At Least I Get To Start This New Year

images.jpgMy New Year’s resolution is to pay more attention to my reading. I get too involved with Netflix series’ and click-bait showing me how they look today (compared to 1964?). But rest assured: I may be getting soft in my old age butI have yet to chase after photos of cute kittens or smart dogs.

One thing that I intend to make use of more and more is the text-to-speech function of reading applications such as Marvin. The technology is not great but it is more than adequate for most reading. Interestingly, although you might assume this digital translation would be disappointing for books written in less familiar languages such as Arabic, but many times the pronunciation is spot-on. English tends to run into problems with various homonyms and heteronyms (bow/bow, read/read, etc.). The tendency to try to pronounce some punctuation and abbreviates is also a bit aggravating, but you get used to it.

Because it’s not perfect, I highly recommend that you scan the text as well as listen to the text-to-speech conversion. There is nothing worse than falling asleep and then having to take half a day searching for where you lost track of the narrative.

Here is the January pool of possible new reading:

  1. The Virgin of Flames — Chris Abani
  2. The Monkey-Wrench Gang — Edward Albee
  3. Taduno’s Song: A Novel — Odafe Atogun
  4. God: A Human History — Resa Aslan
  5. No God But God — Reza Aslan
  6. Religion For Atheists — Alain de Botton
  7. Streetwise — Mohamed Chaukri
  8. Maigret At Fouquet’s — Robert J. Courtine
  9. Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages — Guy Deutscher
  10. A Visit From the Goon Squad — Jennifer Egan
  11. The Calcutta Chromosome — Amitav Ghosh
  12. The Atheist’s Bible — Joan Konner
  13. Wolf Hall — Hilary Mantel
  14. The Children Act — Ian McEwan
  15. Doctor Zhivago — Boris Pasternak
  16. Houses — Borislav Pekic
  17. Empire V — Victor Pelevin
  18. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Landof the Free
  19. The Ghost In the Shell — Tow Ubukata
  20. Maigret and the Murder in a Minor Key — Murielle Wenger

4 thoughts on “At Least I Get To Start This New Year

    1. There are times that keeping up the website seems more of a job and more to the point, the website interferes with my reading time. I have been reading regularly and compiling lists for future reading since I was in High School back in the early ’60s. If anything, I crave more reading (just look at those overloaded bookshelves with with books I really want to read but my eyes make it quite difficult).

      I notice that my overall reading is about half of what it used to be. Now with Netflix and grandkids it’s challenged even more. Maybe reading is like combat: I have to overcome the forces that would keep me from reading before I can find a well-lit corner to enjoy a chapter or two before dozing off in an old-age nap.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well now. How can you make blogging less arduous? Just post once a month? Just record the books you do read? Or just say goodbye to the website? Things change. Coincidentally I plan to blog about this tomorrow. Good luck, and first things first!


  1. Happy New Year, Mike!

    I’m sure you’re probably aware of LibriVox for free audio books of classics. For any of your readers who aren’t, LibriVox is the Project Gutenberg of the volunteer audio readings and can be found at

    I finally got around to reading Doctor Zhivago a couple of years ago. That’s the only one on your list I’ve read and one of the very few I’ve even heard of.


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