There’s a few things I’m going to embark on for next year from both a personal and blog standpoint. One is reading challenges and the other deals with book reviews.
I joined four reading challenges in 2009, two of which I completed by the middle of the year. I completed the third August 1 and so started a new one. I’m halfway through it but it runs until July 31, 2010, so I’ve plenty of time.
As a result, I’m looking for 2010 challenges. I think I’ll stay with the Notable Books Challenge as Wendy, the founder, said it would be a “perpetual challenge.” Because I enjoyed it and it led to some excellent reading, I’m in for another six books this year. New challenges on the current short list are:
- The Books To Read Before I Die Challenge, which requires picking and reading 10 to 20 books. I’ll need to make up my mind soon as the list of books has to be selected by Dec. 31.
- The Take Another Chance Challenge, because its “rules” are odd enough to pique my interest. If I enter, it will probably be at the small or moderate gamble level.
- The Social Justice Challenge, because it strikes the altruistic part of me.
- The 2010 topic from War Through the Generations is the Vietnam War Reading Challenge, so I may join in at a lower level as it is one of the signature nation-changing events of my lifetime.
Now I don’t need to be challenged to read a book. But I figure a couple of these will add a little flavor to the reading I do anyway and can even perhaps broaden what might otherwise end up in my hands. I’m not going to do all of them and will be keeping my eye out for other challenges between now and the end of the year.
Another sort of challenge deals with book reviews. As I mentioned last weekend, Kirkus Reviews is ceasing publication after more than 75 years. In reading various comments about the magazine, I saw that it limited reviews to no more than 350 words. That calls for some awful tight writing. As a result, I’m going to try to do occasional “microreviews” of 350 words or less of books I’ve read but which I’ve not been assigned to review. I figure it will not only provide an opportunity to work on my writing and editing skills but to also provide a bit more review material for the blog.
Twitter is the first rough draft of gossip.
“Roland Hedley,” Doonesbury, Dec. 14, 2009