I need not always stay on topic. So here is a post for no other purpose than to pat myself on the back for having the self-discipline to carry on this way. I came up with the idea for this blog having written only a few book reviews, most of them not very good. Liable as I am to be derailed from projects through what can basically be labeled a mixture of melancholy and ennui, my main fear in starting it was simply that I would desist and leave it as a monument to ‘what could have been.’ I do not post as regularly as I would like but I have been absolutely determined to never let a month go by without something new. That I have succeeded in my main goal for a whole year is a good enough cause to break out the champagne.
I have strived from the beginning to appear professional in this hobby, reading over every single review literally ten times or more, running spellcheck, looking up definitions, reworking sentences, reading out loud three times in a row and only when I can find nothing further to add, subtract or change do I finally, reluctantly (sometimes with eyes shut in dread) press the Publish button. It is hard work despite all appearances to the contrary but I would not have it any other way.
I’m driven by enthusiasm to write and my hope has always been to make it as interesting and entertaining for others to read my thoughts as it is for me to think them. Poncy literature is fun! That’s what it comes down to for me. If anyone ever picks up a book or tracks down a film because of what I’ve written here I’ll take it as the compliment of a lifetime.
So, on that note, a round of thanks to everyone who has ever visited this blog and especially to the ones who have shown signs of appreciation. And since I now wax maudlin, I’ll conclude more simply with a list of the stuff I’m currently reading:
The Journal of John Woolman (for review)
John Adams by David McCullough
Will You Always Love Me? and Other Stories by Joyce Carol Oates
Mountolive by Lawrence Durrell (for review)
And some stuff I’m planning to read, though what among these I’ll review is entirely open to debate:
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (started and currently backburnered due to the above)
The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes
Moon Palace by Paul Auster
Therese Raquin by Emile Zola
The Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
A Place on Earth by Wendell Berry
Clea by Lawrence Durrell (okay, this one’s not open to debate)
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
1776 by David McCullough
Essential Writings by Thomas Paine
King Mob by Christopher Hibbert
Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Dubliners by James Joyce
Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel
Collected Poems of Jean Toomer
Fruits of Solitude by William Penn (for the Harvard reviews)
My actual list is far longer but these are the ones near the top. Feel free to vote!
(sound of crickets)