A Year of Reading

A love of reading doesn’t necessarily translate into a talent for picking literature apart and I sometimes wonder how I survived three years as an English major. I was reasonably good at it (they gave me a degree, anyway), but after graduating I gave up my pretensions and went back to reading solely for the love of it. That’s why I call my reading page “Book Love.”

I love books so much that in 2007 I read and graded 44 of them. It was difficult to grade them because it reminded me of school, but I needed a means of deciding which books should continue to live here with me. I’m glad now that I put in the extra effort, and since I did, it also seems appropriate to pick a favorite for the year.

If I had to pick just one favorite, it would be Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s a wonderful book in its own right. It is also the final chapter in what may be the best series of children’s books ever written. How could it not win first place?

I don’t have to pick just one favorite, though, and it’s not fair for Harry to hog all the glory. My second choice for 2007 Favorite is The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. I was entranced by this book. Pairing it with Coldplay might have been a strange choice, but it worked, and I enjoyed the experience so much that I’m going to add this book to my library. At a time when I’m trying so hard to winnow down my library, I can think of no greater compliment to give a book.

Both the Great Library Purge and the Vonnegut Marathon will continue into 2008, so I will have plenty of motivation to keep reading at such a mad clip. My goal is to read at least one book per week. The ghost of the English major still occasionally haunts me and makes me regret the holes in my literary education, so I am also going to put together a list of 10 classics to read in 2008. I will post that list on my reading page at the beginning of the year. You are welcome to join me in reading any or all of the books from the list and I wish you a wonderful year of reading for 2008.

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