Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

The Weekly View From My Reading Chair (Dec. 29, 2018)

As the year quickly comes to a close, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and admitting to myself the things that I have not been happy about in 2018 as well as celebrating my successes. One of the year’s goals that I did not meet was my plan to read more books and post reviews here. While that failure is not an earth-shattering one, it is still something that I am not terribly happy about.

Don’t get me wrong — I did get some reading done this year….just not as much as I would have liked. There were certainly reasons that legitimately impacted my time spent in my reading chair. I experienced lots of illness this year. There were lots of performances on stage that demanded I devote my time to practicing piano. In spite of it all, I somehow managed to complete 17 books; however, my goal was 32 books.

I didn’t blog here — or on any of my other sites either — because I was burned out. I was also embarrassed because I didn’t have anything to report to my imaginary audience. (Does anyone really read these posts anyway?) That’s when I realized that I had to change my approach to this blog….and so, you have the first “Reading Chair” installment.

Here’s my plan. Each week, I want to give you an update on how I’m progressing with my reading. I want to let you know what I’m working through and how it’s going. If I’m struggling, is it because of the material or my life? What have I enjoyed about the journey so far? I want my posts in 2019 to be a diary of my reading life. If there is an audience for my little blog, I hope that someone will give me a nudge when a Saturday comes along without a post…..or just give me an occasional comment to let me know that someone other than me is actually looking at what I’m writing.

I’m at my parents’ home in Arkansas at the moment, so quality reading time is tough to come by at the moment, but I have tried to spend some time in the reading chair here — my Mom’s large overstuffed recliner in the study room in the rear of the house. Here’s a look at the two books that I’m working my way through at the moment.

Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times by Alan Walker. I have been aware of Walker’s work since my undergraduate days when my piano teacher introduced me to the first volume of his massive biography on the composer Franz Liszt. When this Chopin biography hit the stands, I knew that I would have to read it. I expected a dry, highly academic read. Thankfully, the work has proven to be anything but that! Walker’s prose is splendidly written and simply pulls you into Chopin’s life and world. I am intentionally taking my time through the book with a pencil in my hand, marking interesting passages and making notes in the margins. I anticipate this biography will be in my reading chair for several more weeks, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my exploration of the composer’s early life so far. Current status: 153/671.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I dove into the Game of Thrones series earlier this year while visiting my parents for summer vacation. I’m not typically a fan of fantasy, but I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. I was really surprised to see that I really enjoyed the book. My expectations for Clash of Kings – the second book in the series — were high. That’s why I’m a bit upset that I am struggling with this current read so much. Maybe it’s because I was enjoying my time in the Chopin biography so much, but it just seems as though it is taking FOREVER for this book to grab my attention. I have a personal philosophy that life is too short and there are too many great books waiting to be read, so if a book doesn’t grab my interest by page 75 or 100, I’m out! Since I had such a great experience with the first book, I’m giving Martin a little more time. Things began to pick up as I was reading last night, so I’m hoping that the tide is turning and the reading will get more engrossing in the coming hours! Current status: 154/728.

There you have it! Until next Saturday, here’s hoping you find lots of joy as you spend time in your own reading chair this week.

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