Annotations, Disclaimer, and What I’m currently reading

I don’t post everything I read here. For that, you are welcome to follow me on Goodreads. But, I’ve decided not to limit my posts here to things Welsh, Celtic, or even British. The Welsh Bookworm is simply my nom de plume. I tend to read multiple books at once, depending on what mood I’m in, what is due back at the library with holds waiting, what I have to finish for my monthly book group meeting, a “book” for the car, a book for bedtime, etc. This isn’t exactly a high profile blog, but if you DO follow me looking for books set in Wales, or by Welsh authors, you can always use the Categories to find those posts.

I keep hand written notes for many of the books I am reading, just because plots are complicated, and a book may get abandoned for months before I get back to it. Well, I’ve decided to post those notes here, and if anyone else finds them useful, well and good. There may be spoilers as I read, though, so be forewarned! The posts will be clearly marked as “Notes.” I also like to look up things on the Internet as I read. Sometimes I just want to see what a place looks like, or read more about something I am not familiar with. I’d like to post my findings along with my notes so that I can go back to them later without having to do the search again.

So here’s the disclaimer: If I post a copyrighted photo, and you are not happy with me, please just ask me to remove it and I will. Whether a blog is considered a published work, or not, I don’t know, but I’m certainly not making any money. It’s just my own study. I will always try and post a link to the original location, so I’m citing my “sources” just like in a research paper.

Having said that, the reason for all this is that I have an unusually large number of books that I’m reading or want to read at the moment. It’s a cold, gray, rainy weekend – perfect for reading – but what do I want to read? I’m halfway through A Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich for this month’s book club read. The meeting was last week, and I don’t feel any great desire to finish the book. Previous abandoned book club reads include Dickens’ Great Expectations, Three Cups of Tea, Wicked, Pillars of the Earth, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Having just finished listening to Master and Commander, I want to sit down and read the book and it is one of those that would be fun to annotate. Especially if I get drawn into the series and there are 20 or so books! I have also just finished watching the HBO series of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – another series with multiple books and just begging to be accompanied by photos of Botswana. I am halfway through the book, although not annotating it. It is light and fun, and my current choice of bedtime book. Another series I want to tackle is Dorothy Dunnett’s House of Niccolo. In the car, I am finishing up Diana Gabaldon’s A Breath of Snow and Ashes, to be followed by next month’s book club read, Bill Bryson’s Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

Then there are the various online book discussion groups that I follow. One of those is discussing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and if I don’t want spoilers, I’d better pick that one up again now. I bought it for my Kobo e-reader and have started it several times. I have annotations for the first nine chapters and I’m going to post those here. One particular group I follow is a Yahoo! group called Renditions of Camelot. They host a monthly read of Arthurian fiction. Right now they are reading book four of the Macsen’s Treasure series, A Land Beyond Ravens by Kathleen Cunningham Guler. She is one of my favorite authors. I read the first three books many years ago, but of course I’d like to reread them before starting on A Land Beyond Ravens. Kathleen has just published a revised version of the first book, Into The Path of Gods. I have the original book and just bought the revised version for my Kobo. Of course, I want to read both simultaneously, so I can see what she has changed! Then one of the group’s members mentioned that she was going to read the entire “Avalon” series of books by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana Paxson. I thought that sounded like a lovely idea, so I downloaded The Fall of Atlantis to my Kobo. What can I say? Good intentions and all that. A number of Kobo reads got sidetracked while waiting for a replacement reader, and then more waiting to fix a technical problem with it. That has all been sorted out now, (and I still LOVE my Kobo!) but other books have intervened in the meantime.

Speaking of Kobo, I have recently downloaded the complete Vorkosigan saga by Lois Bujold (free! from the Baen Books website) – another series I want to read. Also Kristin Lavransdatter, and the series by Alan Bradley beginning with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. And I had started a short story collection Songs of Love and Death which includes a story by Diana Gabaldon. It had to go back to the library, but I loved all the stories I had read, so I bought it to finish later. I also have the collection Warriors from the library, with another Diana Gabaldon story, and I suspect I will be buying that one, too.

Another online group I have discovered is Shamrocks and Stones. This one emphasizes books set in Scotland and Ireland, or otherwise having a Celtic connection, so you can see why it appeals to me! They “only” read six books a year, and I am interested in all of them. However, I still have yet to start January’s book – Juliet by Anne Fortier. Also in my To Be Read pile – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett (read years ago, but it came up recently on one of the Dunnett lists), and another Dunnett list is talking of starting the Baroque Cycle series by Neal Stephenson, starting with Cryptonomicon.

It’s enough to make me wish I were retired, so I could spend my time actually reading books, instead of reading ABOUT them – I’m a librarian, and contrary to popular opinion, no, we do not sit around reading books! We just wish we could! Today, I can read, and I need to make a decision! So, let’s proceed with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Maybe the third time is the charm.