Thursday, July 12, 2007

Evaluation at the halfway point

On January 1st of this year, I posted a small number of reading resolutions. Alas, I haven't been doing very well by them so far. The only one I can truly say I've kept is (5), keeping an ongoing reading list, which you'll find on the sidebar here. I've read an embarrassingly small number of books in 2007, about forty in six months. Don't ask how many I've bought or acquired over the same period. It's probably about ten times that. yikes.

Also, generally, the books I've been asked to read for review have been the ones I've enjoyed most. (See the multiple DNF indications on the sidebar - all non-review books.) There are exceptions, but it makes me wonder if I'm better off having other people dictate what I read.

Things coming up in the immediate future - I'll be posting a two-part interview with David Blixt beginning on Monday, July 23rd, the day before the official release date for The Master of Verona. I'll also be participating in Jane Kirkpatrick's blog tour for A Tendering in the Storm, which will involve a brief interview (based on that novel and its prequel, A Clearing in the Wild, which I just finished). It'll be going online in early August. And sometime in the next two weeks I'll be writing a readalike on W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear's prehistoric novels for NoveList. This means reading one, preferably two, of their novels to remind myself (as it's been a while) what their style is like. I'll be starting People of the Moon tonight.

I'm currently knee deep in my Historical Mystery chapter, after finishing up with Sagas two weeks ago. Despite the craziness that was June, I'm doing my best to write a chapter every month. This one's a long one, and I started late, so I'm not sure I'll make it. But going through and making notes on the books I want to include are adding an awful lot of historical mysteries to my TBR pile.


  1. Anonymous9:36 PM

    Forty books in six months actually sounds like a lot to me. I don't read as much as I used to (or as much as I should). I sometimes think one of the downsides of being a novelist is that, even though I love to read, it is now always to some extent "work". I can't stop analyzing. (there are times when I know any novel I read will make me hopelessly depressed about my own work :-). I've been trying lately to make sure I read at least a bit almost every day. I'm currently reading Henry James's "Portrait of a Lady"--I was a bit slow getting into it, but now I'm totally riveted. I find myself turning the pages for the ke to the "mystery" only in this case the mystery is the nature of the characters'movites and emotions.

  2. Well you're doing much better than I am - I've only read 23!

  3. Tracy and Daphne - thanks, I guess I shouldn't feel so guilty then! Problem is, I can't resist buying/keeping books even though I never seem to find time to read them.

    The idealistic part of me says that I'm more attuned to nuances of language than I used to be, since I've been reviewing for a while, so I naturally read slower. The cynical part says that I'm spending too much time online or on other projects! It's probably some of both.

  4. I manage about 50 a year on average, so you're doing better than me, too! Since you're writing a book at present, your reading time's bound to be curtailed, isn't it?

  5. Carla - yes, that's part of it too. It's ironic, and maybe a little unfair, that I'm writing about books in order to encourage others to read them, but don't have as much time to read them myself!