So many books, so little time. — Frank Zappa (attrib.)
As this is principally a book review blog most of the posts will be about … books. There are individual pages about longstanding interests of mine, Arthuriana (archaeology, history, mythology, popular culture, folklore) and its associated topic the Grail, but my tastes are generally rather catholic.
So you’ll find an awful lot of fantasy titles reviewed here, many by favourite authors E Nesbit and her successors Joan Aiken and Diana Wynne Jones. Much of fantasy shades into magic realism and SF or speculative fiction and so these are categories that are explored too. More highbrow literature is not neglected either, whether classic or modern, but fiction comes in all shapes and sizes so adventure stories rub shoulders with ghost tales, thrillers, crime fiction, historical romance and the occasional graphic novel.
Non fiction makes an appearance, from popular science to pseudohistory, from reference to biography, and from art to travel. I try to ring the changes, so if your interest isn’t immediately piqued have patience, something intriguing should come along soon. Feel free to start a conversation or discussion about any post — I aim to respond to each and every one so you won’t be wasting your time commenting into the ether! The only constraint, as Zappa is reported to have frankly and wisely remarked, is time.
Reading goals in 2017
My reading goal this year is simple: it’s to tackle my backlog of unread books and so reduce them. The spur for this is the Mount TBR Reading Challenge in which I shall initially aim to complete at least twelve books over the year. However I have no doubt whatsoever that this will upped soon to 24 books and maybe even 36, as per the following scale:
Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mont Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s
The intention is to reduce the stack of books that I’ve acquired or received as presents prior to 2017 (that is, books that have made an appearance on my shelves since January 1st don’t count). This of course won’t stop me reading books got this year and library books too, nor will I cease re-reading books I’ve previously enjoyed.
2017 TBR books tally
Alison Croggan: The Bone Queen
A S Byatt: Angels and Insects
Donna Leon: The Jewels of Paradise
J K Rowling: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the Original Screenplay
Fflur Dafydd: The White Trail
Steve Silberman: NeuroTribes
Timothy Husband: “Creating the Cloisters”
Jane Austen: Emma
Joan Aiken: A Bundle of Nerves
Michael Crichton: The Andromeda Strain
Neil Gaiman: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea
Nicholas Tucker: Darkness Visible. Inside the World of Philip Pullman
Ursula K Le Guin: The Word for World is Forest
Nick Yapp: How to bluff your way in Teaching
I’ve also succumbed to the Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year, pledging to read at least 36 books in 2017. This will be regardless of whether they are first-time reads, rereads, library books or whatever. Thirty-six titles sounds very do-able! Follow my progress at https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/8854482