I went to see Ann Patchett last night at our local bookstore. I didn't have a ticket, and the event was sold out, but lucky for me, I was number one on the standby list. The nice man from Boswell told me that he had asked Ann Patchett herself if it was OK if he let me in and she said "he'd better."Read More
This is how it goes. And it happens the same way every time. With the best of intentions, I check out a stack of books from the library. (Or if I'm REALLY determined I should read it, I buy it). And then my bedside table becomes something of an intimidation.
So when I have those rare free moments to read, I am completely overwhelmed and entirely paralyzed. Do you have this problem too?Read More
In his book ‘On Writing,’ Stephen King casually drops in that he reads 70-80 books a year. I feel like I’ve maybe read that many books in the last twenty years, but who’s counting? I broke it down, and it’s actually not that bad. 70-80/year means roughly 6-7 books/month, which is roughly 1 ½ - 2 books/week. I suppose for someone who has grown kids and who writes for a living, that’s not a huge amount of time to spend reading.
I decided back in September that I would try to read half of what Stephen King reads, just to see if I could do it. Can I read 35-40 books in a year? That’s 3-4 books/month or a book a week.
It helps that we don’t have cable. (though doesn’t particularly help that Downton Abbey is back or that we just found Transparent.) Still, I’m going to try to make reading a priority when the kids go to bed.
I also decided that to vary my reading, of the three books/month, one would be fiction, one would be memoir (since that is what I’m interested in writing), and one would be a book on writing. So far, that has been a good strategy to keep me going.
In case anyone is interested, it’s looked like this:
- A visit from the goon squad – Jennifer Egan
- Full Grown People: Soulmate 101 – Jennifer Neilssen
- On Writing – Stephen King
- The Rosie Project – Graeme Simision
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
- The Patron Saint of Liars – Ann Patchett
- Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Still Writing – Dani Shapiro
(Fiction got left in the dust this month)
- Buddhism for Mothers – Sarah Napthali
- A House of my Own – Sandra Cisneros (almost finished)
- Writing about your Life – William Zinsser
- Writer Mama - Christina Katz
If anyone has any recommendations – I’d love to hear them!