IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
ET LUX ERAT
7 January 2008
Where to start...? Where to start...? Where to start?
How lovely to have so many things to do and choices to make when I got up in a warm house this morning. I could grind coffee beans and make coffee in my electric coffee pot. I could make toast. I could finally wash all those clothes that have been piling up in the washing machine (ordinarily not a high priority, but with a peeing puppy around....)
All the sites on the Internet I had to catch up on, the news reports I'd catch on iTunes because our cable still isn't back on.
I could, unfortunately, see the mud that the dogs have been tracking in from outside. OK--so that's not so lovely, but basically a lovely morning full of decisions.
I stood there in the bathroom, brushing my teeth squinting in the light of all those light bulbs! Delightful.
Having working light bulbs means that I will be able to read more easily (though I am more likely to be found here at the computer or catching up on stuff on TV).
In 2004, I decided to track "stuff." Every journal entry (including which photos and videos I posted -- believe me, that database has become invaluable to me!), every book rented, every movie seen, ever Netflix video rented. It's been kind of interesting.
I was especially appalled to discover that in 2004 I read only 17 books and 2005 was even worse: 13. I don't know what got in the way of reading. 2004 was my Dan Brown year and I read all of his books that year. But nothing else jumps out as special for 2004.
I read interesting, gripping books in 2005, but not all that many of them. Most fascinating was "Pope Joan" by Donna Cross. Don't know how much was factual and how much was fantasy, but the idea of a female pope in the Roman Catholic Church was delicious.
But after my dismal failing in reading in 2006, I put the pedal to the medal in 2006 and more than doubled the number of books read in 2005. It helped that I read a lot of James Patterson and Lilian Jackson Braun, both of whom are authors that you zip thru (and Braun's books are very short to boot), but even counting pages, I read 5313 pages in 2005 and 8465 in 2006.
I was determined to do even better in 2007. It's not that I was forcing myself to do something unpleasant. I love reading. It's just that I get busy doing electronic stuff and don't think about it.
However, due to my mother's broken ankle and having a lot of time to read at her house, I managed to read a whopping (for me) thirty-six books, for 11,005 pages. (I also read a lot in the car while Walt drives, so his accident at the end of the year put a screeching halt to devouring books, since I have become the driver, rather than the passenger.)
I know a lot of people (my mother included) read a lot more than I do, so these numbers are paltry by some standards, but for me there is a certain pride in having achieved my goals of increasing the number of pages read each year.
This year I'm starting out with a book that is certain to slow me down! Walt bought James Lipton's "Inside Inside," the behind the scenes story of Inside the Actor's Studio, a television program I just love.
Anyone who has ever watched Inside or seen Will Farrell's spot-on impersonation of James Lipton, will understand when I say that Lipton is erudite to the point of being pompous. He assumes that anyone reading his book has an encyclopedic knowledge of arcane information regarding the history of theatre in New York and trots out long lists of names of people that most of us have never heard of, speaking of them with great reverence as his mentors and heroes.
However, having watched Lipton for many years, I read the book hearing his stentorian tones in my head and the unique cadence to his voice. I don't try to race through it, but am savoring it and finding that despite what I thought might end up being something for the "inside elite" to enjoy, I am savoring it as a delicious morsel. In only a few chapters I have already learned more about why Stanislavsky was important and how "The Method" revolutionalized theatre.
And along the way, I'm learning of Lipton's incredibly varied and at times checkered past, which you'd never dream of, watching him today (and I haven't even come to the part where he was a pimp in Paris!)
I may not exceed my page number or number of books read in 2008, but I'm going to try to immerse myself in each book and get more out of them.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2842