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text 2018-01-01 21:17
2017: My Year in Books
Like Trees, Walking -

Has it really been six months since I've blogged? Yes, it has. And I've missed it. I was on pace to read 80 new books last year (I don't count re-reads in my annual log). But I ended up at 67. What happened? 

 

Last blog post: July 1, which, coincidentally, is the date I took on new responsibilities at work. But the bigger change in life came in the fall, when I bought my first house and got caught up in moving. Weeks and weeks of sorting many, many years of stuff. 

 

In fact, when I made the offer on my house, my Mom said, "You're going to have to give up reading for a while."

 

I laughed and said, "You're crazy, Lady. I can't give up reading."

 

I didn't give up reading, but I slowed to a painful, screeching crawl. In fact, from my closing date to the end of the year, I only finished four new books (and a couple of poetry re-reads). And three of those titles were from the James Patterson YA "Maximum Ride" series. You can read those as fast as you can turn pages. 

 

Also, for the past few years, I've started January 1 by reading a book start-to-finish. Granted, I always chose a fast read: A play, a YA novel, etc. This year, I just finished the Maximum Ride novel that I couldn't stay awake to finish the night before. But it counts: 2018, one book finished.

 

So what did my 2017 reading year look like? I'm attaching this post to a Ravi Howard novel. He was my discovery of the year. He appeared at a summer writer's conference near me, and I read both of his novels in anticipation of that. I can't recommend them highly enough. Engrossing. Great. Read. Them. 

 

I categorized the sixty-seven new reads and will list them below. My reading log doesn't include re-reads (and most of the poetry I read in a year ends up being re-reads. This year, I re-read a bunch of Kooser and Alexander, for example). The list below won't add up exactly, because some books get categorized in more than one area. 

 

Non-fiction (too lazy to sub-categorize further): 13

YA: 9 (including five of the above-referenced Patterson Maximum Ride series)

Literary Fiction (my fave category): 11

Plays: 8 (I read all 10 of the August Wilson Century Cycle this year, but two of those were re-reads)

Mass-Market Romance: 13 (including a bunch of Philippa Gregory books)

Lit-Crit/Theory: 1 (slow year for that, I guess)

Novels-in-verse: 2

Poetry: 7 (all first-time reads in this number)

Short Stories: 1

Memoir: 2

Popular Fiction, not otherwise listed above: 3

 

Anyway, more blog posts coming soon. Some are ideas from 2017 I set aside, and some will be "fresh." 

 

Happy 2018!

 

-cg

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text 2017-08-07 11:30
7th August 2017
The Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino,Archibald Colquhoun

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness. 

 

Italo Calvino

 

August 7, 1957: On this day, Italo Calvino published his letter of resignation from the Italian Communist Party. He never joined another political party, but he did write a fantasy novel, The Baron in the Trees, about political disillusionment. 

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review 2017-08-02 12:23
Sacred Trees of Ireland - Christine Zucc... Sacred Trees of Ireland - Christine Zucchelli

Fascinating look at historical trees of Ireland that have meaning and often sacred history around at least the site if not the tree, she delves into myth, legend and fact and the whole thing has sumptuous photographs.

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