Barbara's Random Thoughts

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I’m always impressed by people who read a ton of books (read: significantly more than me) every year. It makes me feel a little inadequate. But then, this feeling is usually somewhat balanced out by friends who tell me they're impressed by my annual reading totals. In 2007, I read a lot fewer books than I usually do. I didn’t read nearly as much fiction as usual. I read a lot more good nonfiction. And, I continued my practice of rarely blogging anything substantial about anything I read. The last of these is the thing I’m planning on changing this year.

I often make reading goals and plans for myself. I often don't follow through. Because unless I’m reading for a discussion of some sort, or reading a book I’ve borrowed/been given and therefore must either return or report back on (ah, accountability!), my reading is largely governed by the mood of the moment. It’s really hard for me to get into (or through) a book I’m not in the mood for. I’ve had Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday on my shelf for years, but didn’t get around to reading it until recently, while traveling in Britain. I took it with me because it seemed like something I’d want to read in Britain. Oxford, specifically. It was. I loved it. I'm not always so successful in my choice of travel reading--which is why Atonement went to both Italy and South Africa (twice to South Africa!) before I finally read it. And loved it.

Reading is like music for me. It has to fit my mood. And I think I’m gonna (mostly) give up on trying to change that. BUT…I would very much like to be more disciplined in reflecting on and writing more thoughtfully about what I read. Posting at least something about each book I read this year will help me to do that. Additional benefit: I’ve been casting about as to what to do with this blog (I’ll spare you the half-written rambling post on that subject), and this gives me something to write that will (ostensibly) get me back into posting here.

It also means that I owe you four posts, one on each of the following:
The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
Magic or Madness, Justine Larbalestier
In Search of Guidance, Dallas Willard
Journey to Myself, ed. Julia Landau

And soon:
A Stay Against Confusion, Ron Hansen


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| posted by Barbara | 7:33 AM