I’ve been asked why one of my goals is to “Read 42 books”. I originally thought I would set my goal to read 50 books, i.e., around 1 per week with a bit of slippage, but with my day job, family and all my own writing contending with my time, it’s probably not doable.
40 books probably is doable, but that’s also a boring number. 42 has relevance because if you remember, this is the answer to life, the universe and everything. So I bumped it up to 42 on that basis and that logic alone.
And what precisely do I mean by “book”? Well, I’ll only count a book as part of this goal if it is either a novel or a selection of short stories. I won’t be including chapbooks or anything I read in my role as editor for the Ranfurly Review.
The problem is, I don’t read anywhere near as many books as I would like throughout the course of a year and I know I should be making time to read more, more, more. But then I see some amateur reviewers are in the high 180s so far since January and I wonder how on earth they do it. It’s a balancing act and I’m really just pushing myself to get into the habit of reading more.
I have a backlog of around 20 or 30 books and a wish-list just as long so it’s not like the material isn’t sitting there just waiting to be opened and read. And, of course, a good writer cannot be someone who doesn’t read.
My Modest Mouse gig review is now up at Man in the East. It missed the new deadline so won’t be in the paper this week.
Is it just me or is Barack Obama trying to emulate the script to The West Wing? First off he decides to become the first coloured President in U.S. history (Matt Santos was Latino) and now he’s decided to broker peace between Israel and Palestine just as Jed Bartlet did! What next, a shooting during which the Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina gets shot and VP Joe Biden gets exposed as an adulterer before coming back to reveal all in a carefully written autobiography? Sometimes fiction really is closer to life than you might think.
According to the Met Office, this weekend will be the last corker of the year and we should make the best of it. I would, except I already have plans and they don’t involve sunbathing. I’m planning on a nice long walk, coffee and read on Saturday morning. I’ve already been up for a couple of hours getting into things. Then later today my in-laws are coming round for dinner and drinks (roast beef with yorkies and all the trimming—I can hardly wait). Beer will be involved, which I may partake in the garden if it’s nice enough. Sunday is a guess, but I have a lot of work to do on a certain manuscript so probably no sun for me.
That’s all for today—peace and out!
When GW ran the second time, thousands of people wrote “Jed Barltett” in at the polls. It was pretty funny. WEST WING was my favorite show, and so many people wish we had a Jed Bartlett for president — those with brains and hearts want that, anyway.
Cracking Modest Mouse review that. Shame it never made the paper.