Skip to main content

The Beginning

I like to read. A lot. Whenever I move, my mom asks "do we have to move all your books? Again?" I have managed to turn books into a sliver of my freelance career -- I review for a few newspapers and magazines, and write about books and authors, too, if not profiles, then using them as 'experts' in my magazine articles.

I can't give you one reason why I like books. I think they offer an escape, and a much more textured and indulgent one than you'll find on TV. Even the frothiest of novels demands more from you than watching TV, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

I know that reading a book a week is not a new idea, nor is it a new idea to do so and write about it. But why not give it a go? I find myself drifting when I don't have a book to read, and I'm in need of an anchor.

Why? I was just dumped for the second time this year -- for the third time in the last 12 months. Even aside from the dumping thing, it's been a pretty crappy year: my grandfather died, my grandmother moved into an assisted living facility, my income took a dip, and I'm tired. Just...tired.

I need something, and I think this might be it. And where did I find inspiration to take on such a project? Through a book, of course.

After I got dumped, I immersed myself in Julie Powell's Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. She hadn't just been dumped, but she was, like me, in need of an anchor. So why not start up a new project, and use a blog to hold me accountable? That's what this is.

I will read 52 books in 52 weeks. This doesn't mean that I will read a book a week -- sometimes I can finish a book in a day, sometimes it takes two weeks -- but I will read 52 by October 17, 2008, and I will post about each book as I finish them starting with...

Comments

Sue said…
You go girl! I used to read a book a week -- and then life kicked in. But now that the kids are out and work seems to be settling into a nice rhythm, I should be able to read more. I'm going to try and kick up my own reading a notch.

Popular posts from this blog

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R

Book 11 of 52: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

In my travels, I've accumulated photos in what I call the "Plants Where They Shouldn't Be" series. They're of weeds, flowers and trees growing in places that look uncomfortable: poking out of lava that's OK to walk on but warm enough to generate steam, growing around a mile marker on the road, sprouting on the back of a parking sign - that kind of thing. On the cheesy side, they're reminders that we can flourish in the most unlikely circumstances. On a more realistic end, they show that humans are constantly battling back nature, and that someday we'll probably lose the fight. I thought about those photos when I read  book 8 of 52 Station Eleven  (and watched  the HBO Max adaptation ), which show a world without 99.99 percent of our current human population. The story focuses on people, of course, but set them in a world where the things humans have created - electricity, internet, buildings, bridges, roads - are being taken back by nature. A Jersey Sh

Book 16 of 52: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

I have generalized anxiety disorder and, on and off, dance with depression. I have done a lot of work to be able to not just function but live a full and rewarding life, including but not limited to therapy, medication, and running for hours at a time . However, in early 2020, COVID broke over those dams. I write about science and medicine, and I had panic attacks while interviewing doctors. That early March, I screamed at my dad to not get on a plane to Texas, and for my mom give up her tickets for the Philadelphia Flower Show - and then catastrophized when they did those things anyway. My friend said that I was a Casandra: shouting about the terror to come with no one believing me, until it was already here. In a gasp to find some relief, I tried meditation, first through the Calm app , and then Dan Harris book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, and Found Self Help that Actually Works   (quite a subtitle). I would sit at my dining r