Novels. Poetry. Drama. Characters. Literary themes. The life and adventures of being an avid reader. These are the types of things this blog discusses. And by “discusses,” I’d like to welcome any comments, questions, or contradictions you, the reader, have of anything I say in this blog. I love to talk about books—which is partly why I had to create a blog for it, since my friends and family are sick of me opining for hours on end about my most recent read—and I’d like any fellow bibliophiles (or mere biblio-likers) here to feel welcome to participate in a cyber-dialog.
As I mentioned above, I want this blog to be a dialog (a diablog? Nah, I don’t want to go there). It can’t be just me spewing all my opinions out into the Great Internet Unknown. I want you to voice your opinions as well. Granted, I’m not the best at asking “discussion questions” at the end of entries, but this doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with my opinions or add your own perspective.
Reading—particularly that of fiction books—should be fun. Unfortunately nowadays many people have been trained to interpret and analyze perfectly good literature until the pleasure’s been strained out of them with a sieve, either in school or college or just plain trying to slog through dense literature without the proper materials or “training.” This is an unjust stereotype that books have been labeled with, because not only is there serious, thematically-deep literature out there (which is well worth the slogging), there’s light, fun, adventurous books that make your imagination soar out of your body and into different worlds.
“The true reader allows himself a balanced diet and moves easily through the categories from philosophy to humor—and he is, or ought to be, equally annoyed if either of them failed to give him the literary thrill—the thrill of good words—on top of philosophical knowledge or hilarious entertainment.”
~ Jacques Barzun
My hope is that in reading this blog, you’ll see the huge variety of literature that’s available out there and (again, hopefully) learn to love it as much (if not more) than I do. (Haha like that could ever happen. Nobody can love literature as much as me! Nobody!)
What is the goal of this blog?
First, I started this blog to vent all my thoughts about books so people would stop giving me weird looks as I ranted for hours about my current literary find.
Second, I am attempting to discipline myself into thinking critically about what I write. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “In reading there is a sort of half-and-half mixture. The book must be good, but the reader must also be active.” In one college class I was assigned to keep a “reading journal” of thoughts on what I read. This blog is in a way and extension of that sentiment.
Third, I know as a home-school graduate how many resources are available for parents to find reading recommendations for their children. Unfortunately, as opposed to movies, television, and even video games and graphic novels, books lack ratings on their content. When I review a book, therefore, I take the opportunity to suggest an appropriate age and take note of any material a parent might find objectionable. It’s not like I’m a prude or advocating any censorship: I’m just trying to facilitate parents’ helping their children find the best books for their age and maturity.
Fourth and last, my personal goal is to have fun. Sure, I try to take things seriously, to learn from the books I read and put the principles they teach into practice. This doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun questioning, critiquing, or even parodying certain stories or characters.
What gives me the right to talk about books?
The fact that I read gives me a right to talk about books. Of course, my opinions are only valid if I have actually read the books I discuss. So you won’t see me criticizing Stephanie Meyer for being the death of literature (apparently), since I personally have no intrinsic interest in vampire books beyond Dracula and therefore haven’t read any of her works.
In case you’re wondering where I’ve learned some of my literary-interpretation methods (and also in case it matters), here’s my educational background: I was homeschooled grades 1-12, went to a community college for two years and then a state university for two more years, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with a minor in History.
What is my favorite book?
I don’t have a favorite book. I have favorite books. My most recent find to make that list was T.H. White's The Once and Future King. I also love the works of Austen, Dickens, Dumas, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, Gerald Morris, Oscar Wilde, and I even have been developing an appreciation for this new author named William Shakespeare.
As you can probably tell, my favorite “genre” is Classic Literature, but I also have a soft spot for modern children’s novels and Young Adult fiction. My taste is, I think, rather eclectic. I’m not above trying a book just because I like the color palate of its cover. Since I’ve read a ton of very good literature, I have a very high standard for what I recommend to others. This blog will attempt to recommend the very best of all my reading career.
What do I do when I’m not reading?
What imaginary time is this? Haha just kidding. A little.
When I’m not reading, I like to write, visit the library or bookstores (see a pattern here? Too bad, I’m about to depart from it!), heckle television (yes, I did say “heckle.” What? I believe that television should be an interactive experience! Is that so wrong? At least I don’t heckle in theaters…much). The main thing I like to do is “collect hobbies.” My current hobby that monopolizes my time is quilting, but I also cross-stitch, scrapbook, do puzzles, cook and bake, and teach myself to play various instruments off-key. Whew that was a list. I need to cut back. Right after I learn how to weld.
But enough about me. What about you?