What a dramatic series title. I’ll admit that I don’t think that every book that changes my life short term will continue to stay with me for ever. But I want to celebrate and discuss those moments when something has a noticeable impact on how I think or feel whether that sticks or not.
This is a blog thread that might be about a section, quote, theme, or particular thing I have read and have a big reaction to. For example, when I read Candice Carty-Williams’ novel Queenie, I found myself cackling on a train while reading one of the conversations about dating and money. I photographed the page and sent it to my friend, Furaha, who I had had the exact same chat with not a week previously. I might write something about dating, money, and conversations between women of colour about these things. Alternatively, I might write a very heavy piece about a particular aspect of the new His Dark Materials novels that really frustrates and disturbs me. I might also write something about Pullman’s code-breaking academic Hannah who likes hot chocolate, lending books, and recommends Poirot to people (#narcissism). This is a react thread.
Although this might sound like a chore to some folx, I am probably most excited about this part of my reading challenge. I am on a mission to get familiar with a ton of literature that I feel I should have read. In almost all cases, these are also titles I want to read. You will not find the complete works of Dickens here (although The Pickwick Papers is on the To Be Read pile). We are looking at everything published by Toni Morrison and Bernardine Evaristo, authors on the Jhalek prize, essay collections by Juno Roche and Roxane Gay, autobiographies and collections of letters.
Often I have read a chapter of the book or listened to the author in interview but have had to put aside “personal reading” for urgent/important research. This will be a balance of recently published or “new” work and literature that I have arbitrarily decided is essential for me and my thinking.
Disclaimer: I will be listening to audiobooks as well as “reading”. Audiobooks are books as far as I am concerned. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic and will not have my love of books contained by word fatigue after a week at work. I will “declare” when I have listened to an audiobook
So I debated whether to include a “negative” thread in The Book Blog. However, I find it interesting to talk about why we don’t buy certain books or abandon them. Although I am fairly inclined to finished things because of social conditioning, I also think that this can be a waste of time. So this part of the blog covers books I opted out of and why. This does not mean they are objectively bad or that you won’t love them. It means they weren’t for me and I though it was interesting to talk about why.
- The Details: What is the book? Who wrote it?
- How far did I get?
- Why did I abandon it?
- Will I pick it up again?
- Who might like it even if I didn’t
- Any other random thoughts.