My self-imposed blogging vacation was only about a week old before I started thinking of starting up again. But I told myself I needed to enforce that blogging break, and therefore wouldn’t “allow” myself to blog again until September. I instead spent time redesigning the site and pondering just what I want to be doing on this reading blog.
I’ve decided I’m going to start over again. My involvement will probably be far less than it was before and I reserve the right to just stop blogging or omit blogging for a week or two here or there if I’m too tired of it, if life is busy, or if I otherwise just feel like it. This is once again for me, and not for others, although I’ll try to be a part of something.
As I mentioned, I redesigned the site. I changed my tagline too.It used to be:
Thoughts about fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, new and old
And I’ve changed it to:
Thoughts on reading & rereading classic fiction, nonfiction, & children’s books, old & new
The emphasis now is on classics before anything else. The emphasis is on old works before the new ones. The emphasis is on reading and rereading, of which I’m a big fan. I hope that my responses to classic literature on this site will be more thematic and overarching, rather than plot summaries and impressions. I hope to be less review-like and more reflective. I hope to have a greater variety of posts: some posts brief thoughts on a book I recommend, others longer essays on themes between two or three books I’ve finished.
As part of my site redesign, my menus above reflect the past (review archives), present (current reading lists, updated via Shelfari), and future (reading lists) of Rebecca Reads. I’m going to try to keep my sidebars clean of too many “buttons” and images. I’m not planning on joining any “challenges” and I’m officially dropping all I had signed up for, although I may have a personal project that I adopt that reflects a challenge. I still intend to tell you about challenges and projects that deserve your attention. The Classics Circuit is still on vacation. I need to wrap my mind around that a bit more.
Here I am in September and in actuality, I could just not blog at all. It’s not a pressing need in my life, which is quite a relief. It’s nice to not have to worry about it. However, I really do want to share my thoughts on what I’m reading. More than 85% of my blog hits are people coming from search engines, so there are readers out there even if I’m a less active part of the “community.” Besides that though, I do want to comment on your blogs about what you’re reading. I like the interaction, as long as it doesn’t become an obligation for any of us.
What have I been reading? I have been working on my Victorian summer, and I think I may make it a Victorian year, I love it so much. I finished three Victorian novels by women, including Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey, Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, and George Eliot’s Middlemarch. All of them are interesting and enjoyable for different reasons. I’m also currently reading Great Expectations and my first Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?.
I went through a YA/children’s book phase where I read a few novels by Shannon Hale, one by Kate DiCamillo, a Roald Dahl classic, and the second novel of Westerfeld’s Uglies series. And I read three full-length novels aloud to my toddler: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Winnie-the-Pooh; and Peter Pan. Although he liked the stories (I would summarize the action before and after we read our pages), I think we need a break from dense and long novels! He certainly loves the picture books we’re reading, and he enjoyed the two summer reading programs we joined.
Since my recent classics book club read was Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, I went through a Twain week where I also reread Tom Sawyer and read for the first time Pudd’nhead Wilson. I really enjoy Twain, and look forward to sharing some thoughts on those. I reread The Stranger by Albert Camus and enjoyed it far more the second time (and after our club discussion). I also picked up two other novellas: one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) and one by Banana Yoshimoto (Kitchen). Neither of those novellas was a favorite, but I did love Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude a few years ago, so maybe a reread of that is in order to satisfy my magical realism craving.
And that is how the future will go: I’ll read whatever I feel like reading next, of course with my two book club schedules in mind. I’ll write thoughts about said books and/or write posts about reading in general whenever I feel like it. I’ll post when I feel like it, and not post about books I don’t want to talk about anymore. I’ll read other book blogs most weeks, and I’ll comment when I have something to add to your conversation (which is not all the time).
So anyway, I’m trying again. I’ll only post, read blogs, and respond to comments on my schedule, such as right now when my toddler is happy by himself. He also starts preschool next Tuesday morning. I can’t tell you how excited I am for that. Maybe that will let me have time to have a place in the blogging world.
I anticipate that the future of Rebecca Reads will be a bit different, but hopefully it will still be a satisfying hobby for me and a satisfying place to visit now and again for you, my fellow readers.