Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Modified 2010 Reading Resolution

Reading one hundred books in a year's time is not a realistic goal for me, even though I am constantly reading or listening to audiobooks on my Ipod. I have two weeks of January left and I don't think I can thoroughly read more than five books a month without feeling rushed. I'm looking at a few 700 page books I've picked out, and I know I can't absorb that much in less than a week. In fact, I usually give myself a whole month to read a long book. So, before I crash and burn in this New Year's resolution, I think I have to modify my goal. I'll try four books a month. That would mean 48 books in a year. I think that's a number I can handle and maybe even surpass. Also, I'm going to allow children's chapter books on my list, since I'm busy reading them to my kids at night.

So, Steena, I'm still with you, and I hope you'll forgive my modification. Visit my blogger friend Steena Holmes at Chocolate Reality.

Join other bloggers as they attempt to read a whole lot of books in the year 2010. Sign up for the challenge at this great book blog:

I welcome your suggestions on what I should read next. The list below is a work in progress. It shows my completed books starting from January 1st 2010:

1. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (loved it, and I consider his writing modern classic lit.)
2. Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Heig (interesting short stories about sad, lonely people, liked it)
3. The Poe/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 -edited by Laura Furman (best stories of 2009, excellent writing)
4. A Reliable Wife- Robert Goolrick (raunchy commercial literature, but I liked it.)
5. My Father, Maker of Trees: How I Survived the Rowandan Genocide - Eric Irivuzumugabe (a gripping faith story, liked it)
6. Evangeline - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (beautiful 157 page poem, classic lit. I liked it.)
7. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (a great classic that put A Reliable Wife to shame)
8. Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson (excellent writing- poetic, made me think, I liked it.)
9. Comfort and Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others- Colette Lafia (nonfiction self-help, good, gave me an idea for a short story)
10. The Power of Self-Esteem- Wally Amos (non-fiction, self help, a quick, uplifting read)
11. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath (horrible, sad, but what an amazing voice)
12. Family- The Ties That Bind and Gag- Erma Bombeck (She's a pro at the humor essay)
13. Charles Dickens- a biography by Michael Slater (really good- explored link between his life experiences and the details in his works)
14. Wisdom For Everyday Life From the Book of Revelation - Fr. Richard Veras (interesting! liked it)
15. The Faith Club by R. Idliby, S. Oliver and P. Warner- (A book about a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew who meet to learn about each other's religions and find common ground. I liked it until the Christian co-author specifically attacked the teachings of the Catholic church. After that the book lost all its validity for me as an open discussion on faith perspectives. I liked the concept of this book, but the attack on my own faith went against the whole point of the project.)
16. Riches Without Wings; or The Cleaveland Family by Elizabeth Oakes Smith (Beautiful and interesting Victorian family saga- LOVED it)
17. The People Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman (very interesting, about understanding personalities)
18. Just Wait Til You Have Kids of Your Own by Erma Bombeck and Bil Keane
(I love Erma Bombeck! Her work is getting dated now because of technology, but it is still so funny. She's a master humor writer.)
19. U Got 2 Love by Fr. Stan Fortuna ( I enjoyed this book, its about unconditional love and forgiveness.)
20. Resisting the Devil by Neal Lozano (fascinating book! ... about dealing with mental demons such as addictions)
21. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (very well-written and entertaining) saw the movie and liked it more.
22. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (a gruesome, painful read written by the son of Stephen King. I never liked the protagonist, but the change in him by the end of the book interested me very much. Despite the gore, I had to see how it ended, so I guess this book was good.)
23. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (great book, amazing writer)
24. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (excellent story, great writing)
25. 1984 by George Orwell (I forgot how great this book was.)
26. The Stone Boudoir by Theresa Maggio (an interesting memoir that takes you all over Sicily)
27. Tinkers by Paul Harding (amazing writing. won the pulitzer Prize in 2009)
28. S.S. Carinthia: A Cruise into Disaster (a book by a local author whom I met through my job. intersting local historical fiction)
29. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I read this one every year. one of the greatest stories ever written, I think)
30. Beautiful Disaster by Laura Spinella (a well-written romance novel)


Steena Holmes said...

Tell you what ... make your goal 50 and we'll call it even ;)

I'm all about rewards my friend. I'm thinking if you can read 50 books this year and if I can do 100, then we need something pretty fantastic to work as a reward.

Any thoughts? LOL

Loren Christie said...

Steena, Well, if you fly to NY I'll take you to lunch, or we can just send each other big boxes of chocolate after every 20 or so books. :)

Steena Holmes said...

ONE DAY I'll meet you in NY, but for now I LOVE the idea of the box of chocolates ;) Hmmm...did you know the shoes in my logo on the blog are made out of chocolate???? Those would be a perfect "Congrat's on 20" type of gift ;)

Loren Christie said...

Really? Those shoes are chocolate? Yes, chocolate sounds like a great prize, and I'll work toward that like Hell Hound following a piece of pulled pork up the stairs.

rhymeswithplague said...

The last book I read (not counting Leviticus and Numbers, and I'm halfway through Deuteronomy) was Ford County by John Grisham. I'm not really a Grisham fan (Mrs. RWP is) but these were short stories. I was pleasantly surprised; I enjoyed them. Twelve snapshots of life in Mississippi as seen my Mr. Grisham.

You have inspired me to return to my local library (I'm always way behind on my reading). I want to begin by catching up with Pat Conroy's Beach Music so that I can read his South of Broad next.

Thank you, Loren.

Your post title caught me by surprise! For the record, I do not think you are daft.

Loren Christie said...

Thanks Mr. Brague. Grisham is good! Oh, yes, I am daft. The story of my life is: Heart Trumps Brain.

Koala Bear Writer said...

Woman is White is very good! You'll like it. :) Put a Dickens on the list too - I'm working on Little Dorrit and hoping to finish it before my next books for review arrive. :)

Loren Christie said...

Hi Koala, I have David Copperfield on my handwritten list,(that's up to about 25 books I hope to read in the future). Out of Dicken's works I still haven't read Little Dorrit, The Pickwick Papers and David Copperfield.

Putz said...

i can't blog to you and read 4 books a month, so decide what it is you or books

Loren Christie said...

Hi Mr. Putz, Well, I'd miss your comments, but honestly you'd get more out of reading four books a month.

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

A book a week isn't too bad. I think I will be happy if I read one really good long, classic book a month on top of the multitude of smaller ones that are always sitting on my night table.

Loren Christie said...

Hi Elizabeth, Would you like to join us? You would like The Woman in White, by the way. It was supposedly the most famous mystery novel of the 19th century and Wilkie Collins was an apprentice to Charles Dickens. I'm almost two hundred pages into it and I like it. It was slow at first, but after 100 pages it started getting very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Dude... followers. After my third bit of zombie fiction and first book started and completed this year (though a bit of a cheat as it was trade paperback collection #10 of the comic books in the Walking Dead series) - What should I read next of the books that are currently on top of my queue:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman


Outbound Flight (a Star Wars expanded universe tale) by Timothy Zahn


Loren Christie said...

Hi G. Any book that quotes Shakespeare and describes a boss character as an "albino ferret in an expensive suit" has my attention. I think you should read Anansi Boys next and then tell us what you thought of it. Comments anyone??

Daniel said...

i have chozen to blog and comment and not to read more books ,although i have just finished, clinton's memories, koontz odd hours, ford country from grisham, prirate latitudes, all very easy reading, but lately i would rather blog to people, I JUST LOVE PEOPLE, AND LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM THEM, I WRITE TO MISSY ON E MAIL NOW A LTTER EVERY COULPLE OF DAYS...THE PUTZ

Loren Christie said...

Wow Mr. Putz, You've been reading a lot!

Lori said...

Loren--cool project. I'm a former high school English teacher and book addict. Some fairly fast-movers, if you haven't read them yet: The Lovely Bones, The Kite Runner, The Bean Trees, The Mixquiahuala Letters (don't let the name mess with you), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (good for reading aloud to kids, too--about the power of the story in our culture), Alice in Wonderland, To Kill a Mockingbird, Family (J. California Cooper)...if you need any more, please let me know! ;)


Steena Holmes said...

Loren, I'm halfway so far to our first box of chocolates ... I read 10 books ...

Loren Christie said...

Thanks Lori! Hey we have teaching in common! You have some great suggestions here. Alice in Wonderland is my childhood favorite. I've read and taught To Kill a Mockingbird- great book! I've also read The Lovely Bones; it was well-done. Personally I can't handle rape stories or tales that involve kids being murdered because they give me nightmares. It's seems like these topics dominate prime time television. That's why I end up watching Hallmark movies at night a lot! I'll be sure to check out the others you mentioned here. Thanks so much!

Loren Christie said...

How do you read so fast, Steena?

Anonymous said...

hello all

I just thought it would be good to introduce myself to everyone!

Can't wait to get to know you all better!


Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Excellent work there. I signed to your blog RSS.

Anonymous said...

I just added this site to my feed reader, excellent stuff. Cannot get enough!

Loren Christie said...

Anonymous, Thank you for visiting and for the kind comment.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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