Greetings, friends! A (hopefully) mild case of writer burnout has left me without a whole lot of authoring material to share, so I’m going to take a tiny break from author-the-thing-I-do and instead talk about other facets of author-the-person. Supposedly, engaging with other areas of life is one of the best things for burnout. And as long as I don’t spiral out of control on a panicked binge to fix the burnout ASAP, I should be fine.
Shall we begin?
This year I’ve decided participate in a reading challenge. Normally I don’t have trouble reading a hefty amount of books in a year, but the specially tailored challenges over at Modern Mrs. Darcy caught my attention as an interesting stretch goal. Let’s take a look at the twelve “to read” challenges, shall we?
- a book published this year
Shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve already got In the Labyrinth of Drakes on my want-to-read list, and The Girl From Everywhere on my library book shelf right now. I could totally count Sanderson’s Calamity if I were counting books I’ve already read this year, but I’m not. Tough.
2. a book you can finish in a day
Honestly, that one is not going to be too terribly hard. I’m rather fond of the “novel in an afternoon” technique. It’s an old habit formed by panicked reading to make up my total for the Pizza Hut middle school summer reading programs. Meet your goal – get a free personal pizza. Those were the days.
3. a book you’ve been meaning to read
Couple thoughts on this one. There’s Walking on Water, but I technically already started reading that book. . . a year and a half ago or so. And it’s non-fiction, very interesting, but slow going because of all the interesting thoughts to think about. There’s also Wuthering Heights, because classical points. (I sense a W theme here.) I shall have to give this category some consideration.
4. a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
Time to start a conversation! Maybe I could do one from each location.
5. a book you should have read in school
How are we defining “should”? I guess this would be the time to haul out some of the “classics” that “everyone” read in highschool and I didn’t. “Fun stuff,” like Lord of the Flies or Red Badge of Courage or. . . what else? Whoopdido. This is going to take some research. I am least excited about this category. Most high school/college-suggested books look depressing at first glance. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
6. a book chosen for you by a sibling/parent/friend/etc.
Time to round up some friends. I’m thinking coffee and books.
7. a book published before you were born
Well, I’ve been eyeing Teaching A Stone to Talk, and it’s before my time. I’ve also been eyeing Mary Pickford’s autobiography. (All of these plans are subject to change, of course. I’m just roughing in ideas.)
8. a book that was banned at some point
Oooookay, this will take some research. Not my field of expertise. Yet.
9. a book you previously abandoned
How abandoned are we talking, here? Maybe this would be a good reason to go back and try Radiance again. It was a gorgeous book, but I got fed up with the characters sleeping around and sent it back to the library. As for other options. . . now I wish I’d kept a “dropped” list. I know there were bunches of them last year.
10. a book you own but have never read
Time to hit the shelves upstairs. I know there’s at least one Diana Wynne Jones book I bought without reading it first. (I mean, duh, Diana Wynne Jones.) I’m pretty sure I’ve got some old Jules Verne novels I’ve never read either. That could double for published before I was born.
11. a book that intimidates you
. . . . I’m not sure what to do with this one, unless I read a really dry, hard-to-understand textbook. . . I’ll have to keep an eye skinned. I bet I’ll find something.
12. a book you’ve already read at least once
Piece of cake. Rereading favorites is a specialty of mine. In fact, it was only in the last couple years that I started swinging the balance more towards new reads!
Hopefully this list will give me a few fun stretch goals and not too much chaos. I’ll keep you all updated periodically, of course. Or you can watch it go down in real time over on GoodReads. What are you planning to read next?
A quick note about my reading policy and some of the books I might talk about – over the years I have shifted from “research every book and throw out anything that might make me uncomfortable before I even read it” to “looks decent, I can skim where needed, and I’ll drop it if I feel the need.” I believe I can learn a lot from engaging with books that have a different world view than my own, but I also have a personal responsibility to choose what I fill my mind with.
You do to.