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The Sunday Salon: I Finally Finished a Book!

The Sunday Salon.comYesterday, I finally finished a book. And then I started and finished a second book. It was a good book day.

Finishing a book shouldn’t be an exciting occurrence for a book blogger, but it was a big deal for me since I hasn’t finished a book since I read The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach over Labor Day weekend. I went 12 full days without actually finishing a book, which is entirely out of character. It’s not that I wasn’t reading. In fact, it felt like I was reading quite a lot. But I was also switching books constantly because I couldn’t quite get into anything I was reading.

the grand pursuitThe first book I started and put aside was The Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar. The book is a nonfiction look at the birth of modern economics, focusing specifically on the people who developed new theories of economics after Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” theory. While I was enjoying the stories, the book was also going very slowly and I couldn’t find the long periods of time I felt like I needed to get into it fully.

I set that one aside in favor of Population 485 by Michael Perry. Last Sunday I mentioned that I was going to see Michael Perry speak at a September 11 program, which is where I bought the book. Perry was a great speaker — funny, serious, and thoughtful — and I was excited to read the book as soon as I heard him speak. But I had some personal things come up during the week that took away from my enjoyment of the book, so I decided to set it aside for a little bit.

state of wonderAfter that, I picked up State of Wonder by Ann Patchett because I got it from the library and it is due tomorrow. This is the book that finally settled me down a bit, and I spent a long time Friday evening and Saturday morning totally immersed in the story. Patchett really set the scene of the Amazon beautifully, and her writing moves effortlessly between past, present, and imagination in a way that it’s amazingly fun to dissect.

My parents came to visit yesterday, but even with spending time hanging out with them, I found time to start and finish a second book, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson, a look at the making and cultural impact of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I have a book tour review scheduled for later this week, so I won’t say much other than that the book was delightful and prompted me to request a number of Audrey Hepburn movies from the library to watch this week.

Today I finally started Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism, a collection of essays connected to Andrew Rossi and Kate Novack’s documentary of the same name. I’m not sure why it took me so long to pick this one up because, so far, it’s really great. I like having a relatively straight forward book to get me back into thinking about journalism more analytically than I’ve done since I finished my master’s awhile back.

However, I probably won’t have much more time to read today, since it’s football time! We got cable installed this week, so I can finally spend Sunday hunkered down in front of the tv, working on blog stuff and being annoyed with the Vikings. Gotta love the weekend! Happy Sunday!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amy September 18, 2011, 1:17 pm

    Great job on the reading! I have had those days where I am able to read a little bit of many books but I cannot get into any so I can’t finish any book. Drives me nuts! Looks like you broke through the dam!

    I read the interview with Michael Perry that you mentioned. It was great so I can just imagine how good it was hearing him speak in person. Most of the books you’re working on sound good!

    Yep, football yay! I’m watching the Jets game now!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:02 pm

      It’s so frustrating to be interested in books but not be able to get into them. I love days when I can sit down and finish a book a lot better!

  • Citizen Reader September 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    So great to finish a book after a long string of “meh, can’t get into it right now” reads, isn’t it?
    LOVE Michael Perry. He’s got a couple of comedy CDs out there that are definitely worth a listen too–he’s one of those rare authors who can write AND speak.
    I’ll be interested to see how you feel about “Grand Pursuit.” I semi-panned it for Library Journal and have been second-guessing myself as everyone and their brother gushes about it, but I thought it then and I still think it: DULL. And entirely too slow.
    Have a great week!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:05 pm

      The first couple chapters of Grand Pursuit were really slow. And since the chapters are like, a million pages long, it took a really long time to get into it. I just finished a chapter about Beatrice Potter (I think that’s her name), that I really liked, so I’m hoping it improves from there.

  • Kailana September 18, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Today I could easily have finished a few books and I can’t get myself to sit down and concentrate on anything. I hope I am not about to hit a reading slump…

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:06 pm

      I was worried I was hitting a slump too. I’m not sure if 12 days can count as a slump or not, but it feels good to be out of whatever it is. Good luck!

  • Megan September 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Yay for finishing books! I finally finished one this week, too. I’ve been reading The Grapes of Wrath for a bookgroup I mean to rejoin, and I liked it, but I felt like a high schooler reading something because I “had to,” and I think that slowed me down even more on a book that’s kind of a comittment anyway. It feels good to be reading fast(er) again!

    State of Wonder has a very prominent place on my wish list at the moment, and Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. sounds promising, too!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:10 pm

      I sometimes feel that way with required review books or book club stuff. It’s hard to read things you “have to” read. State of Wonder was a good read; I hope you like it!

  • Stephanie September 18, 2011, 6:45 pm

    It took me 10 days to finish a book after Labor Day weekend, so I completely understand the frustration. I hate taking so long to finish a book!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:12 pm

      What is with the post-Labor Day weekend reading slumps?

  • Maphead September 18, 2011, 8:30 pm

    Glad I’m not the only one who is currently having a hard time finishing books. I think I’ve started at least five since labor day. Argh !!!!!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:14 pm

      So frustrating! I have so many books in progress right now; it’s ridiculous.

  • Erin September 18, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Football, hooray! I don’t have cable at home, but this weekend I’m visiting my parents, so today has been spent watching football and knitting.

    I’m glad you found a book to get into! I look forward to your thoughts on State of Wonder. It was my second Patchett novel, and I just don’t think she and I see eye to eye on how novels should conclude. I have Run on my shelf and think I’m just going to let it go unread. Oh well. Fifth Avenue, 5AM looks really interesting to me. Looking forward to your review of that one as well!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:15 pm

      We got cable specifically so I could watch football (we don’t pick up any broadcast TV where we live…).

      I’m not sure how I felt about the end of State of Wonder. It just sort of… stopped. And I didn’t know what might have happened to Marina, which was odd. I’m still trying to decide what I think.

  • Books are my Boyfriends September 19, 2011, 7:01 pm

    I thought Fifth Avenue, 5AM was delightful too!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:15 pm

      Delightful is the perfect word for that book!

  • Andi September 20, 2011, 1:36 pm

    Congrats on finishing a book! We’ve been crazy at work preparing for an audit, plus The Night Circus threw me into a slump. I’m seriously considering downloading a Susan Hill novel for a little shot of creep, another RIP VI read, and maybe that will get me rolling.

    Happy reading, Kim!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:16 pm

      It’s hard to know what will break a slump. I think the impending library return date for State of Wonder helped out!

  • Kathleen September 20, 2011, 1:51 pm

    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed State of Wonder. I have it on my shelf at home and look forward to reading it one day soon!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:17 pm

      The writing is just beautiful, and the plot was very curious. I’m still not sure exactly what I thought

  • Emma @ Words And Peace September 20, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I enjoyed very much State of Wonder, and also Bel Canto. see my combined review: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/bell-canto-and-state-of-wonder/
    Emma @ Words And Peace

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:17 pm

      Thanks for linking to your review! Glad you liked both books.

  • Lena September 20, 2011, 9:06 pm

    I have State of Wonder on my TBR list. Hadn’t heard of the other book. But I can sure relate with having less time due to football season. So glad it’s back, Go Cowboys!!!!! 🙂

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:18 pm

      Yay, football! I’m so excited for the season!

  • Mystica September 21, 2011, 12:42 am

    Always a nice feeling to finish one , get on to another, and know there is another available!

    • Kim September 21, 2011, 7:18 pm

      So very true 🙂

  • Jeanne September 21, 2011, 7:40 pm

    I’m glad to hear you like State of Wonder!

    • Kim September 27, 2011, 9:12 am

      Me too! I really have no idea what to say about it other than it was an engrossing read 🙂