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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lessons From A Six Year Odyssey

For most of my life, I've tried to read widely. And though during my full time work life my passion for books took a back seat while I was making a living, over the past six years I've made up a lot of ground. Since 2010, there have even been a few weeks when my reading time exceeded guitar time. Any odyssey should impart lessons, right? Here are my top three:

* Avoid novels - especially those purporting to be historical fiction - with the word "wife" in the title.

* Though they are ubiquitous and very popular with book clubs, one memoir a year is plenty. At the same time, a full blown moratorium is probably too radical.


* Better to spend time listening to music than reading about science that "explains" why music exerts such a pull. No matter how rigorously researched or well written these books are, the basic premise now reminds me of non-fiction that tries to explain why people fall in love.      

What lessons has your reading given you? BTW, a few attentive readers have lately commented on a recent decrease in my posts about books. Though my consumption remains undiminished, my non-bashing policy - in place since the inception of my blog in March 2011 - also remains in effect. So, since the last several books - including the final historical novel I'll ever read with "wife" in the title - didn't move me at all, the bell curve has been a little quiet vis-a-vis books. But stay tuned - great ones are never far away. 

1 comment:

  1. In my retired life, I have learned a few lessons about reading:
    1- My eyes tend to be bigger than my bookshelf. I need more self-control when choosing titles. Right now I'm looking at a pile of four unread books on my desk and I feel a storm a-brewing.
    2- Sometimes I will not agree with the literary tastes of intelligent people whom I admire. For example, I refuse to pick up another book by Jonathan Franzen.
    3- This has nothing to do with the literature contained therein, but I adore the sight, the smell and the feel of brand new books. Superficial, but it's a sensory overload I require at regular intervals.
    4- And finally, I've learned the lesson that reading certain blogs can become habit-forming. The jury is still out as to whether it is worth my time to comment on any post.
    P.S. I give an excellent rating to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, to The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, and to Pat Barton's Wife for putting up with her husband.