I have so many “reading goals” for the New Year that this week I started to feel a bit burned out, like I was reading just to cross it off the list. I should be reading for my own personal development and enjoyment. I also want to join in Reading Journal this week (is there a “day” for that meme?) and Library Loot, since they are related. Finally, I’ve selected a winner of The Book that Changed My Life.
Blog Improvement Project
- Post more book reviews than non-book review posts. This means I won’t be doing Weekly Geeks or any other memes every single week, and when I do participate, I’ll post them together as much as possible. I want the focus of Rebecca Reads to be the books and articles I’m reading, not the memes.
- Have at least one post at each of my other blogs at least every other week. If keeping a balance means I’m not reading and reviewing as much on Rebecca Reads, so be it.
- Keep track of pages read and challenges progress via “In Review” posts at the end of each month. I started this with the end of November and I like it. It helps for me to look back and realize that I did read a whole lot, even though dozens of books are still unread!
- Don’t stress out about challenges – just enjoy reading! I have very ambitious goals (as I shared here and here) and I anticipate my year being quite busy, so I may not finish them all. The great thing about reading lists is I have my entire life to read through them.
Confession: sometimes I don’t want to read the books I have already begun, so I start a new book. That, of course, means I occasionally have many books on my night stand. Here are those that I am currently reading:
- Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang (280 pages read of 330; nonfiction/reference). For the Dewey Decimal Challenge. After I requested this book from a different library, I realized that I’d rather do the “000s – Generalities” category this month, but I’m reading this book anyway. I am enjoying it, but it is highly technical, so I can only read so much a day. It’s a new release, so I’m struggling to finish it by the earlier-than-usual due date of 19 January.
- Norton Introduction to Poetry (80 pages read of 500; poetry). An upcoming Bookworms Carnival is focusing on anthologies, with a deadline for submission of 23 January. This volume is my absolute favorite poetry anthology because it also is a tutorial on how to read poetry. Needless to say, it is challenging to read an anthology of poetry from cover to cover. I may actually review it before rereading the entire thing (something I don’t want to get in the habit of doing…)
- Material World by Peter Menzel (100 pages read of 250; nonfiction/coffee table book). For the World Citizen Challenge, along with Menzel’s What the World Eats. While Material World is certainly better than What the World Eats in some ways, it is also a coffee table book and is challenging to read cover to cover.
- The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (about 300 pages read of 630 pages; fiction/short stories). For my personal short stories project. The Project Gutenberg version of Grimm’s stories only has about 60 of the stories; there are more than 200 in the complete volume.
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkein (about 350 of 425 pages; fiction). For fun. My husband and I have been reading this novel together over the past six months. We have the end matter (some stories) to finish. I may finish it myself, as we will probably not have time in the next few months.
- The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters (about 50 pages read of 350; nonfiction/reference). For the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge. This is a cookbook as well as a cooking tutorial and I love it! But when do I review it? It’s going to take a while to cook the recipes.
- The Flavor Bible (about 35 pages read of 300; nonfiction/reference). For the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge. This is another cooking-help book and I love it thus far.
- The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin (about 70 pages of 700; nonfiction/history). This is my “long” selection for the 9 for 09 challenge. I read about 70 pages with my husband last year, over the course of three or four months. But then we started Silmarillion together and never finished Boorstin. I’ve started rereading the beginning and I’m actually going to read it this year.
- Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott (5 pages read of 120 pages; fiction). For fun. I started the first chapter (because I thought I could read it quickly due to its short length) but then I got distracted. I do want to read it before it’s due at the library (two more weeks).
How many books do you read at the same time?
Since Library Loot goes along with Reading Journal, I thought I’d participate this week. In addition to those books started above, I also have these on hold at the library, awaiting my pickup:
- Golgol’s Wife and Other Stories by Tomaso Landolfi (180 pages; fiction/short stories). For my HTR&W challenge.
- Hunger: An Unnatural History (270 pages; nonfiction). For the World Citizen Challenge; I was disappointed in Menzel’s coffee table book, so I wanted a more appropriate book about world hunger.
- The Odyssey trans. Robert Fagles (560 pages; epic poetry). For my own Really Old Classics Challenge. (You can still join, and there is a giveaway for participants at the end of February.) My mini-goal is to finish The Odyssey by the end of February.
- Rereadings by Anne Fadiman (270 pages; nonfiction/essays). After reading Eva’s thoughts, I thought this would be great for the “000 – Generalities” month for the Dewey Decimal Challenge (and it’ll be a great compliment to my review of The Book that Changed My Life). However, I have so much else to read, I may not read this.