book club

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My reading list Some people identify me as a reader. Fifty books a year sounds way beyond them. Even ten books a year can seem unattainable.

Lifehacker’s How to Fit Reading Into Your Schedule and Actually Finish the Books You Want to Read is an okay start. Its suggestions:

    1. Schedule a Daily Reading Time
    2. Organize or Join a Book Club with Deadline
    3. Set Up a Special Reading Area with No Distractions
    4. Know When to GIve Up On Books You Hate and Find Books You Love

My daily reading times are at meals and before going to bed. A friend organized a monthly book club. My home is my castle. I have a post, Cull and Surrender, on giving up on bad books.

My additional suggestions:

    1. Always have a book. I have a book everywhere I am likely to have free time such as on my bed, in my living room, and in my car. Probably most helpful is having the Kindle app on my phone. My phone is a device I am likely to have everywhere I go, so I no longer have an excuse about not having a book with me.
    2. Make reading a priority. Athletes, musicians, and any expert gets good by spending thousands of hours training. Even when they have small amounts of time, they use it doing something to progress. Reading more works the same way. Any free time, even a few minutes, can help make progress.
    3. Set specific goals. More is pretty nebulous and not inspiring. One book this month is specific, in a short time period, and probably doable.
    4. Track goals. Knowing that I am behind in fulfilling a goal helps me find more time anywhere I can. For a yearly goal, I check my progress quarterly. Because I start the blog post about it a month ahead, I see how far behind I am and double the amount I read to get ahead. I use Goodreads for tracking, but I also post to this site under Reading.
    5. Talk about the books. Books are a valuable ice breaker. As people associated me with reading lots of books, they develop expectations that I finish them about once a week. I have found myself devoting a few extra hours to finish a book just so I can have a new one started before I see them.
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I recently completed my first resolution for the year 2009: Read 12,000 pages. pp

Check the Reading page for the master list.

Titles in bold are the ones I recommend. (They also are probably the ones I quote the most.)

  1. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in SpaceCarl Sagan – 368 pp (368 total)
  2. Deal with Your Debt: The Right Way to Manage Your Bills and Pay Off What You Owe -Liz Pulliam Weston – 210 est pp (57324+8 total)
  3. Some Answered Questions – Abdu’l-Bahá – 314 pp (892 total)
  4. Promised Day is Come – Shoghí Effendí Rabbání – 208 pp (1,100 total)
  5. The Last Days of Socrates PlatoHugh Tredennick (Translator), Harold Tarrant (Contributor) – 289 pp (1,389 total)
  6. The Trial of Socrates Isidor F. Stone – 273 pp (1,662 total)
  7. The HistoriesHerodotus – 720 pp (2,382 total)
  8. Libraries in the Ancient World Lionel Casson – 173 pp (2,555 total)
  9. Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common OriginsSteve Olson – 278 pp (2,833 total)
  10. Why Smart People Do Dumb Things Mortimer FeinbergJohn Tarrant – 265 pp (3,098 total)
  11. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard PyleScott McKowen (Illustrator) – 328 pp (3,426 total)
  12. The Seven Mysteries of Life - Guy Murchie – est 661 pp (4,087 total)
  13. Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above AverageJoseph Hallinan – 304 pp (4,391 total)
  14. NextCrichton, Michael – 431 pp (4,822 total)
  15. The Ball is Round: A Global History of SoccerGoldblatt, David – 992 pp (5,814 total)
  16. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)L’Engle, Madeleine – 224 pp (6,038 total) — for Not Your Oprah’s Book Club
  17. Ender’s GameCard, Orson Scott – 324 pp (6,362 total) — for Not Your Oprah’s Book Club
  18. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the WorldAhamed, Liaquat – 576 pp (est 6,938 total)
  19. Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our LivesSpecter, Michael – 304 pp (est 7,242 total)
  20. Tribes: We Need You to Lead UsGodin, Seth – 160 pp (est 7,402 total)
  21. Foundation (Foundation, #1)Asimov, Isaac – 256 pp (est 7,658 total)
  22. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do DifferentlyBuckingham, Marcus – 255 pp (est 7,913 total)
  23. Snow CrashStephenson, Neal – 470 pp (est 8,383 total)
  24. Ender’s Shadow (Shadow Series, #1)Card, Orson Scott – 469 pp (est 8,852 total)
  25. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our BrainsCarr, Nicholas G. – 256 pp (9,108 total)
  26. The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the NationWesten, Drew – 384 pp (9,492 total)
  27. Happiness: Lessons from a New ScienceLayard, Richard – 320 pp (9,812 total)
  28. Speaker for the Dead (Ender’s Saga, #2)Card, Orson Scott – 382 pp (10,194 total)
  29. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other StoriesStevenson, Robert Louis – 304 pp (10,498 total)for Not Your Oprah’s Book Club
  30. Hyperion (Hyperion, #1)Simmons, Dan – 482 pp (10,980 0total)
  31. Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger’sPage, Tim – 208 pp (11,188 total)
  32. Xenocide (Ender’s Saga, #3)Card, Orson Scott – 520 read of 592 pp (11,780 total)
  33. Something BorrowedEmily Giffin – 322 pp (12,102 total) — for Not Your Oprah’s Book Club
  34. Treasure IslandStevenson, Robert Louis – 352 pp (12,454 total)
  35. The Sunday Philosophy Club (Sunday Philosophy Club, #1)Alexander McCall Smith – 250 pp (12,704 total) — for Not Your Oprah’s Book Club
  36. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values – Pirsig, Robert M. – 560 pp (est 13,264 total)

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Joined a book club. Oddly enough for being an avid reader, I’ve never really done well discussing them in groups. In high school, there was a group of authors who would discuss manuscripts each other had written. The difference between this and a book club being openly critical of something hurts can hurt the author’s feelings. Saying you don’t like someone’s favorite book doesn’t have the same personalization.

Guess I turned a corner when Chelsea and I planned to get together and discuss The Tipping Point about 9 months ago. In the actual book club, I enjoyed hearing other’s takes and responding to them. Better understood some areas I guess I glossed over when reading on my own. Not too much like Lit class like I expected. (Was also able to overcome the nausea of going off to meet strangers.)

Wondering if perhaps the best approach is to discuss while reading … instead of … reading then discussing? Guess people’s differences in pacing make that hard. Plus they’d have to be around each other more like daily than once a month.

By the way, in my introduction, I claimed these as the three “books” I like.

  1. Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon (the Xanth series) started my obsession with getting a hold of new books. One of my aunts gave me the first three books. I then had to buy the rest of the books the day they dropped in bookstores. That was before Amazon existed.
  2. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (first book is A Game of Thrones) Ended my obsession of getting a hold of new books. After all, I spent months checking in with a certain bookstore asking when Storm would drop. Feast spent a year on pre-order through several slipped drop dates. I no longer pre-order books.
  3. Not sure why I named Lincoln’s Melancholy except the other books which came to mind were about physical sciences. I less than stellarly try to be more partial to behavioral sciences.

Naturally quantum mechanics came up. For the life of me, I could not remember name Michio Kaku. His book Hyperspace was where I learned the about the concept of using worm holes to travel massive distances or even time travel. (Actually I read that one at the request of another aunt so I could explain it to her.)

Now… Off to read Ender’s Game again.

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