Monday, January 05, 2009

2009: Literary Inspiration from Karl Rove and President Bush

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb

No two persons ever read the same book. ~Edmund Wilson
I admit, I'm normally not a huge editorial page buff. But a friend emailed me this WSJ op-ed from Karl Rove the other day about a reading race between him and the president. In 2008, Rove read 64 volumes to President Bush's 40.

Leave politics out of it for a second. (That's tougher for some than others.) That's about a book a week. Damn.

So this year, I'll try and read 50 books. They can be fiction, non-fiction. Classic or contemporary. Short story collections are fair game and I haven't decided what the rule is for graphic novels or audio books.

I have no shortage of dusty volumes and "you gotta read this!" titles scrawled on Post-Its from friends. I'm grateful that a huge bulk of my day-to-day duties at work is reading, but I still think there's something to be said for a narrative arc over 100 pages. And there are finance-related books, not specifically tied to my day-to-day coverage that I've been meaning to get around to. Those can count toward the 50 total, too.

I'll try and post the titles I'm reading here, but don't expect lavish reviews or anything up to par with Art Garfunkel's pace. (Keep it up, Art!) But in the spirit of sharing, I'll be utilizing the local library and paperback swapping sites that I've reviewed in the past. If you've got books to recommend, let me know. Or hey, join in the nerdy fun!

Oh, and in 2009, I don't want to become a fatty or slave to debt. Just figured I should state that for the record.

(An aside: is anyone else glad that we'll never have another New Year's with those foul "00" glasses frames? Ha ha, to the revelers of New Year's 2100!)