Book Riot podcast show notes (believe me, you’ll want them.)

Remember Wednesday when I told you to listen to Book Riot podcasts because they are so fab? Today I am following up to tell you that even if you can’t listen to the podcasts because of whatever excuse you want to come up with, you can still look at the notes for each show and get some of the stellar information they are giving out.

For example, week one:

Book Riot Podcast, Episode #1Want to see more of the podcasts, click here.

I promise I’ll change the subject next week, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about this fabulous thing going on. Also, episodes #2 and #3 got me to finally pick up Inferno and get sucked in. Have you read it yet?

Book Riot Podcasts (just do it).

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I am openly admitting that it took me almost a year to check out and support the Book Riot podcasts (mostly due to the fact that I am behind in the podcast world and navigating them feels confusing). Oh. My. God. I am in loooooooooovvvvvveeee with these podcasts. I don’t know how to convince you that it’s not because I write for Book Riot other than to point out the fact that we were asked to check it out LAST MAY and give feedback and I have just outed myself as just listening for the first time last week.

I have been listening to the podcasts pretty much every free moment since. I am actually getting sad about the idea that I will (in the not-too-distant future) have caught up and have to wait for new ones like everybody else. Within the first week of the podcasts, they were featured in the iTunes store as New and Noteworthy (not too shabby), so I’m not the only one who thinks they’re crazy interesting.

They are only an hour long. Book news, new releases, and recommendations are all discussed among other things. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you giving it a try – at least once. In case you are like me and are not super podcast savvy, let me tell you how easy it is. Download the app. Open the app. Press play on Episode One and go from there. You don’t have to download a thing after you’ve got the app – they just play!

If you have any trouble, shoot me a comment and I can see if I can help you. Also, any questions about the podcasts, same thing.

Once you give it a listen, come back and tell me what you think. I’m dying to know if you love them as much as I do!

(Find more information about the podcasts here.)

Middlesex :: Week Five

Welcome to the read-a-long of Middlesex! We’re reading this book through February and March. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.

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Week Five: Tiresias in Love

Discussion:

Like I said last week, I’m behind. I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch back up and be on track by the time this is over since I’m going so slowly. Should I still put up the post so you all can discuss though?

Let me know, I’ll totally keep a post here every Monday if those of you who are reading would like to continue to discuss it. Please feel free to still post your thoughts and discuss it amongst yourselves, and if you’ve read the book already (but aren’t reading it right now) feel free to jump into the discussion.

I think my answer might be here about whether or not I can keep up these Read-a-Longs, I’ve been struggling with them! So sorry all.

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Monday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly discussion (see below for more information).**

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Sunday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Monday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
  • Each week, on Monday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long). Thanks!


Mo’ Reading, Mo’ Fun

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I took some of the advice you gave me last week and have put it into practice. I’ve picked out some books that are a little lighter on the thinky-think and a bit easier to read, and then I’ve started reading them in front of TV. Imagine that! I never, ever thought that was possible – but then some of you mentioned you had tried it. I play with my phone in front of TV, so it’s not like I am glued to the TV screen all the time (therefore I don’t know why I’m so surprised). I suppose I thought I’d get distracted from my reading, but unless I’m watching a really good show (which I wouldn’t look at my phone during anyway) I’m good to go. Do I sometimes get pulled away by what’s happening on the show? Sure, but I’m getting more reading done.

Also, there have been a couple of times in the past week when I didn’t know where my phone was (gasp!). That hasn’t happened in way too long. Not going to lie – it feels good.

How’s the reading going for you?

Middlesex :: Week Four

Welcome to the read-a-long of Middlesex! We’re reading this book through February and March. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.

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Week Four: Middlesex

Discussion:

You all, I’m SO behind. I am really struggling with this book – I’m not going to lie. I don’t know exactly what to do about that.

Give me some honest feedback, are you digging it? Are you still chugging along (or speeding along)? I was not a fan of Eugenides writing in The Marriage Plot, but I heard it was poor compared to this book. However, I just can’t with this. I try and try to get into it, but I fall asleep or get sidetracked along the way. Any tips? Does the plot start picking up or are you enjoying it for other reasons?

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Monday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly discussion (see below for more information).**

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Sunday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Monday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
  • Each week, on Monday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long). Thanks!


Reading (Still) Interrupted.

iphone_or_cell_phone_hollow_book_safe_wwylv-300x183A little over two months ago, I wrote this piece for BookRiot on how my iPhone is getting in the way of my reading. The comments were interesting and some even inspired me. Unfortunately, my reading has not gotten any better. I read at bedtime, but lately have been falling asleep so quickly once I’m in bed that this does not add up to much time at all.

I have a hard time reading during the day, which is strange because it’s partly MY JOB.

I have a hard time reading at night because it’s well… dark and quiet and I like to be with other people and/or have the TV on.

When do YOU read? How do you keep from getting distracted by your phone/TV/conversations? I am finding it more and more rare that I find books that keep my interest enough that I would choose them over the previously listed things. However, part of the thing about reading is that the more you make yourself read, the more you feel like reading. It’s an interesting, yet true concept. Regardless, I can’t get myself to do it.

Surely I’m not the only one. Surely not everyone who is tearing through books is immensely interested in every single page of every single book they read. Please spill your secrets… how do you get your reading done?

Middlesex :: Week Three

Welcome to the read-a-long of Middlesex! We’re reading this book through February and March. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.

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Week Three: Ex Ovo Omnia

Discussion:

Hello! This is jackiemania here leading this week’s discussion!

I really enjoyed this week’s reading. My mind went crazy with connections and allusions and references and … !!! I am liking this book even more than I thought that I would — how about you?

Here are a few ideas that have been floating about in my head:

*I’m wondering if Eugenides read Judith Butler before writing Middlesex. Her ideas about gender as performance and even identity as performance have been setting off my theory buttons as I read. Not only with Cal but think of what we learned about Jimmy Zizmo this week! Now that’s an identity transformation! Take it even bigger — how is immigration and assimilation tied to identity performance? How do you become or not become American? Think of Sourmelina’s sexuality as performance (and grieving as performance!). Lefty performing as “other Greek men” because Desdemona attempts to rebuff his advances in order to not have any more children.

* I’m getting a rich sense of Detroit-as-place/America-as-place after this week’s reading. Desdemona’s streetcar ride through Detroit’s neighborhoods told us so much about Depression-era Detroit (and America). Did anything stick out to you?

*I feel like this book at this point is more about Desdemona than any other character so far. Our most famous literary Desdemona is Othello’s wife in Shakespeare’s play, and the name goes back to ancient Greek meaning ill-fated (there goes that word again) or unfortunate.  Do you think fate is against Desdemona? What kind of thoughts about free will and fate are you having after this week’s reading? Anyone who knows more about the play Othello than me see any connections? I feel like Eugenides is too careful of an author to name his character after another very famous one for no reason at all…

*The other major concept I’m thinking about is myth-making. Are myths made like silk or cars? Think about the creation of the myth surrounding the origins of the Nation of Islam we read about this week — or the creation of the myth conflating cars and women made by Plantagenet — or even the myth of Detroit as motor-city/progress. Have you observed any other instances of myth-making in our reading?

What else? I haven’t even scratched the surface! Tessie and Milton. War. Michael vs. Milton (religion/tradition vs. modern/American? Choice vs. fate? A simple case of chemistry? What do you think?) . . . !

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Monday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly discussion (see below for more information).**

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Sunday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Monday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
  • Each week, on Monday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long). Thanks!


How Do You Write?

ed5339aab4b6a9ab09ce8d69262fa0c0Those of you who blog or write (or both), how do you structure your work schedule?

Recently I read to just sit at the computer for a specific amount of time no matter what. If you’re writing, great – if not, still sit there. After reading that advice I was given it by someone other than who had written it.

Oddly, I’ve treated my desk and computer much the same as I’ve treated the bed for sleeping:  go there when it’s time for it to serve a function. I’ve always heard to use the bed for sleeping, not hanging out or watching TV. Without giving it much thought I’ve realized that I do the same with my work space… I use it when I’m ready to work. I’ve never thought of just making myself sit here until something to write comes into my head (I always thought that would be bad for the creative process). However, this week I started doing just that and, hello… I’m writing.

So, tell me… is this how you do things too? What works for you?