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January 5, 2009

Well, computer troubles and then holiday madness have kept me away for far too long.  I’m back now, on my shiny new Mac, and ready for 2009.

I’m hesitant to make resolutions.  If we were playing Word Association and you said “New Year’s Resolution,” I’d say “fall off the wagon.”  They’re associated with failure for me, not because of past experience but because of our culture, I think.  And so I’ve made goals instead.

The only goal that applies to this blog is, of course, the book-related one.  I have too many books (surprise!).  I’ve already built myself one new bookshelf in the past year, and now I have a two-foot stack of new acquisitions that won’t even fit on my shelves.

The silly part is that I haven’t even read probably three quarters of the books I own.  People look at my collection and ask me, “Oh, how was this one?” and I sheepishly admit I’ve not yet read it.  I move far too often cart around so many unread books.

And so my book goal for 2009 is to always be reading at least one book from my own shelves.  I know I won’t be able to resist all the new books I see at work or the recommendations of friends, so I won’t limit myself to books I own.  But I’ll always be reading one.

If it catches my attention in the first 50 pages, I’ll read it, then decide if it’s something I’d read again or lend to someone.  If so, it stays; if not, it gets sold or donated.  If the book in question can’t even make it 50 pages, I’m letting myself set it aside.  Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

Blonde RootsFirst up is Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo, a novel that’s due out later this month.  The premise is a complete historical swap: 400 years ago, Africans enslaved Europeans, not the other way around.  The novel is told by Doris, a British woman who was captured and sold into slavery in Africa.  I’m about 60 pages in, and thus far the combo of current oppressed state versus nostalgic flashbacks reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (in a good way!).  More on that once I finish!

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