Catching Up

Paula McLain

Normally I don’t write catch-all types of posts, but it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted anything. I wouldn’t say I’m feeling guilty about that, but I have felt as if something was missing. Anyway, I’ve been busy doing bookish things, such as:

1. Attending Paula McLain’s talk on The Paris Wife on May 3rd in Willowbrook, IL. It was the grand finale event for The Big Read hosted by ten libraries in the western suburbs of Chicago. I’m working on an author event recap of her talk that I’ll post soon, but in the meantime here’s a newspaper article on the event.

2. Attending the book release event for Dogface Charlie at the First Division Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton, IL on May 5th. This event took place during Charlie Company’s annual reunion for those who served in Vietnam during 1967-68. You can visit the museum online here for some details and I’m also planning a post about this event and the book.

3. Reading Patrick Rothfuss’s 700+ page novel The Name of the Wind in about four days. It was a reading frenzy. I read every spare minute between work and sleep. Only critical chores were performed and a few games of Words with Friends were played on Facebook. I may read a lot, but contrary to popular belief, I’m not a fast reader. However, I felt obligated to finish this novel in time for book group, which was May 9th, as I was the one who proposed the novel. My friend Roxanne in Nebraska loaned me her copy when I was out there last year and I felt it was high time I got to reading it. I finished it with two hours to spare and then, wouldn’t you know, no one was able to make book group that night. So it goes. Still, it gave me a great sense of accomplishment to have finished it such a short time. When I started re-reading Willa Cather’s One of Ours, this month’s Cather Challenge, I had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the writing rather than barrel through the story.

4. Organizing my bookshelves and weeding out 112 books. Last year I was working three jobs and my home office and book shelves showed it–the place looked like a cyclone hit it and my books were all out of sorts. So last weekend I decided it was time to get organized so that I could actually find a book when I was looking for it and also do a bit of weeding to make room for the new. I currently have four Ikea Billy bookshelves in my office and for the last year I’d been sticking books on the shelves willy-nilly, wherever there was a space. There were also stacks on my desk, the filing cabinet, and several growing on the floor. The fire marshal would not have been pleased.

My next post will be all about this book organization endeavor, complete with before and after pictures (well, perhaps just the after pictures). Stay tuned!

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