I resolutely refuse to make New Years Resolutions....but one of the things I hope to do this year is be more regular with posts here on the blog. Of course with Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social networking, blogging is now SO 2005, and may soon be going the way of the typewriter and snail mail. But since I still send cards and notes via US Mail, I guess I'll stay back here in the dark ages for a while longer.
I recently mentioned to a friend (via Tweet of course!) that I read over 60 books in 2012. Actually looking at my list of titles, I managed to hit 70 before 1/1/13 (With a push I might have made it to 71, but I finished Colm Toibin's luminous Testament of Mary on New Years morning.)
Hello, my name is Reggie, and I am a book-a-holic.
Yes, I am one of those people who can read more than one book at a time - so long as they are sufficiently different. I often have a fiction and a non-fiction book going at the same time, unless one totally grabs me and I can't put it down. Reading poetry takes me LONGER to read than other forms of writing, so a 'slim volume of verse' may take me a while to get through. I also write reviews, and have been on the judging panel for book awards in recent years, so that ups my numbers. The real secret, however, is having a healthy commute - 45 mins each way on the NYC subway for reading every weekday to and from work. That undivided time has greatly increased my ability to devour books. As the marvelous Underground New York Public Library tumblr site shows, I'm not the only one. Sorry, Baltimore - New York is "The City That Reads!"
|Ms. Donalay Thomas reading "Resurrecting Midnight" by Eric Jerome Dickey on the A Train (NYTimes 9/6/2009).|
My reading tends to be pretty random. I do have favorite authors and a couple of them (see Winterson, Delany and Schulman, below) came out with new books in 2012. Every now and then you'll catch me with a best seller; more often than not I'm in the middle of something a little older, or something I 'should have read' a long time ago. I may try to keep up with new poetry, but otherwise it's difficult to predict what I may be reading.
Rather than the ubiquitous "Top 10 List," here almost in the order that I encountered them during the year are a few of the books that really stood out for me. And yes, I know I'm being too coy by half in not mentioning poetry...so sue me!
Paul Russell - The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov
Colm Toibin - The Empty Family: Stories
Jeanette Winterson - Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Keith Haring - Journals
Samuel R Delany - Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
Sarah Schulman - The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination
Martin A Lee - Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific
George Lois - Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent)
Valerie Martin - Property
David Byrne - How Music Works
Ayana Mathis - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie