Reader’s Resolutions

A few years ago, a friend sent me a link to the Reader’s Resolutions post on the Shelf Talk blog. I came across the link again a few weeks ago when I was cleaning out my old emails, and am so glad I did! It’s a great list to help expand your reading.

Shelf Talk

Every New Year resolutions are made. Some go on diets. Some pledge to save. Some pledge to write those thank you cards in a timely manner.  Me, I resolve to do all of those things, but I usually also resolve to read more and more broadly. Not that I always succeed.

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Still on the fence about my e-reader

I found my e-reader yesterday. That I didn’t know where it was, and didn’t miss it, says a lot about how important this particular device is in my life.

I want to like it. I really do. I bought it on a whim, but with the best intentions – reduce the number of books piling up in my house. And at first I was really good at resisting the call of the book store and shopping online.

But slowly, the quirks of my e-reader started getting to me.

  • I can only buy one book at a time because having to process my card for each book makes me think about what I’m buying, and that doesn’t happen when I just hand over my card once for the handful of books I pick up at the book store.
  • I can’t see how much I’ve read – the “40 per cent” read message isn’t the same as watching the centre of a book get closer and then feeling the weight of the book shift from your right hand to your left as you pass the centre point.
  • I find the “## reading hours left” message a bit discouraging.
  • I can’t easily flip back a page or a few to re-read a sentence, or flip back to that family tree or timeline at the front of the book.
  • Tapping just isn’t the same as turning a page.

I gave it a good try, but I slowly started heading back to the book store. And today, about two years later, I’m almost fully back to my hard copy books. So are a lot of people I know. A quick scan of the subway car today revealed most readers turning pages instead tapping or swiping screens. So was the e-reader just a fad? Or is it just me – am I just a book person?

I’m not ready to totally give up on the e-reader just yet. I dutifully charged it and discovered that I have The Luminaries waiting to be read (yay!). But if I’m honest, I won’t panic if I misplace the reader again. I’ll just pick up my next book.

Now reading

No Relation by Terry Fallis

Ready to read

I really enjoyed The Best Laid Plans and The High Road, so when I saw this story about Earnest Hemmingway (not Ernest Hemingway),  I had to pick it up.

I started reading it on the weekend and so far so good! But I’m keeping it strictly as at-home reading – I was laughing out loud on the subway while reading The Best Laid Plans, and I don’t need a repeat of those “crazy lady” looks.

Forty-four books and counting

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I decided to try and pull together a list of all the books the book club has read over the years. It ended up being a great trip down memory lane for all of us, because while no one person had kept a complete list we each have different books that stick in our memory.

And this is not a comprehensive list – I know we’ve done better than five books per year in most years. What’s missing? There’s that book that Karen recommended about the women who dare each other to do the thing that scares them most, and that book no one enjoyed so no one finished…For the next nine years, someone needs to remember to keep track!

Our books (in alphabetical order):

  • A Long Way Down (Nick Hornby)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
  • The Angel’s Game (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
  • Ape House (Sara Gruen)
  • The Beauty of Humanity Movement (Camilla Gibb)
  • The Bishop’s Man (Linden MacIntyre)
  • The Body Artist (Don DeLillo)
  • Bone Worship (Elizabeth Eslami)
  • The Book of Negroes (Lawrence Hill)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
  • The Cave (Jose Saramago)
  • Death With Interruptions (Jose Saramago)
  • Eleanor Rigby (Douglas Coupland)
  • Elle (Douglas Glover)
  • Family Tree (Barbara Delinsky)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
  • The Headmaster’s Wager (Vincent Lam)
  • Inside (Alix Ohlin)
  • The Jane Austin Book Club (Karen Joy Fowler)
  • Jitterbug Perfume (Tom Robbins)
  • King Leary (Paul Quarrington)
  • The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  • The Language of Flowers (Vanessa Diffenbaugh)
  • The Last of the Crazy People (Timothy Findley)
  • Late Nights on Air (Elizabeth Hay)
  • Life After Life (Kate Atkinson)
  • Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  • Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
  • The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
  • The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Sidney Poitier)
  • Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
  • On Beauty (Zadie Smith)
  • One Day (David Nicholls)
  • The Namesake (Jhumpa Lahiri)
  • The Paris Wife (Paula Mclean)
  • The Pilot’s Wife (Anita Shreve)
  • The Purchase (Linda Spalding)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
  • Seduction (Catherine Guildiner)
  • The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
  • Sweetness in the Belly (Camilla Gibb)
  • The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
  • Unless (Carol Shields)

(Post updated to include photo)