Time To Roll the Big Stones Up the Hill

820100841This is going to be a catch up month with a limited number of big fat books that have been growing old in the back corner of my library. Luckily I now have digital verions of each of the titles so I cn put my squint back in the drawer and set my concentration level to maximum as I hope to plow through a couple thousand pages and read (or finish reading) so rather challenging books

First, there’s Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This one isn’t really a challenge but it happens to be the book I was reading when time raan out in April so why stop? Note: I’m not in love with this book and my die of boredom before the month concludes.

The second title is the oldest must-read in my library. Since I have started Infinite Jest two times in the past only to relegate it to a doorstop par excellence, I hope I can pick up where I left off without too much disruption to the narrative … wait, this is David Foster Wallace … no problem.

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A History of Books Not Read

images.jpgThe last few days I have been reviewing lists of books to hopefully generate a fun and educational reading list (at my age I go for fun more and more). At the same time I was slowly perusing old file folders on the computer for dead, forgotten files I could delete and save space on my two 6-TB hard drives (as if I needed it) and I uncovered a couple of lists of the books I had listed to be read but the month went by and I still hadn’t read them.

Two spreadsheets showed all of the scheduled but unread books for the years 2017 and 2018. With these documents I could generate my monthly reading lists for more than a year and still enjoy well diversified and reasonably exciting selections.

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Reading From the Pneumonia Cycle

images.jpgYet another month interrupted by a sudden trip to the hospital to recover from my annual bout of pneumonia and again they caught it just in time. I don’t totally understand: I had been coughing and there was an ache in my upper chest for the last day or so, but I ws feeling fine: strong and active. But then I lay down for a short nap and couldn’t get up two hours later.

I was weak and feverish so I was shoved into an ambulance and rushed into the hospital emergency room where I lay on a gurney for two days since the hospital was overbooked. Then several days of antibiotics and I was well enough to send home with a two-inch thick collection of papers telling me what to do and what not to do.

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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.

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