Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Beginning

A blogging friend, Jen Miller, author of The Jersey Shore, Atlantic City to Cape May: Great Destinations, and the inventor of the Book A Week Blog, sent me a copy of her blog in Word form this week. Planned to span 52 weeks (a book a week), it actually went much faster than even she anticipated (we're all in awe of her now).

I really liked her opener to her book a week series (posted back in October):

I like to read. A lot. Whenever I move, my mom asks "do we have to move all your books? Again?" I have managed to turn books into a sliver of my freelance career -- I review for a few newspapers and magazines, and write about books and authors, too, if not profiles, then using them as 'experts' in my magazine articles.

I can't give you one reason why I like books. I think they offer an escape, and a much more textured and indulgent one than you'll find on TV. Even the frothiest of novels demands more from you than watching TV, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

I know that reading a book a week is not a new idea, nor is it a new idea to do so and write about it. But why not give it a go? I find myself drifting when I don't have a book to read, and I'm in need of an anchor.

Trish again.

I like to read too. A lot. Whenever I move, my entire family asks "do we have to move all your books? again?" (they've only helped me move them three times, whoop-de-doo-dah) and while I haven't had the amazing freelance writing career of Jen, I've worked on a lot of books before publication--as a copyeditor, project manager, proofreader, researcher, and developmental editor--from non-fiction to fiction, college textbooks to gift books. I love my work and I love my job.

But the books I read for work are not what I would pick up and read for fun.
Thus I feel a bit disconnected and adrift if I don't have a book I'm reading for fun. So I recompense with several books at once!

So I decided, after seeing Jen's blog and then her blog in book form, I need to record my book reading journey.

You see, a few years ago, I discovered Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Novel and it has since become one of my most favorite books. When I am at odds with life, I sit down and thumb through Jane's mini-reviews (similar to what Jen has done) of the 100 novels she read after September 11, 2001. It took her three years, but what a rich treasure came from those three years. It will probably take me longer and I don't doubt there will be weeks (and months) that I don't get any book reviewed on my blog.

I'm not in a race, and I'm not doing this to try and beat Jen's record. I think that by doing this, I will a) have more interesting content for this blog and b) I will keep a record of what I've read. I read voraciously (thanks to a well-stocked King County library system) and often there is no pattern or texture to my reading. I just read. You may like what I read, or you may not. The choice is yours.

I think it will enrich my life and perhaps the lives of those who faithfully follow this blog, even though a) I still have not published the novel, and b) I work too hard some days and my brain goes completely empty.

So, dear readers, this is my beginning.

And, thanks to Jen's good example, I intend to start . . . today.

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