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Reading With Sea

A book club on your own time

Time to get the who and what.  Who is reading this month and what are you reading?

I am still on the waiting list at the local library for Patti Smith’s Just Kids, but I have all of the other three books with me now.  I started Quiet Please this past week and have been enjoying it greatly.  I don’t know what I will read next, but at this moment I am leaning towards People of the Book.  I don’t know if I will receive Just Kids this month as there is a very long waiting list, but I do plan on reading all the others.  Join me on the Book Discussion page as I’ve started to talk about Quiet Please.

Also, just as a reminder, please get your votes in on the Book Raffle page.  The polls will not be open much longer.

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All along I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to encourage not only reading but also discussion.  Earlier this week I had posted about the possibility of leaning on collections of short stories or essays.  Here is what we’ll do for the next few following months to see how it goes:

We’ll continue on with the Book Raffle page and the polls as we have been.   What I am going to do is add a poll on to the Book Raffle page for you to select which collection you want to be reading over the next few months.

The poll for our normal fiction/nonfiction reading will remain as is.  There will now be two winners (the two that receive the most votes).  These two books will be your choice to read one or the other.  Your book selection will be paired with whichever essay or short story is also being read during the month.

To recap, each month a short story or essay will be read along with one full size book.

Please visit the Book Raffle page and vote on the collection you want to be reading over the next few months.

I have been reflecting quite a bit on how things have been going for our reading group and have been having conversations with various individuals regarding the flow.

What was recently suggested to me was that the group members acquire for themselves a collection of essays or short stories and then one of the essays/short stories in the collection could be read a month.  This short story/essay would be paired with a novel.

The idea behind this is to give people ample time to read and since a short story is quicker we would be able to discuss something while needing more time to read a full-length novel.

My question to you is how does this sound to you?  Would you be interested in purchasing a collection of short stories or essays and reading one of the a month together as a group?


Guess who won?  The ONLY person who entered!  Congratulations Danielle!

Please email me and let me know which copy of either a May selection or June potentials you would like to receive as your prize.

The Book Discussion page has been updated with the questions for the May reads.

I know this month we are featuring 4 books and this is quite a large task to take on.  This month I’d like to focus a little more in on the discussion and will myself spend more time on the page.

Last year, I started going through literary and music criticism and I read Rob Sheffield’s Love as a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time.  Prior to cracking its cover I had positive anticipations, but I found I had to coarse myself along to the finish line.  It is Rob Sheffield I am talking about here.  Contributing editor of Rolling freakin’ Stone and he is writing his love story through the songs on his mixtapes.  How could that have gone sour, but it did – for me at least.  I have heard people raving about this book and normally I enjoy Sheffield’s work, but not on this occasion.  I found this book void.  The subject matter was deeply emotional, yet I found a disconnect in the relationship between his writing and the subject.  Space existed; dissonance resounded.  I do not know if this is a product of the difficulty of that which he wrote about.

If Neko Case, Jolie Holland, the collective units of The Eastern Sea, States of Mate or The Choir of Young Believers ever came out with a book like this I would be all over it.  Better yet, if Melissa Febos writes a book like this I am certain I would have nothing but praise to offer as I would willingly bet money that her taste in music is of parallel achievement to her writing.  I’d also be interested in Denis Johnson collection of mixtapes and Jon Cotner’s.  I have read Nick Hornby’s music criticism and I will stick to enjoying his literary criticism.  It wasn’t expansive enough.

I do not mind when and in fact enjoy an author who chews on an idea throughout their career since we all have ideas/feelings/pursuits weaved within our cores that we are constantly searching out.  What I am getting at is that I get carried away with authors who are sweeping.  I want an author who is moved by more than one particular thing, or in this case type of music.  I have nothing against Billy Joel and happen to listen to hims myself, but is there more?  By George, there is.  Give me someone who can write about Jonsi’s new solo album, Go then move on to The Capitols’ Wild Thing, then Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s Shotgun Blues and back to the Tune-Yard’s Hatari. At that point I will be interested.  I want to hear about someone who has an ear for a great song regardless if it’s rock, blues, indie-rock, hip-hop, or worldly.


The poll for June reads is now open on the Book Raffle page.  Get your votes in.

email with questions and/or suggestions.

seabenjamin@gmail.com

-Sea