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That is pretty much my reaction to Brothers of Gwynedd at this stage as well. My post will be up later in the week.


For me it's not so much that I question some of my book choices but just that I want to read a lot of what everyone else is reading. My wish list just keeps growing. I just figure I have to read what I want to otherwise I may not be reading a book fully present and therefore it might disappoint me. So count me in as someone who enjoys a hodgepodge of books :)


There is definitely a place for comfort reads and also a time and place for slightly more "intellectual" reading. You give us a good mix, Danielle, and I always enjoy your lists. I only read 2 book blogs and 1 knitting blog; this is a matter of self-control, or else I would never do anything else, including reading and knitting! The sidebars are great but the comments of the blogger are what keep people coming back. Keep up the good work!


I'm having the same problem with the Pargeter! It just seems to go nowhere sometimes, although the setting is interesting. I've read the first part of the book, and I'm a bit hesitant about going on to the second, especially since i have many other books on my shelves that look more interesting! Add to that the fact that the book weighs about a ton, definitely not a book for throwing in my handbag for reading during my lunch break.

I too sometimes feel as though what I read isn't quite up to the level of other people's reading; i feel envious of those people who can read many, many books in a week compared to my own 3 or 4! Also, I feel envious of those people who live in the UK and can easily buy Persephones and Virago Modern Classics. I sometimes feel a bit lowbrow with some of the books I read and review on my blog.

As a side note, I know you're a Molly Keane fan; today I bought my first book of hers, published under MJ Farrell; The Rising Tide.


Marg--I am not making the progress this weekend in the book as I should have...I may be playing catch up before I can start book two! I'll be curious to hear what others have to say as well!
Iliana--I tend to be drawn by a variety of books and give in easily to books I know are not highbrow reads, which I then sort of feel guilty about when I see what other readers choose. I know it is totally crazy, but every once and a while my insecurities break through. And my wishlist always grows, too, when I check in with other readers!
Cathy--Sometimes life is just stressful and there is nothing better than a nice gentle read or a mystery or thriller to keep my mind occupied. I like other more challenging books, too, but I guess I can't just read all one sort of book. And I am glad you like my lists--I can't seem to keep away from them--thanks for the kind words. This year has just been a weird reading year for me and I was wondering about my choices.


Katherine--I feel bad about the Pargeter as it seems like something that would be right up my alley. It almost seemed by her style that maybe it was written in the 1920s, but she wrote the books in the 1970s, so she must have just wanted to stick close to historical fact. I've been completely dragging my feet this weekend and now I will be doing some serious reading tonight and tomorrow! And yes, it is not a book that is easy to carry around, which makes it hard for me to read since so much of my reading is done when I am not at home. I'm hoping the story picks up as it goes.
I'm even a slower reader--I can manage one for sure a week and on a good week maybe two. I'm amazed at how fast some people can read--and there are lots of readers like that out there. This makes it even harder as I know I can't read more than say 75 books in a year and I wonder how wisely sometimes I choose. So I guess that's where my uncertainty has been coming from lately--knowing I am reading slower lately. That said I don't necessarily want to give up my mysteries or comfort reads either. I also am tempted by lots of British books--love Viragos and Persephones and agree they can be hard to come by over here and also tend to be expensive, so we're in the same boat! I do like Molly Keane and had planned to read her works in order as they were written and am supposed to be reading Taking Chances right now only I know I want to give the book close attention and with my other reads this month haven't had a chance to start it properly!


We have a teacher in our book club and she tends to push us to read some "deep" books which are worthwhile. I mostly read cozy mysteries though. Reading is enjoyable to me and I don't like to have to think too much.


I often feel that way when I see what other people are reading. It always makes my own reads look small and unintellectual in comparison.

Liz F

Well at least I am not the only one to feel like this. I read a very wide range of books from 19th Century classics to so called paranormal romances with the full mixture of historical, crime, thriller, literary,some chicklit and non-fiction as well, although that is mostly history, but I still look at some of the book blogger choices and feel down right thick!
Having said that, I read for pleasure and while I have forced my way through books that I haven't enjoyed simply because I thought I should, I have since decided that at 51, life is too short to read something that I don't like unless I have to.
Since following certain book bloggers, I have pushed my reading boundaries with varied results (some I loved, some I hated and some were just a waste of space) but I firmly believe that if what you read gives you pleasure, or you feel better for having read it or that you have learned something from it, then that is just fine.
For the record Danielle, I love your book choices and have picked up on a lot of authors I would otherwise have missed, thanks to you so keep reading what you are reading and enjoy them (or if you don't let us know so I know what to avoid!).
BTW Persephone are expensive on this side of the pond too - beautiful and wonderful reads, but still expensive and they rarely turn up in charity shops!


Danielle if it was not for you I wouldnot have discovered William Maxwell, he made top of my list last year, or The Ballad of The Sad Café(McCullers). It was you who pointed me in the direction of Jacqueline Winspear and I am reading her Birds of a Feather right now.I have printed all your lists and they are a tremendous help choosing new books.

Buried In Print

I've enjoyed reading your posts about AnnaK. I read it with a co-reader a few summers ago and I'm sure I wouldn't have finished without that added encouragement.

I'm constantly adjusting and shifting my reading balance between reads that I enjoy and which also challenge me and reads that I simply enjoy; I'm still looking for that happy medium too!

Kristen M.

I think I am also depressed more by how many books other bloggers seem to get through than by what they are reading. Everyone will choose different books at different times in their years/lives and if I'm not at that same point as someone else, it's okay. But I do wish I could read more and get through all of the wonderful books out there!

Dee Ingram

Don't give up on the thrillers! I'm rediscovering genre fiction this year through recommendations on blogs and librarything and some of my favourites have come from your blog. I particularly loved the Elly Griffiths mysteries so a big thank you for that. One of the great things about your blog is that everything sounds so readable. Please don't change!

Jennifer Miller

I enjoy your blog very much! Just picked up a Daphne DuMaurier book that you talked about and put another one by William Maxwell on reserve, too.


I love the mix of books you read! But I know what you mean about reading choices. I can rarely manage more than a book or two a week unless some of them are short or super-quick reads, so I get discouraged about everything I don't have time to read but want too. And I also get discouraged about the things I don't feel I have the mental energy to read; like maybe I'd love Proust or Borges but I get all overwhelmed when I think of reading them and retreat to my Victorians!


Sometimes when a book's design is poorly done, it influences how I read. I've even found once or twice before that switching editions to an easier-to-read typesetting will help me finish a book!

I love your eclectic taste in books! Don't feel guilty about reading random comfort reads or thrillers! As long as you have fun.


I don't like those big omnibus editions like the Pargeter because they are so huge and crammed and make reading more difficult. Sorry you aren't getting on. It seemed like not long ago you were hopeful that it was just starting to take off. Oh well.

I think you always have such a good mix of books on the go. I don't worry about intellectual worthiness as much as have a problem with wanting to read everything at once righ tnow because it sounds os good. If only I had more eyes and didn't have to work or sleep I'm sure I could do it :)


Ann--It's sort of nice to read those more challenging books in a group--I tend to get more out of them that way! I love cozies, too, though.
Iris--I try and read a mix, but some people seem to only choose more highbrow sorts of books, and then I feel awfully lazy. It can be hard to find a balance. I suspect both of us read very good books, but it can be hard not to compare my reading to others...
Liz--I know that feeling. I read a mix of things as well, and don't really think about what I am choosing, but then I will look at my list (after having looked at someone else's) and I start to wonder...I also have read a lot of books I wouldn't have picked up otherwise thanks to other readers/book bloggers, so I know I shouldn't be hard on myself and just keep enjoying what I'm reading (and by and large I do enjoy almost everything I read). I have no sense of what things cost over in the UK (at least hoe much it costs to someone who lives there)--I always think in terms of dollars, so it's interesting you also find Persephones a bit on the expensive side (I still love them, just can't get them every time I want one). And no doubt after making the investment no one wants to give them up (they are also too pretty!).
Catharina--I'm always happy to hear I might have turned a new reader on to an author I've really enjoyed. I just checked out another William Maxwell book from the library as a matter of fact! And I need to read more Carson McCullers, too.
Buried in Print--It really does help to have a group or friend or two to read a big, chunky book along with. I am going to pick it back up tomorrow for my bus book once again and can't wait. I think I tend to be drawn to shiny new books, which are often just comfort read types, and then I will think I should really be reading more'good' authors (whatever that means really)--more of my Viragos or classics. I just want to read too many books is my problem and need to even things out a little more. I'm glad I am not the only one with that problem.
Kristen--Even though my list of books that I want/need to read seems to get longer and longer, this year I seem to be reading slower and slower. Some readers are so fast they can read so many from their piles--I need to stop accumulating any more as I am certainly not reading them fast enough! Maybe I'm just a little burnt out? Not sure what is going on these days.
Dee--I don't think I could ever give up mysteries and thrillers! Strangely I don't really think of them as being fluffy reads for the most part--they are sort of in their own category. And I loved the first Elly Griffiths novel, too and have her second one waiting to be read! (And don't worry, I don't really expect my reading pattern to change too much..just like to think about these things sometimes.).
Teresa--I have certain books/authors I retreat into as well! And I think that is the problem--not being able to read more than a book or two at week, which means I can't read everything I want but have to take it slowly. Comfort reads tend to go faster and books like Anna Karenina are a major investment! Oh, well, I'll just keep chugging along.
Maire--To be honest, for the next book in the quartet I've ordered it as a standalone. It is a mass market book with regular type and margins. I think it will give me a more realistic sense of how much time the book will take to read and will hopefully flow better! And I think you're right about reading the books you enjoy--everyone likes different books so I really shouldn't judge myself as having worse choices than anyone else.
Stefanie--I keep going back and forth over the Pargeter book. It's definitely one you need to spend a chunk of time with, and that's part of my problem. In any case I have written about the first of the four books and will share my post tomorrow. Then it's time for a break and will go back to Anna K and a few others as well! I don't know why I worry about bookish things so much--I'm just a good worrier and can't help myself. I have that same problem of wanting to read everything, too!

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