During 2015, I took on the “Howard’s End is on the Landing” Challenge – that is, to read one book a month that was already on my shelves (must have been purchased in 2013 or earlier). And, I did it! Books read (although not in this order):
- The Art of Teaching by Jay Pazini
- Hidden in Plain View, A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad by Jacqueline L Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard, PhD.
- Odd Lots, Seasonal Notes of a City Gardener by Thomas C. Cooper
- Winter Morning Walks: one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison by Ted Kooser
- The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser
- Good Prose, The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd
- Weathering Winter, A Gardener’s Daybook by Carl H. Klaus
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin
- Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
- How Proust Can Change Your Life Alain de Botton
- S. Lewis, Memories and Reflections by John Lawlor
The challenge was been sponsored by a blog, Roof Beam Reader, and somewhere mid-year, I had difficulty linking my reading record to the challenge…but read the books anyway.
And I noticed a theme. All but one was non-fiction. I think because I got really burned out working on the doctorate, and so while I was still purchasing and accumulating interesting non-fiction books for five or six years, I just couldn’t bring myself to read them while reading so many peer-reviewed journal articles and books. And the non-fiction one, about dragons, was so dismally dystopian I could barely get through it. Which probably explains why I hadn’t read it earlier.
Several I enjoyed tremendously and will keep. Several were good reading, but not enough of a treasure to remain on my shelves. One (the dismal dystopian one) is already gone. Another on my orignal list, A Godward Life by John Piper, turned out to be a series of 120 devotional essays, only 2-3 pages each, and I wanted to spend a little more time and thought with each topic, so saved it for this year. I don’t promise to read one every day for 120 days, but expect to get through them all before summer.
And if you look back over my reviews, you’ll often find drinks or snacks with them – because what’s a good book without bodily sustenance to accompany it and prolong the reading experince? So here was my special holiday-week-when-I-don’t-go-into-work stash. And then a Christmas gift of the port, which I can’t find in Memphis.
And so now I am looking for another reading challenge. I like the “challenge” because it takes me outside of my usual pick-up-a-good-book-and-read self, and expands my horizons. All suggestions accepted.