Compulsively Aimless is devoted to amateur attempts at short poems and random excursions through my bookshelf. The book lists in no way represent complete, well-thought out collection on any particular subject but are what I happen to have on my shelf. Expect lists devoted to travel, adventure, America, history and the unusual.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
"Read a Lot, Forget Most of What You Read, and Be Slow-witted". --Montaigne
If you're a runner, I suppose finishing a marathon is an ultimate goal. You collect a runner's high and hold a badge of honor. For reading, my goal for 2019 was to read 100 books. Yesterday I finished the year with 102. If you're raised in the midwest, you're not supposed to brag but I will share this with Goodreads since the site is about sharing our reading experiences. And like a runner, there were times on the journey when I was exhausted but there were probably more moments of experiencing a reader's high. What did I learn? It pushes you to read outside your normal area of interest but don't be too structured about what you plan to read. Be open and go with the flow of your current interest.
Here are some stats on types of books read:
Travel/Place - 14 History - 14 Non-fiction 11 Novels - 9 WWII - 7 Digital World - 8 Art - 5 Biography -5 Poetry - 5 Memoir - 5 Photography - 4 Language - 3 Sci-Fi- 3 Philosophy -2 Civil War - 2 Professional - 2 Essay - 1 Children's - 1
Hard to pick but my top ten books, in no particular order:
1. Divine Proportion: Phi In Art, Nature, and Science, Priya Hemenway and Amy Ray 2. Colossus of New York, Colin Whitehead 3. Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives In World War II, Adam Makos 4. Honorable Exit: How a Few Brave Americans Risked All to Save Our Vietnamese Allies at the End of the War by Thurston Clarke 5. Overstory, Richard Powers 6. The Sitwells, John George Pearson 7. Gutenberg to Google, Tom Wheeler 8. The Snow Leopard, Peter Mattheissen 9. Contemporary American Painting, Encyclopedia Britannica 10. Abandonings: Photographs of Otter Tail County, MN, Maxwell MacKenzie
Some miscellaneous notes: --Read two books with the same title: Spain --Good to read a children's book once in a while for perspective: the one I read was about making crayons --Did not read more than two books by the same author --Read a book about the first of the American Revolution and a second about the last year --unconsciously read several books on themes of nature (Overstory, Sand County Alamanac, Snow Leopard, Divine Proportion ) that make me appreciate nature more. --read several books on early voyages to America (Voyage Long and Strange, Undreamed Shores, Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake)
Will I do this for 2020? Probably not but I'm glad I did it as a personal goal.