Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stirring up the books- a chance to join in!

I hadn't realized that I've been dissatisfied with recent reading until I realized I kept putting off posting about my reading and I read Amateur Reader's last of 2010 post about reading plans. As someone who takes pride in the eclectic (and sometimes random) nature of her reading, I initially took umbrage with the comment, "Too many readers are not following from one book to another but instead flailing about, reading randomly." But then A.R.'s next line, "A little organization - not too much! - would do a world of good," resonated with me. I need a little more organization- not too much- in my reading.
I also have realized that I want to discuss more of the books that I do read and that I want to spend more time connecting with my friends.
This leads us to Project STIR: Squirrel Team Is Reading*
Project STIR requires participation.
Friends will sign up now for a month. I'm aiming for 6-10 friends to sign-up.
If you sign up for a month, you are obliged to pick one book for both of us to read**, read the book, and discuss it with me during your month***. You are under no obligation to read any of the other STIR books.
I will be publishing the schedule as it is formalized, so you can read along with whatever books suit your fancy, whether or not it is your month.
Reserve your month now in the comments!
Let's stir up our reading a bit.

*I wanted an actually clever name. Failing that, I tried to make an acronym with STAR (to fit in with the yet-to-be-revealed theme of 2011), but I realized that not only is "Squirrel Team Are Reading" grammatically incorrect and not clever, it would also cause confusion with posts about stars.
** I will be soon posting a list of books I think I'd like to read, but I welcome suggestions off the list. You do not need to have a book in mind when you sign up for a month, but you do need to choose it early enough that I can get a hold of it and can advertise it for others who want to read along. I'm fairly open as to genre, but official STIR books must be 1) previously unread by my fellow reader and me (or not read recently enough to be remembered) 2) a novel or a short story collection 3) under 500 pages 4) stand alone (can be part of a series, but not incomplete on its own) and 5) not too scary, gory or depressing (I don't generally enjoy being scared and in my current [pregnant] state may veto more depressing things than I otherwise would).
***I'm happy to discuss in writing, in person, or over the phone. You must allow me to post parts of our discussion.


Sparkling Squirrel said...

Marieke, unofficially, is on for March (as per a discussion we had last fall, well before STIR was conceived). Marieke, let me know the book.

Tracy has requested September.

janet said...

Sign me up!!! I pick a summer month because my book club goes on hiatus then. June, July, August. Whatever works with your STIR schedule.

Jennifer said...

I want June :)

Molly said...

I'm up for it! Any month after April is good.

Amateur Reader said...

I can tell you what I meant - which might well be different than what I wrote.

I'm imagining a reader who comes across, randomly, a book outside of his regular reading that he really likes. He wants to read more of this - more novels about painters, or novels like To the Lighthouse, or whatever - but has little idea what those novels might be. Thus, the flailing, the true randomness - not knowing another path.

I mean, mostly, a good reader doesn't want to follow a path. Finish the book: "Ok, that was enough of that for now - let's have something different." Even then, knowing the lay of the land - the organization of the library - is a big help.

Marieke said...

March, oh my god, rush rush. [Knocking over piles of books in frenzied hunting.] I Capture the Castle? You've probably already read it! What about Lark Rise to Candleford? or The Plague of Doves? All unread by me.

salsis said...

I could take February! I have 2 books in mind. Breath, Eyes, Memory, a novel by a Haitian writer. I rarely read non-scifi novels - and have never read a novel by a Haitian. I see it's on Oprah's bookclub which makes me less likely to pick it up! http://www.amazon.com/Breath-Eyes-Memory-Oprahs-Book/dp/037570504X A second is Bloom which is sci-fi, and is about ecological demise of earth and development on a new planet. http://www.amazon.com/Bloom-Wil-McCarthy/dp/0345485378/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295446398&sr=1-1

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Lindsey is on board and is open to month.
AR- No need to re-explain. I know I took that quote far from context, but it did strike me that I have been flailing about and not liking it (sometimes I flit about and quite like it) and a little organization (even if its just one book per friend who volunteers) could help greatly.
Marieke- If this will cause a panic rush we can push it back, but surely we can add something to our reading lists for March?
I Capture the Castle is delightful (and read fairly recently by me), I fully open to either of the other two.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I'm open to either. Oprah is not necessarily the kiss of death.
Neither is likely available in my local library, so you'll have to pick one soon.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

You can have May or October(or August if the book is something small enough I can read while breastfeeding).

salsis said...

Do you want to check your library, and see if they have one? Ack - otherwise I have to pick? I don't want to make you buy a book...

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Breath, Eyes, Memory is on for February.

salsis said...

yay. You'll have to post reading details. 1/4 of the book by the end of the 1st week? What if I get snowed in tomorrow and read it all? haha. This'll make me finish the one I'm currently reading - When Helping Hurts.

Jennifer said...

This may help


$10 for a $20 Amazon Gift Card - but you have to get it today, Jan 19th.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Lark Rise to Candleford is it for March!

Salsis- I'll discuss logistics with each primary reader. I'm not going to attempt to read at the same pace as you, but do want to try and capture some of your thoughts in progress, not just that you liked it at the end.

Jenny said...

I could do April, May, November or December. Does it need to be a book that I have not read yet but would like to read, or can it be a book that I really love and would like to reread and think you would like very much too?

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Jenny, while I am always looking for suggestions of books you really love, your official book for this project must be previously unread by you ('cause I'm trying to encourage friends to expand their reading as well, and so that we can discover it together).

Molly said...

Ok, how about May? October is fine too if it allows someone else to participate. Just let me know.

Beth said...

I'm in - I would prefer March or later but can do sooner if needed.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Jenny- April
Molly- May
Jennifer- June
Janet- July
Lindsey- October
Beth- November (although you can switch or be a particularly light book for August)