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December 31, 2007

Year-End Reading Recap

I do my best not to be a passive reader. To select what I read carefully, to engage with what I’m reading through my blog, to read carefully and critically, but also joyfully, and to keep track of what I’m reading. I’ve been reading most actively during the last two years, since I started my list “Books Read Since 2006”. The list from which I was able to discern last year that I read hardly any books by men and/or writers not from three certain countries whose names start with A, B and C. And that though a book or two had been written pre-1900, you’d be hard-pressed to notice from my list.
At the beginning of 2007 I resolved to read more slowly, and to read a “classic” monthly. I was sort of untriumphant on both counts, though the first one I couldn’t really help. I tried. The second, I ended up reading about six classics, falling in love with Middlemarch and Huckleberry Finn in particular. I never did get to Anna Karenina and maybe I never will, but once again I intend to (and will that eventually cease to mean something?). Though I got around to Guns Germs and Steel so anything is possible.

I am also sorry to have not yet read Rachel Cusk’s Arlington Park, which I read described as “If Virginia Woolf were alive in 2007…what she would be writing”. Did you know that I nearly bought it in the Southport Waterstones, but bought a hat down the road instead? And they didn’t have it at the airport bookstore, and back in Canada it could hardly be found at all, and I wanted the paperback, but I think I might spring for the hardback now. If I’ve wanted something for six months, it must be worthwhile.

Regrets aside, it’s been an awfully good year though. Before we go out to dinner this evening, I’ll have finished reading Kate Sutherland’s utterly enjoyable story collection All In Together Girls, which will be #339 on my grand list. (Though I will not enter it until the book is done– the one thing in the world about which I’m superstitious). Which means I’ve read 166 books this year, not bad since I spent 7 months of this year working full time. Not bad in particular since so many of the books I read were brilliant.

This year my reading resolution is quite simple– to read with a pencil. For notes, to underline new words, to deface my books and make them mine. An active reader would do that. Oh there are so many fine books just ahead. And I will start the new year just like I started the old one, with Francine Prose’s wonderful Reading Like a Writer.

Oh and also– not only is my novel entitled What Comes Down, but it is finished.

3 thoughts on “Year-End Reading Recap”

  1. stephka says:

    Wow! Congatulations! What a remark to stick on the end of your post, all casual like. Good for you.

  2. Erin says:

    congrats!! when can I read it 🙂

  3. Kerry says:

    Thank you thank you! And when can you read it? Putting it out in the world is my new project; wait and see?

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