Seasons of Life… and Reading

One thing I’ve been growing increasingly sensitive to is the disparity between my Reading Past and my Reading Present (and my Reading Yet to Come). For example: if you looked at my list of Classics and then at my blog or YouTube channel, you might be disappointed to find that what used to make up a big portion of my reading—the 19th century—is becoming more and more rare a subject.

About ten years ago, a couple of things caused this shift in my reading. One, I (stereotypically) discovered Kafka, who, along with Conrad, changed my reading interests and expectations more radically than I could’ve foreseen. A leanness of vocabulary (with Kafka) and a complexity of thought (Conrad) undermined my satisfaction with much 19th-century literature. Of course, I could still enjoy a good Dostoyevsky novel, and my obsession with Eugene Onegin was not stifled at all. But apart from the Russians, I began to drift away further from ever “getting back to Dickens” or exploring Trollope and Thackeray.

I started reading more nonfiction, too, inspired by my love for history I rediscovered in college. The events of the past 6 years have really made it more difficult to escape into novels. I tried to embrace this tension, looking for intersection points between fiction, history, and current events. It’s been mostly successful reading-wise (although whether it makes me feel any better is debatable!).

All that said… I’m looking for ways to better express these changes on the blog without forgoing past seasons of reading, which are still very valuable to me.

P. S. Am still experimenting with blog designs. Holler if something is hard to find, use, or figure out!

Battling Reader’s Block

Hope everyone is doing well this fine June… It feels like the month is FLYING by.  Tomorrow is going to be about 90 degrees where I live, so I’d say summer is here.

Albert Bierstadt - Matterhorn

Since I finished 12 Rules for Life, I’ve been having pretty bad reader’s block.  You wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell… Current status seems productive:

  • Still slowly plugging away at the Tesla biography (it’s interesting but very brainy)
  • On track for Cleo’s read-along of The Four Loves (Lewis), though I failed to post for part 1 (will roll it up into the next part)
  • Also reading Master and Commander (O’Brian) and The Scapegoat (du Maurier), both of which are pretty good books so far

I think recent “real-life” stress has zapped my attention span.  I hate it when that happens.

There are certain types of books that can get me out of that.  I will probably keep sampling books till I find one.  Till then, it might be kinda quiet around here…