Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back to my Roots:

So, here's a thought.

While it may not seem like it, I have been in a bit of a reading rut. The obsessive nature I once had to read all the time is gone. Reading recently has become a slight chore and I am frustrated with my inability to find a good book from my list to sink my teeth into.

I think a large part of it is the fact I haven't been feeling well the last few weeks. Yesterday was my day off and I spent the day alternating between trips to the bathroom and sleeping in bed. I haven't accomplished anything worth anything recently and I am a bit frustrated with the halt in my progress recently. I mean, at the rate I am going, it is going to take me five or six years as opposed to the three I had planned for to complete this project.

So what is the solution?

I am beginning to see reading and writing here as a chore. I have been slogging through Bleak House without much enthusiasm. I felt this need to read it to say that I did. Yes, its on my list, like many other books I have put aside when they didn't grab my attention. But reading that book was like a chore my mom assigned me to do and it made me incredibly unhappy.

And again, a small part of this problem is the fact that I feel incredibly stressed out. Between the saga of my toe, various other ailments, moving, and work at the park coming to a close on November 7th (my park job is technically only a seasonal job. I work full time from the end of March through the middle of November. Normally they keep a few of us on over the winter, but because of budget cuts they aren't this year). All of that is stressing me out and I find that the free time I do have...well...I don't want to read something heavy.

I've decided that I am taking a short break, and reading a few things that are going to bring me back to my roots. It will ease the transition when we move and hopefully get me over the rough patch I have had recently in terms of devoting myself to what I am reading.

I kind of owe Jillian for influencing me to take this break. She is reading the Little House series right now, and I decided I want to re-read them as well. I am also going to read a few other favorites from my childhood in hopes it'll remind me why I love to read. I could spend forever on re-reading books from my past, so I am going to limit myself to this list. :) I hope you will all enjoy my little excursion back into my childhood with me.
  • The Little House series: This includes Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, The First Four Years all by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins and Thunder Rolling in the Mountains by Scott O'Dell
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The BFG, The Witches, and Matilda by Roald Dahl
Anyway, those are the childhood titles that I desperately want to read right now. I'm going to cut myself off at the end of November no matter how many I get through. I hope you'll all forgive me for taking a break from my list. I think I have just lost sight of who I want to be in terms of this blog and my project. I think I need to remind myself why I started this in the first place.

I'm going to begin reading from this as soon as I finish Madame Bovary. You'll still see backlogged posts from the other books I have finished recently. I will only be writing one post per each title from this list. I hope you enjoy this little side project!


  1. That's a wonderful list! While I'm not a Little House or Narnia fan, I love the Lowry books and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & Terabithia! I really should reread Island of the Blue Dolphins at some point because they had us read it too early and I didn't really understand it.

    Good luck to you and I hope this helps you in the long run! November's a good time for breaking anyway, with NaNo and everything.

  2. I think that's a great idea! My favorite way to break a reading slump is to read some of my childhood favorites, especially Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Phantom Tollbooth.

  3. Good for you! It's not worthwhile to keep slogging through if it feels like a chore. I love Roald Dahl! I've read several of his books to my children over the past few years and it has been delightful to revisit them. Right now I'm reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time and it is wonderful. Good luck with the side project! It sounds fantastic!

  4. I don't think you should feel obligated to stick only to your list no matter what, no matter how you feel. Sometimes a little push is good, but sometimes you just need a break. I love your idea of going back to early reads. The Little House series was my first book addiction, I've been tempted to re-read them myself.

  5. I think this is a great idea. Any time something that you enjoy starts to feel like a chore, it's time to step back and regroup.

  6. Sounds like a great plan! I'll be looking forward to seeing if these books hold up to your adult scrutiny. :) There are a few on there that I remember loving, like Island of the Blue Dolphins and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which I didn't read until I was an adult). And Kiddo just came home from school telling me about The BFG, a book I'd never even heard of - I definitely want to know more about that one.

  7. Yay for you! Reading shouldn't feel like a chore and switching to fun re-reads always gets me out of a rut. I love all the books you picked to re-read and I hope you have a blast doing it. Feel better soon!

  8. What a wonderful list you have made! what better way to conquer stress than to get back to childhood. I think it will be like comfort food for your inspiration!

  9. It's your blog - read what you want! I went through a reading rut in the spring, and you gotta do what you gotta do to get out of it. I started rereading a little too. I adore the Little House books and reread a few of them nearly every year. I reread Island and Lion last year, and I just bought Tree last month! Go for it! I hope it's awsome and gets you happy about reading again! I'm rereading Gone With the Wind right now. Ah, isn't Scarlett a fantastic b*tch?

  10. I think we can all forgive you for taking a break from your list! And I am currently rereading the Little House books and enjoying it :)

  11. Enjoy! Reading certain books can be great therapy.

  12. I hope your break gets you back into it all again :D

  13. Sounds like just waht you need. I found the same thing happening to me when I'd been blogging for a little while. It takes some refocusing to make sure free reading time is always for fun!

  14. Of course we will forgive you! I think you will find that your blog followers will be much easier on you than you are on yourself. ;) I know I, for one, will enjoy reading about your trip down memory lane.

  15. Great list! Oddly, I'm planning on re-reading all the Little House books soon as well. I just went to Laura Ingalls Wilder's house in MO last weekend and it made me want to re-read them! It was the house where she wrote all of the books and that she and Almanzo built practically by themselves. You could walk through it and see all of her stuff almost exactly like she left it, plus they had a museum with handwritten letters and manuscripts and best of all - Pa's fiddle!
    I love the Lowry books, Narnia, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I've missed some of the others so I may have to check them out.

  16. A lovely list! I hope you enjoy all your re-reads. Many of those are books I love to re-read myself. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. (And might have to pick some of these up again myself. What a bad influence you are! ;) )

  17. For what it's worth i think you made the right decision, and childhood favorites are always a safe place to roboot.

    We'll be here when you come back!

  18. Yay!! I'm so glad you'll be reading Little House! The beauty of these blogs is that we can change whatever we want - whenever.

    I'm four away from finishing the Little House series, and while I'm loving it, I'm beginning to crave the heavier classics. (So it's working!)

    This will be a good break for you, and I know you'll come back in December refreshed.

    Reading should never be a chore.

    Have fun!!