Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why I Started this Blog

The Core Theme of my blog is "Books about people who love reading and live, at least in part, a reading centered life"       I have been a constant reader all my life.   Many things have changed in my life over the years but that has a constant.    One of  the purposes of my blog is to try to share with those I can what reading means to me.    I expect a lot of the books I read.   

In 1973 I read Gravity's Rainbow and I became convinced that I would never read another novel I liked this much. I stopped reading new fiction at that point and began to read history, literary and royal biographies, and the great poets. I embarked on some large scale reading projects. I read all the novels of Charles Dickens, the complete Boswell Journals, the Diary of Samuel Pepy's, most of the Russian classics, and a good bit of Samuel Johnson. Thirty five years went by and almost the only nonclassic literature I read were subsequent books by Thomas Pynchon. Somehow about a three years  ago I got a news alert suggesting Roberto Bolano's Savage Detectives was a great book about people whose life has centered on reading, people that don't quite fit into life in an easy way.   I read the book and I loved it.   I then read 2666 and two other shorter works by Roberto Bolano. I had already began to follow a number of blogs on topics that interested me.   I was asked to become a contributor to Vegetarian Wednesday.   I subscribed to a growing number of book blogs. I learned from them to find 21th Century novels I would probably like.   So far two of those 21th century books read in 2009 are among my very favorite books, The Elegance of Hedgehogs and The Book Thief.      Both of these books dealt with how what I have come to call in my mind "The Reading Life" shapes a person and more largely the world we see.   So I decided to make the focus of my blog books that show people whose life is centered around reading. This has been a powerful theme in novels from Don Quixote, to Madame Bovary right up to the Elegance of Hedgehogs and The Book Thief.

 Mel u


Harvee said...

I'm now curious about all three books you mentioned for the reasons you describe. I have the Elegance of the Hedgehog but will have to add The Book Thief and the time Traveler's Wife to my list!

Patrick said...

Most of the books I've read are 21st century books. I've already read Time Traveler's Wife but I wasn't able to finish The Book Thief. My sister really liked that book though. I still have to get it back from a borrower so I could finish it. I'll check out The Elegance of Hedgehogs. ^_^