Monday, April 14, 2008

Expanding my horizons

So, clearly I didn't get around to posting all of the reviews that I wanted needed to, not if I want to stay caught up anyway. Oh well, gives me something to look forward to tonight, right?

In the meantime, I've been thinking about my reading habits and what they say about me. If you look at the list of books I've read this year, you will see that most of them are of the science fiction/fantasy/historical fiction/young adult genre...and not a whole lot else. Normally, I'm OK with this, but every now and then I wonder what I'm missing out on. It's not that I don't like books in other genres (like literary fiction), it's just that I don't like them as much.

Again, like I said, I'm normally OK with this, but every now and then this preference of mine seems to rear up and I find myself struggling to read anything that's not one of my above preferences. For instance, my rl book club is reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It's a best seller in Japan and it's gotten a ton of praise here, but I'm struggling to get in to it. (I suppose part of the problem could be that I know I need to have at least half of it read by tomorrow afternoon...) I keep wondering when the action is going to start, if the field they are walking through is really part of the local pack's territory and the weres are going to get pissed at them for trespassing. But then I remember that this isn't that type of book...

Still, I will preserve and read as much of it as I can, and I will continue to try and read outside of my preferred genres. Which, brings me to the latest reading challenge that has caught my eye: Joy's Non-Fiction Challenge. Running from May to September, the rules simply state to read five non-fiction books. Doing that, reading non-fiction, has been a yearly goal of mine, but it's usually one that I don't meet. Hopefully though, being "challenged" will keep me interested.

Not quite sure what I'm going to read (or even if I'm going to formally sign up-June through September is going to be incredibly busy for me), but I'm thinking that my books will be of the historical slant. I have a dozen or so on my TBR shelf at home, but these books have also caught my eye.

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (This one I have on hold at my library)
The Spartans
(I read Gates of Fire last year and loved it. The Spartans sound like an incredible society of people and I want to know more about them.)
Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way (This seems like a good choice, seeing as how I'm planning on quiting my current job soon and moving into publishing.)
Nelson's Purse: The Mystery of Lord Nelson's Lost Treasures (Ever since reading the Temeraire series, I've been increasingly interested in Lord Nelson.)
Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History (Ohh, book burning fills me with rage. This should be interesting.)
The Dragon Seekers: How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossilists Discovered the Dinosaurs and Paved the Way for Darwin (This sounds interesting. As a kid, I spent hours trying to dig out an enormous rock in my parent's backyard, convinced it was a dinosaur bone. Plus, it features a woman scientist, which is always nice to read.)
The Zookeeper's Wife (Nazi resisters in Poland, who hid 300+ Jews in a zoo.)
Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe (I didn't know that the Queen of England (Elanor), the Queen of France (Marguerite), the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor (Sanchia), and the Countess of Anjou (Beatrice) were all related.)
Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors' Wives (Hmm, pirates! I've always liked pirates, plus they feature in Inda, which has reawakened my interest.)
Granuaile: Ireland's Pirate Queen C. 1530-1603 (Grace O'Malley has long been a person of interest for me, as I think she was the first female pirate.)
A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans: Pirates, Skinflints, Patriots, and Other Colorful Characters Stuck in the Footnotes of History

Of course, my first book is going to be Nothing But Red.

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1 comment:

Mac said...

Hi Hayden,
Yes I know this problem I have a very similar problem with a propensity for reading sci-fi and fantasy so when I sometimes change to reading classic fantasies and legends. The following were enjoyable : Egil's Saga, Najal's Saga, and the Tale of the Niebelunglied. Anyway I am digressing from my original reason for contacting you. I use the comment section as there is no contact email listed on your site. I am helping to set up a book reviewing project and would love to send you details. My email is -
I believe this might be of interest and ask only for an email address where I may send you details.