The cool thing to do is to pledge to read 52 books, one a week, and then do it. I enjoy reading and will freely admit that sometimes I just don’t keep at it as steadily as I’d enjoy. I figure this is as good a spot as any to solidify a path for myself, not so much because I want to make a pledge or whatever, but solely to map out what books I’m gonna tear through next. Having gotten a Kindle for Christmas, opening up glorious vistas of public domain works, and more, my choices are almost overwhelming. To keep myself sane, I’ve decided to burn through some of my more recent physical backlog. I own a huge amount of books and I’d like to check off as much as I can in terms of having read all those things on my bookshelf.
So, it’s just about two weeks into the year and I’m already ahead of schedule.
1. Mask of the Other, Greg Stolze
2. Tall Tales of Felony and Failure, Warren Haustrumerda
3. Stories of your Life and Others, Ted Chiang
4. True to Life: Why Truth Matters, Michael P. Lynch
5. God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert
6. An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage
7. A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Tom Standage
8. The Magicians, Lev Grossman
9. Griftopia, Matt Taibbi
10. The Song of Percival Peacock, Russell Edson
11. Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq, Steve Fainaru
12. DEBT: The First 5,000 Years, David Graeber
13. Who knows???
That should do for the first three months. A fairly decent mix of scifi, fantasy, food anthropology, smile breaking real world stuff. Some Russell Edson, too. This is just a rough menu for what I plan to read in that time, and it might change. DEBT, in particular, is a huge tome that I just dunno if I’ll have the cohesion of mind to take on so quickly after Griftopia, which is said to be a pretty frustrating and depressing read. As for the 13th book of the quarter, and possible replacements for anything I opt out of, I’ll probably swap some Bertrand Russell or Sam Harris in. If I can continue to maintain my lead, I should be able to claim 52 in a year pretty easily.
Now, because I really should be focusing on writing as much as reading, I’ll probably be doing write ups on some of these after I’ve finished them and had time to contemplate. Ted Chiang’s ‘Stories’, and the rest of his work I’ve read, certainly deserve the proper attention.
Even in the event that I don’t hit my goal here, just putting this all down should help focus my year somewhat. I’ve never been good at that.