2014: A New Reading Year

I haven’t been blogging very long, and I’m just getting my “blog legs,” so to speak – deciding which sorts of features and events I enjoy participating in, learning the ins and outs of WordPress, trying to stay motivated to read when I don’t quite feel up to it or don’t have much time, and – my kryptonite – trying to get motivated to write about more of what I read.  My health issues bless me with widely fluctuating energy levels and levels of discomfort, and sometimes I want to review something or explore it in some fashion on this blog, but I just can’t manage it.  I find myself staring at the screen and zoning out…not good for keeping a blog energized.

So if I have a book-related resolution for the coming year, it would be to try to write at least a few lines about each book I read.  I think I’ll start a reading journal feature of some sort wherein I can post thoughts, passages, notes to self, etc., about a book.  This will allow me to post in short bursts so I don’t feel overwhelmed or guilty about not posting something longer.  Then if I don’t find myself up to the task of reviewing a particular book, I still have a personal chronicle of what I’ve read and can connect with other readers, and if I do end up reviewing a particular book, I have some notes to draw from.  I’ve always been a list-maker and note-taker, but oddly – although I make a ton of reading lists – I’ve never really done much note-taking or journaling for my reading unless it was for a class.  I think I’ll try putting my list-and-note tendencies to work with my reading and see if this helps me and the blog.

Ellen Foster by Kaye GibbonsThe first book I’ll be reading in 2014 is Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, which I’ll be reading for a Goodreads group discussion.  It’s a relatively short read, and while I’ve not previously read anything by this author, I’ve heard many good things about her work.  This book is a coming-of-age tale of a troubled childhood that has been compared to the work William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty.  From Goodreads:

“An eleven-year-old heroine tells her unforgettable story with honesty, perceptivity, humor, and unselfconscious heroism.”

After that, I’m looking forward to the Classics Club Read-a-Thon on January 4th, which I talked about previously in this post.  I’m excited to have this nudge to help me kick-start my classics reading for the year.  Then Bout of Books 9 starts on January 6, which should really help me put a dent in my TBR for January.  Also, Dolce Bellezza‘s Japanese Literature Challenge 7 continues throughout January, and Vintage Science Fiction Month hosted by the Little Red Reviewer has just begun.  Then, of course, there’s all the exciting year-long challenges revving up their engines, as well.  There are so many fun events going on right now;  I’m definitely inspired to read and blog!

And so, the vista of another year opens up before us.  I’ve enjoyed making new connections with other bloggers these past few months, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you out there and to having some interesting conversations about our shared love of books.  I wish you all a happy and healthy 2014 and hope you discover many wonderful new reads!

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