Kicking off the New Year with the Goodreads Challenge

I began the Goodreads Reading Challenge on a whim. I don’t really like setting reading goals for myself, mainly because I’m never confident that I’ll meet them, but I read 87 books last year and I thought if I can avoid hitting a wall (like I usually do) I could actually read 100, why not? Plus 100 is a nice round number.

To keep pace with the reading challenge, I need to read a little more than 8 books in a month. I was just shy of that number in January but I read some great books.

NW by Zadie SmithPrior to reading NW by Zadie Smith I hadn’t read a title published for adults since August—and that was The Cuckoo’s Calling which although enjoyable and by an author I love, is a very different kind of book. Smith’s writing is challenging in the best sense of the word. She’s playing with various styles and forms to reflect the content and characters. I received the book as a Christmas gift from my Dad, along with Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Herman Koch’s The Dinner. I was feeling serious reading burn out all fall and NW was the perfect antidote. I needed to read something difficult, that wouldn’t make it easy to put down or continue. NW challenges the traditional idea of what a novel can be and that’s exactly what I needed at that time.
Continue reading

It’s a New Day (Year)

Annie working hard

My cat is probably blogging more than me.

I’ve been a bad blogger. No big surprise; I’ve never been a good blogger. Part of my problem is that I almost never have anything to write about when I remember to make the time to write.

But it’s a new day (year)! Cue

2014 has swept in all kinds of good things (and one really nasty virus I caught at a professional conference). The best thing is a new focus and direction for this blog.

I love to read. I love to write. And I love to write about what I read, so I’m going to just do that. I’ll write mini-reviews but mostly I’d like to reflect on my reading in general, my habits as a reader, and patterns I see in the books I read in any given month. I might even try to force myself to write about my own writing–whether or not I’m actually able to finish a story once I’ve started it–but we’ll see.

It’s a new year, a new commitment, and I’m going to try really hard to stick with it.