The Sunday Salon: Events coming up

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hello readers! How has your week been? For some reason I have been absolutely exhausted and not especially effective, which is always disappointing but a fact of life I suppose as the year winds down. I got started with my NaNoWriMo project. Unfortunately, I am already extremely behind. However, this week looks as if it might be slightly less stressful, so hopefully I can play catch up a little bit and stay in the running.

I've been blogging since September of 2010, and while I have learned quite a bit about blogging since my baby blogger days, I am still trying to figure out certain aspects of book blogging. I think the biggest struggle for me is structuring my reading vs. going with whatever I want. Yesterday I went to the library with every intention of only picking up the book that had come in for me on hold (Lola and the Boy Next Door! !!!), but instead I came home with four books, and the other three certainly were not on my TBR or any challenge lists for this year. I've come to terms with the fact that I am not going to finish all the challenges I signed up for this year; however, there are a few that I am still hoping to complete. In addition, I add books to my TBR every day -- It is 227 books long on Goodreads, and there are also several books on my shelves that aren't "officially" added to my TBR, but which I am hoping to read as well. Earlier this year I declared that I wouldn't care about challenges, and that I didn't want to add stress to my reading. However, I didn't delete any of my challenges, and as the new challenges for 2012 are popping up, I am urged to join so many of them! I am even planning on hosting a challenge next year (more information about that next Sunday).

I guess my question to all of you (one that is asked frequently in the book blogging world, but one I nevertheless still feel as if I have no satisfying answer to) is, do you prefer to set goals and have lists about your reading, or not? I think the answer for me is that I love making those lists and goals -- I don't think I can help it, with the way my mind is set up. I think the thing I need to get over is forgiving myself for not completing those lists. It is fun to set goals for reading, but they should be flexible. This isn't earning a PhD. This isn't really going to affect anyone but myself, so if it isn't working for me, if it is making me stressed, it needs to be released.

This post is going on much longer than I intended. I actually planned on listing some of the events coming up in the next few weeks that I am excited to join. So, after all of that metaphysical pondering about the nature of such things, here are some events that I am excited about and that you may want to participate in as well (if, of course, you've resolved the extremely important matter of deciding whether or not participating in such things is wise for you).

First of all, I just wanted to remind everyone that the Indie Lit Awards are still accepting nominations for the best books published in 2011. Any reader can nominate this year (unless you were involved with the publication in the book. You know, ulterior motives), and if you are reading this blog I can only assume that you are in fact a reader, so get over there and nominate. Pleaseandthankyou.

Secondly, Tea with Transcendentalists is coming up. Reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, "Self Reliance," was a pivotal moment in my education and I am excited (and a bit intimidated) to read more of his essays. Please join us in learning more about Emerson and his colleagues from November 15-December 15.

Thirdly, Yvann is hosting an event called Advent with Austen. I had never thought of this before, but Jane Austen really does seem like a cozy, Christmas-y friend for Advent. I am hoping to reread Persuasion and possibly Sense and Sensiblity as well. Part of me feels silly for doing so much rereading when there are so many other books to read out there, clamoring for my attention on the TBR list, but honestly, if we don't have time to revisit the books we love, what is the point of adding more to the list?

Finally, Sarah is hosting a second incarnation of the Back to the Classics Challenge. This is one of the challenges I am kinda stressed about finishing this year... but I love it. I want to do it again. And I really want to finish it this time, so I can feel justified in pushing myself to do it again next year. The categories this year are:

1. 19th century classic
2. 20th century classic
3. Reread a classic of your choice (Oh joy. I can do this one!)
4. Classic play
5. Classic murder/horror/crime novel
6. Classic romance
7. A classic that has been translated from another language into your language
8. A classic award-winner
9. A classic set in a country you will probably never visit.

I don't have too many ideas at this point, but I will figure it out as I go.

And while we're going over this, I'll probably participate in the Chunkster challenge again and the one I am hosting. I should probably keep it to that, but I doubt if I will be able to. There are two other challenges as well that look lovely to me -- a Shakespeare reading challenge and a medieval literature challenge -- but I am trying to suck it up, put them on my TBR and release the pressure.

Are you still here? You are amazing for putting up with my ramblings for that long. Go enjoy your Sunday!

PS: Daylight Savings. Of course you put up with me that long. You have an entire extra hour of life today.


  1. I can't wait for the Transcendentalist Event! :-)

    In answer: I like to have a "guideline" in my reading, but one that leaves my options very open. Example, I joined the classics challenge, but I am already reading classics, so it wasn't too limiting to join.

    So far, that's the only event I've joined for 2012. I don't mind planning ahead by a few weeks (example, the Transcendentalist Event), but I hate being confined to a tight schedule. I do like to have a plan -- a basic list of works I hope to get to in the next couple years. Then I'm structured, but I still have a lot of freedom to move and stretch. ;)

  2. Great post! I definitely like to make lists and goals even if I don't keep to all of them. I definitely finish my challenges each year, but I attack them in the early months so that by fall I am usually done. Freaky, I know.

    But, like you, my TBR pile just seems to grow every day and it is overwhelming sometimes. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do all this, whatever works for each reader is what's right... for that day :-)

  3. When it comes to challenges, I'm pretty flexible on them. Nine times out of ten, I don't finish them but that never stops me from joining! :-) Have a great week.

  4. I love challenges and reading lists, but I have always had a flexible attitude toward them because I know there's no way I'll actually finish them all or read every book on the list. And really, being spur-of-the-moment with reading is part of the fun for me. So I rotate in between review books, library books, and those from my shelf - in general reading what I'm in the mood for.

  5. I used to join a bunch of challenges and then would inevitably fail ALL of them. In fact, last year I hosted a challenge (one of only TWO I participated in) and failed my own challenge. Yikes. I have this disturbing reaction of promising to read things and then promptly losing all interest in reading the ones I signed up to read.

    I like to set reading goals, but I now make them much more general and vague, like "I'd like to read more non-fiction/classics/books by women." I am happy with that and it gives me a lot more flexibility.

    I also no longer participate in challenges :-)

  6. I have the same struggle with challenges - I love them but then have difficulty finishing them. We, however, are not alone. You will see a slew of posts at year end about the unfinished challenges. I figure life is challenging enough - I will do my best with the reading challenges but if I don't finish, no big deal.

    I am interested in hearing about your challenge. This was my first year hosting the Immigrant Stories challenge and I would like to do more with it next year.

  7. I feel like I've said this to you before, but "The Poet" is another excellent Emerson essay. Might be my very favorite (from those I've read).

  8. @Jillian - A guideline sounds like a good way to handle it. I can't help making lists but I hate feeling restricted by them for something that is for fun.

    @Helen - Wow, I am impressed! Maybe I should take it a day at a time too. :)

    @Vasilly - That has been my pattern lately too!

    @Alyce - That is a good attitude to have. I need to relax a little bit!

    @Aarti - Sometimes I think I shouldn't participate in challenges any more but I just get so excited! i can't help it!

    @Booksnyc - It will be posted on Sunday! And that is a good point, many people don't feel everything.

    @A Mitton - I will make sure to get to that one even if it isn't in the volume I am reading!

  9. Even though I love challenges, sometimes I just have to say, No more and read what I want!

    Here's my Sunday Salon: Reading 264 Books. I hope you will stop by and sign up for my November Giveaway, too. It's a $25 Amazon gift card!

  10. I'm planning out my challenges for 2012 now - I always participate in the Seasonal Reading Challenge on Goodreads - and that's a huge challenge itself. And I'll sign up for 2 more - both of which I'm hosting myself (not yet announced).

    I don't think you should stress out about the challenges - sign up after 6 months if you've read most of the books for a particular challenge - you can sign up any time.

  11. @Deb Nance - I think I just need to allow myself to say that.

    @Tanya Patrice - I haven't ever seen that challenge. I need to go and look it up! And that's a good point, signing up later in the game. I'm curious to see what you will be hosting :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...