Remember To Check These Out

images.jpgNew book titles flow into my computer from online services, bookstores, other readers, travels to my bookcase, and sometimes even my friends, personal or academic. Although it often seems like I am grasping for books to recommend, the reality is probably that I could toss out a dozen suggestions every day and not come close to covering all the good reading out there, whether it’s newly published books or old classics that may have been around for umpteen years and even taught in schools.

Did you know that Joyce’s Ulysses was first published in 1922? That’s old: the centennial is coming up before you know it. And let’s not forget Homer’s epic on a similar topic. Surely you’ve read Ulysses and The Odyssey. If not, consider the two works excellent foundations for an understanding of literature .. and life.

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A Pile of Books Is Called a ???

images-1.jpgWow! It’s December tomorrow and I haven’t even thought about next year’s reading selections.

I have an uncharacteristic urge to just wing it: selecting one book at a time with no preplanning whatsoever. I knew a woman who was a strong reader but she insisted that she never planned her reading in advance. Of course back in the pre-digital days (and the pre-Amazon days) our reading plan was whatever we found at the library or in the local bookstore.

Then computer access to the library allowed us to look for and request specific books to be held for pickup on our next visit. Targeting specific books sounds like a plan to me. Add in the internet, online bookstores, and the once flourishing big-box-bookstores (brick and mortar) and we all had a variety of ways to obtain reading material. But short of just scanning lists of books for catchy titles or flashy covers, isn’t this all based on a reading plan, even if of short duration?

Lists of books others create, especially those Top 100 lists (even 1001 for the truly adventuresome), are a clear example of planning for reading, even if the titles are pre-selected for us.

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Reading Around the Galaxy

images.jpgIt’s been a tough month for reading. I was sick for almost three weeks and am still contending with bouts of low blood pressure. Note that low BP as well as low glucose turns normal vision into an endless parade of exploding stars and solar flares making it impossible to read.

But I have tried to keep up the web site and to discover at least one new title to suggest every day. Here are the titles suggested this last month:

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They’re Calling Out To Me

booksHave you ever tried to climb up a tall hill of sand? Now stop and think about all the great (and not so great) books that are being published which you really want to read. It can crush your enthusiasm. Sometimes I think I would rather select one book and read it over and over again, until I knew every event, every character, every dialogue: maybe I’ll spend my remaining days with my giant magnifying glass focused on Finnegans Wake or Recherche or Anatomy of Melancholy. But then I’d miss the newest novel from Michel Houellebecq or Eric Chevillard and I wouldn’t have time to read my journals such as Conjunctions and even Tin House.

Is it better to know everything about Finnegans Wake or should you have a well-rounded knowledge of a broad selection of literature, contemporary and classical?

This last month I have suggested a varied group of titles to explore. I plan to read a few as soon as possible; you should too.

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