it mentions is that two women's lives are to be connected in a surprising way. I didn't realize that was code for a lifetime or soap opera esque book and not even an original one either. This book is about a suburban housewife who imagines her life to be perfect while brushing off the fact that she isn't quite enjoying being the stay at home mom as much as she thought she would. Oh lets not forget that her seemingly perfect husband who cheats on her and she basically blames it on herself. I'm pretty sure that you can guess the ending because this story has been done over and over again.

I was pretty disappointed by this book, but I didn't let that stop me from reading another book that she wrote: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin.

 I managed to read 28 pages from that book tonight which brings my Day 1 total up to 608 pages!! I haven't gotten far enough along to be able to provide a useful opinion, so you can look forward to that tomorrow on Day 2 of the Summer Read-a-thon. Happy Reading!