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Currently | Finally Making Time to Read

currently march 22 2015

Time and Place | About 7:30 a.m. in my favorite chair at home. I don’t like how dark it is this early in the morning, thanks to the time change. But oh well, it’s spring now.

Reading | I finished more books in the last two days than I finished in the rest of the month of March combined. It’s been a tough month to settle in with a book, but I’m trying to make time when I can. I start to get a little out of sorts when I go too long without reading. On Friday night, I stayed up late finishing Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, a sort of Pride and Prejudice satire set in contemporary Singapore and China. Yesterday, I started and finished The Great Beanie Baby Bubble by Zac Bissonnette, a look at the rise and fall of the speculative mania around Beanie Babies in the last 1990s. I also started Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte, but the first couple chapters on the time pressures of modern life made me anxious. I’m going to give it a few more chapters today before I decide whether to quit reading and move on to something else.

Listening | The soundtrack from the first season of FOX’s Empire is on Spotify, and I kind of love it.

Blogging | Since I last updated, I wrote about why I loved Nina MacLaughlin’s Hammer Head, three things that help me get stuff done, and why I’m intimidated by brutal fiction.

Promoting | This New York Times opinion piece on the cost of paying attention is worth reading. The author, Matthew Crawford, has a book coming out April 1 (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction), that I’m now curious to read. 

Laughing | Will Ferrell played for 10 different baseball teams during one day at Spring Training. The recap is delightful.

Hating | I can’t figure out why two images are showing up at the top of each of my new posts in an RSS reader. I think it has something to do with adding a featured image… but I don’t know how to fix it. Boo.

Loving | After a couple weeks of challenging discussions about sexism in publishing, Preeti Chhibber started a cool hashtag on Twitter to celebrate #womeninfiction. It’s pretty awesome. Here’s my best contribution:

Loving II | Because I skipped writing a Currently post last Sunday, I didn’t get to squeal about my visit to Graywolf Press in Minneapolis last week. Graywolf is an awesome independent, literary press in the Twin Cities that publishes a range of great poetry, literature and nonfiction. They’re on a streak of amazing nonfiction by smart women (On Immunity by Eula Biss and The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison), and I’m excited to dive into some of the books I brought home from my visit.

Wanting | I’d like to spend some time participating in the Bloggiesta this week, but I think work is going to be pretty hectic and I’m not sure I’ll get much blog work done.

Anticipating | Trish (Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity) is hosting a cool blog event this Friday — A Day in the Life. Basically, she’s asking bloggers to keep track of one of their days, then share a post about it at the end of this week. I’m planning to track my day tomorrow. It should be really fun to see how other bloggers spend their time.

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bryan G. Robinson March 22, 2015, 8:22 am

    I’d like to read that piece about paying attention, but I think I might be too distracted to read it today. 😉

    I remember coming across Graywolf Press when I was in college and had poetry classes. I think I enjoyed their writing, but now maybe I’ll have to seek out their work again.

    I’m not doing Bloggiesta either, because during the week just doesn’t work for me, plus posting only once a week, I don’t have a lot I need to work on with my blog. I’m pretty satisfied with where it’s at.

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:15 pm

      Graywolf was known for their poetry before they started getting into literary fiction and nonfiction. I think one of their poets one the Pulitzer this year… but I could be wrong. I know they won a major poetry award.

  • Trisha March 22, 2015, 9:26 am

    Crazy Rich Asians sounds really fun, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I’m tracking two days for Trish’s event – one with the kids and one on a workday. I think it will be really interesting to read everyone’s posts.

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:15 pm

      I like the idea of tracking two days, since I’m sure they’re very different! I need to get that post together tonight or tomorrow…

  • Vasilly March 22, 2015, 10:47 am

    I hope you tell us more about your visit to Graywolf Press! Thanks for the reminder of Trish’s event. I’ll probably keep track of Tuesday, my busiest day of the week. After reading your comment on Overwhelmed, I’m curious about it now. Enjoy your day!

  • Andi Miller (@estellasrevenge) March 22, 2015, 11:47 am

    Isn’t there so much great stuff going on right now? I loved #womeninfiction yesterday, and I’m also anticipating Trish’s event later this week. Bloggiesta, just gah! So much cool stuff. It feels rejuvenating!

  • Kay March 22, 2015, 1:04 pm

    I read OVERWHELMED or rather listened to it last year. I did finish it, but it was before I came back to blogging so no review. I think that I thought it pretty good, but I do get the whole anxious thing while reading it. And it seemed a little like it wasn’t for my time of life – empty nest time. I was amazed (and continue to be) at the expectations that younger women feel from those around or media or other moms or work colleagues. I was a little panicked just hearing about it and was glad I was done with a lot of it. Good luck deciding what you’ll do. It was interesting though.

    Love Hermione. Strong indeed. Looking forward to Trish’s “day in the life”. I did mine last Wednesday. Not sure how it will stack up to others who have such busy lives – might be a little tame, but it’s representative of me. Guess that’s the point. LOL

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:17 pm

      I think that’s where some of my anxiety came from — not quite my time of life either, since I don’t have kids. And a lot of what I worry about when thinking about kids is what it will do to my time and my space. The opening of that book, which made all moms seems frazzled and frayed, made me so anxious! I ended up returning it to the library, but I need to think about how to write about it.

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf March 22, 2015, 2:28 pm

    I’m kind of interested in that beanie baby bubble book. (That’s fun to say. LOL) Sounds like it goes into the psychology behind all that madness! 😉

  • Jenny @ Reading the End March 22, 2015, 4:50 pm

    #womeninfiction is the best and has made me smile at least a dozen times. It’s always wonderful to be reminded of characters you love. Hermione! Such a good contribution! Hermione is the unsung hero of those books. (Or, okay, I guess people sing about her some. But they could sing about her more. She’s such a ferocious and unstoppable baller.)

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:18 pm

      I wish my tweet had called Hermoine “a ferocious and unstoppable baller.” That’s so perfect.

  • Shaina March 22, 2015, 6:38 pm

    I have to say, it did make me laugh that you had to put down a book called OVERWHELMED because you were anxious. 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:18 pm

      Oh trust me, the humor is not lost on me either!

  • Shannon @ River City Reading March 22, 2015, 6:50 pm

    How fun that you were able to go to Graywolf! So agreed on their great streak. I was floored by both On Immunity and Citizen.

    I can’t wait to see everyone’s Day in the Life posts – something different to look forward to!

  • Belle Wong March 23, 2015, 12:04 am

    I don’t think I’m ready right now for a book called Overwhelm. I’m feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment and hoping some time spent getting organized will help things. I really liked Crazy Rich Asians (I listened to the audio and the narrator did the various voices so well). And I need to pick what day to take pictures for Trish’s event!

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:19 pm

      I always feel a little more settled after an hour or so getting organized. I had to work late the last couple of nights so I am a bit behind (as I’m replying to comments on Wednesday).

  • Jennine G. March 23, 2015, 7:19 am

    I want to read the beanie baby one! I was totally in on that craze. The back window of my car was full of them and I had one hanging from my mirror. My niece used to climb in my car just to sit and play with them!

  • Sandy March 23, 2015, 12:06 pm

    I’m fairly sure that most people who are overwhelmed would be too overwhelmed to read that book! Ha! I know that I’m in no place to read something like that. It’s usually best if I just don’t think about it and trudge onward until I see a break in the clouds. I AM going to read that piece about paying attention though. I never thought of myself as ADHD until my son was diagnosed with it, but I think I probably am. I find it nearly impossible these days to actually sit down and focus on a book for longer than 20 minutes.

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:20 pm

      The attention article was so interesting, in the way that it pointed out how public space are so full of stuff that we have to spend all sorts of extra time monitoring attention. Doing that for too long wears you out and makes it harder to actually sit down when we are alone and free from distraction.

  • Alisa @ Papercuttts March 23, 2015, 6:25 pm

    It is kinda funny about the double photo in your RSS feed, huh? Sorry I can’t offer any help there. Your pictures made me want to get all cozy and read a book!

    • Kim Ukura March 25, 2015, 8:20 pm

      It’s so annoying! And I’m just not sure what to do about it. I have to go digging through some help forums this weekend I think.

  • Susan March 24, 2015, 2:55 pm

    Graywolf must be a cool place. Also I’ll be interested to hear if you keep with Overwhelmed. Are there tips in it? Cheers.