|Meet Ned, a new resident of the Bookcase.|
Wow, it’s already New Year’s Eve Eve! Christmas festivities are sadly winding down… Tomorrow, people will wait outside in the freezing cold to ring in 2018, and I’ll be in my snug, warm house, probably curled up with Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, thus attempting to relive a New Year’s memory from three years back. Though surprising at times, 2017 has been a good year for me, and as someone who gets post-holiday blues, a book can help ease the transition into the next one.
I’ve talked already about 2017 in review, and how I’ve decided not to take on any more reading challenges, as tempting as they are. That said, a few goals for 2018 have been floating around in my mind (I love the word “goal” because, for some reason, it sounds more flexible to me than “plan”). Here’s a few of my open-ended reading goals for next year:
- Bring back Book Journals. I have quite a few chunksters on my TBR list… War and Peace, Moby-Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Ben-Hur, to name a few. I ought to be ready for another book journal by now!
- Read more non-fiction. With a new T. E. Lawrence biography on my shelf (thanks Mom & Dad!), I’m sure I’ll be reading more history in 2018. However, I hope to extend my reading beyond Lawrence to include other historical figures/times, as well as current events and other non-fiction categories.
- Escape the comfort zone. In the past decade, I’ve been quite content to focus my reading on classics from specific countries, time periods, and genres (I’m sure you’ve noticed!). Contrary to appearances, I really value the vast range of classics that exist, most of it free on the internet, and my favorite book blogs tend to cover that range in great depth. I’d love to get outside my comfort zone next year and explore more areas of classic literature. I kind of did that with dystopian fiction this year, and it was one of the highlights of 2017!
- Revive the blog. Since I started this blog back in 2010, I have stuck to pretty much the same style of posts, over 7 1/2 years. With the start of my podcast, Classics Considered, I’ve considered quitting blogging, since public speaking is a challenge I both enjoy and want to get better at. However, I still believe there’s great value in written reviews, and this blog has been one of my few writing pursuits that’s amounted to anything whatsoever. I love Noonlight Reads, and to keep it alive, I think I need to do a couple of things in 2018:
- Have a posting schedule, with weekly features
- Share more candid, personal posts about reading
- Continue to find other inspiring blogs and interact with other readers.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for the blog, please let me know!
Those are essential chunksters on your TBR. (I still need to read The Count and Ben Hur.) BTW, what do you mean by book journal? Also, both your blog and podcast are well done. I've enjoyed them, and I am glad to read that you will keep the blog. Doing any kind of public speaking would be out of my comfort zone, so good for you for challenging yourself.
Thanks, Ruth, that's encouraging to hear! 🙂 \”Book journal\” is kind of a \”series\” of posts on a very, very long book. The last one I did was The Brothers Karamazov:http://noonlightreads.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Brothers%20KaramazovIt's about the only way I can make it through those chunksters!
With a book journal, do you mean commenting on a book as you read it in stages? I've seen that done with large works like the Quran, or the Canterbury Tales. Good luck to you with your goals, especially reading more nonfiction, and reading out of your comfort zone. The later goal is one I've been pursuing for the last few years, which is why I had those study series on the Middle East, Asia, and …well, I have another one planned for 2018. 🙂
Yes, there's something extra rewarding about \”reviewing as you go\” with those longer books… I guess one's reactions are more genuine and (in the case of fiction) less biased by the ending. :)Looking forward to your 2018 study series!
Sounds like it's going to be a great year for you. I did listen to a few of your podcasts and enjoyed them. I'm glad you're going to balance out the speaking and writing. Looking forward to the new year and following along with you! All the best for 2018!
Thanks, Cleo – it's going to be a good one, I think! 🙂
Yes, out of curiosity..what kind of microphone are you using? The audio quality is very clear. I bought a Blue Yeti a few weeks back and am still playing with it and Audacity.
That's the very one! 🙂 I have the mic set to Cardioid, at full volume, and Gain at 9 o'clock. Also using a pop filter to reduce noise, though the first episode was recorded without one. One challenge is I talk too quietly, and there's only so much you can do in Audacity to increase the volume to a decent level. Right now I'm compensating by amplifying in post, but ideally one could avoid that by speaking at a \”conference room\” volume.
I may try a pop filter at some point, though it hasn't been an issue so far. One of the reasons I bought the Yeti is because of its multiple settings: my computer is LOUD, and I needed one that could ignore sounds behind the mic.