Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resolution One: Read Books. Lots.

Sorry I've been absent from this blog for so long! Something about being back home for a holiday break, and not having the regular schedule that the academic semester supplies, makes me forget to post. Whoops.

I'm back today to share one of my 2011 resolutions: to read more. That may seem like a silly resolution for a librarian, who probably already reads a lot, but that's what it is nonetheless. More specifically, I want to read at least a book a week (or the equivalent, at least 52 new books this year). That's a potentially long list of things I haven't read before, and I'm pretty excited to have started. Plans are to briefly mention each book here; hopefully you'll find something you'd like to read, too!

The first book I finished this year was Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone. This historical nonfiction book is about four sisters from 13th-century Provence who, despite some relative monetary disadvantage, all make extremely good marriages that make them all queens. With their own strong personalities and intelligence, as well as some political maneuvering on the part of some of their relatives, all four women end up having quite a lot of impact on European politics in the mid 1200s. I love how Goldstone's narrative moved from sister to sister, never settling on one topic too long; this style demonstrates the interconnectedness of politics in medieval Europe, and it also helps hold the reader's attention rapt. I would definitely suggest this book to readers who enjoy historical nonfiction, the Middle Ages, strong females, and/or medieval politics.

Then, last night I finished my second book of the year: Good Omens by Teri Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. While I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about this book as some people I know, I did enjoy most of the main characters and story lines. In this collaboration fantasy, angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley know that the Antichrist has been put on earth; the Apocalypse is coming. Having decided that they rather like living on earth, however, the unlikely friends decide to try to intercede and prevent the Apocalypse. Throw in the Four Horsemen, a witch, a witchhunter, and some other strange and amusing characters and you've got the workings for this book. I didn't find it quite as enjoyable as Gaiman's Stardust or The Graveyard Book, but I have to say I'm not sorry I've read it. If you like Gaiman (in particular, I think, if you like American Gods), you'd likely enjoy Good Omens.

So there you go, books #1 and #2 of my year of reading. Stay tuned throughout the rest of 2011 for some reading suggestions of your own!


  1. Welcome back to blogging! You were missed (even though seeing the real you is cooler than reading blog you).

    I like this resolution because one of mine is to read twelve books this year. One a month is a lot less than your one a week but, considering I only read five last year, it's a big jump. Plus, I got some really long books for Christmas!

    Looking forward to reading your other resolutions!

  2. I'm glad you read Good Omens. I worry that I overhyped that book quite a bit. I think it's one of those things where I read it at a time when I deeply needed some fun in my life, and therefore it became a favorite.

    Four Queens sounds fascinating. I think I'll add it to my getting-so-long-it's-ridiculous To Read List.