Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Tomes

Last January I made one of my favoritest resolutions ever: to go to bed a little earlier and read. No matter what the day entailed, no matter how much "to do" was left on my list, no matter how many emails were buzzing around in my inbox and how much blank page yawned at me from my Word document. No matter. To bed early and read.

It worked, too. I love it when I make resolutions that are actually good for me AND that I can keep!

I started with a Michael Crichton novel, I think. Then moved on to Dan Brown. Then a little YA that led to some chick lit. In between fluffy fun books I read literary and acclaimed books, like the Time Traveler's Wife and Vinegar Hill. I never counted the books I read, but it was a fair amount, especially considering I was writing, querying, editing, revising, marketing along the way.

Then came December and things got harder. Busier. We got a puppy for one. A puppy that liked to wake up at 5:30 and demanded attention all day long. Less got done during the day. More had to get done at night.

I discovered I don't do well with only four hours of sleep a night. I don't remember being this tired... well... ever. Maybe when I was pregnant in the first three months. But other than that - never. I fall asleep as soon as I stop moving. Which means when I'm sitting at the bus stop, listening to the pastor in church, pondering what the next sentence should be in my wip... and when I'm reading. Especially at night.

Lately I've tried to get back to it. This past summer I bought my son the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordin, which he devoured in a week or two. When the ads came out about the movie, he wanted me to take him to go see it, and since I don't see movies adapted from books without reading the book first, I started my re-dedication to reading at night with Percy Jackson. Only it's gone very slowly, since I tend to fall asleep before I get two pages into it.

Which isn't to say it wasn't a great book! It was thoroughly entertaining and fun, and a great book for boys, and a great conversation piece for not only my son and I, but for me and a carload of middle school kids I drive two hours to an all-state choir competition.

Yesterday, though, I finished it, and rather than start on the next one in the series, I picked up a book given to me for Christmas in preparation for our family trip to Germany this summer. It's called The Bitter Road to Dachau, and it's about a pastor who gets put into the concentration camp for standing up to the Nazi's during World War II.

I'm not very far into it yet, but let me tell you – I stopped complaining about being cold in my house and having to go to the dentist. It's not an easy read by far; the story itself moves along at a quick clip and the writing flows pretty fast, but the subject matter is anything but fluff. It's a huge reminder of all I have to be thankful for... including my four hours of sleep in a warm bed with the family I love all tucked in under one roof.

So I'm plugging away at reading, even if it is only a few pages at a time.

Tell me, what are you reading these days?


  1. I'm trying to read Meg Cabot's Being Nikki, but my kids aren't cooperating. Okay, I'm not either. I should go to bed earlier....

  2. I should read some Meg Cabot. I bought some of her books for my nieve and I've never even read them, which I RARELY do!

    And I fell asleep while writing this post. :(

  3. Ouch. You hit a bad spot for me. I have recently read a few books on writing, and tried to get into a good contemporaty fiction but put it down after a few chapters. Deeply disappointed. I really want to read the Time Travelor's wife but haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet.
    My problem is I am so picky anymore about books. They have to really move me right from the beginning or I don't want to waste my time.

  4. I am currently reading Three Cups of Tea and I See Rude People. How is that for an odd combination?!?

  5. Tony! That is a weird combination!! How do you like Three Cups of tea? I've never read it but I've heard lots about it. Your other book certainly sounds... interesting. :)

  6. I just finished "Zoli" by Colum McCann. Gorgeous writing! It's loosely based on the life of the Gypsy poet, Papusza.