January was a phantom month. I missed doctor’s appointments, stumbled along with an out-of-date database program (now brought up-to-date), found myself with a little too much shiver to ascribe to Florida weather, waited for my 2018 allotment to buy a new espresso machine, became fascinated with the technical details of jazz, read a dozen books (mostly novels), enjoyed a local Bluegrass concert with excellent Barbecue on the side, saw my van loose an argument with a rough deer (now fixed up as good-as-new .. on one side), triangulated three Amazon Echos so I have music (or left-wing political talk) wherever I go learned my iPhone battery was kaput (still waiting for a new one) so I must take my iPad with me if I intend to sit in the Lucy Goat for longer than twenty minutes, didn’t realize I had to update my website until the last day and now am in a rush, still can’t decide if I want a new iPad Pro since the old one is still working great, and the IRS informs me that they have my check for the 2015 tax year but they do not have my actual tax return.
December was dedicated to reading a few of the big bad fat books that have been lingering on my bookshelves for years. I only finished two—The Golden Notebook and New Grub Street—but I read over half-way through a few others such as Frog and Infinite Jest. I hope I can continue reading those two books without seriously interfering with my regular scheduled reading.
January is back to a random schedule of books, big and small. There’s no theme this month, just, hopefully, some relaxing and interesting reading from authors all around the world. One of these days I may schedule a concentration of American literature: it’s still my weak point.
Not that many years ago I was laying in bed reading The Tale of Genjii when a sharp jabbing pain in my wrist caused me to yelp, drop the book on my exposed nose, and lose my place amid all those exciting medieval pages. Surely something had snapped in my overstressed wrist and I was forced to prop-up all my big fat reading from that point on.
Another change in my reading life caused by this event was a tendency to eschew my beloved big fat books in favor of more safety minded slim titles.
I guess I got out of the habit and I have been shifting the big ones back to the bottom of the reading pile for several years now. I might have blamed my dimming eyes but I think it was more my aging patience: Why read one big one when you can read a half-dozen that are possibly just as good, albeit much thinner.
Yes, this is the month I put up or shut up and at least dabble in a few of the books I have recently suggested for others to read. My selection process was simple: I went back through the last two months worth of suggestions and listed all the titles I found readily available to me either on my bookshelf or on my digital reading stack. Then I trimmed the list down to just twenty titles and they are now my November 2017 Reading Pool.
Some are fat, others are short, a little non-fiction as well as some very recent publications. All in all it looks like I will come out of the month with more fun and enlightenment than I probably deserve.