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Showing posts from November, 2015

Books Read in November

Since I was focusing on NaNoWriMo for most of November, I didn't get a huge amount of reading done and it was all nonfiction, except for books I finished at the very beginning of the month. Therefore, I got in both an sf book for Science Fiction Month ( Ancillary Mercy ) and a few books for Nonfiction November. I'll let you know in December, but I have also probably finished Book Riot's Read Harder challenge and Popsugar's 2015 Reading Challenge . I heard about the latter toward the beginning of the year and decided to see if my reading would complete it without purposefully doing so. I only saw Book Riot's challenge more recently, but I think I will similarly have completed at least most of it without trying. 61. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg I started reading this awhile back, in slow stages, and finished as I was beginning NaNoWriMo. It's a series of vignettes about writing, life, and Zen Buddhism that are helpful for putting you in the

What I Learned from Paring Down My Library or 5 Absurd Ways to Judge Books

As you may know, I recently reduced my personal library from 700+ books to 449, using the KonMari method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Although Ms. Kondo whittled her own books down to a Hall of Fame of 30, this number feels comfortable to me. I always wanted a substantial home library, and I feel better knowing that I consciously chose each one of these books, and can continue to do so. As I went through my books, I kept tally marks of books in each genre, paperback and hardback, and also wrote down the names of those books that especially touched me, my "Hall of Fame." My Hall of Fame consists of 46 books, so if I ever need to reduce my collection further, I know what I want to keep. I also learned a number of other absurd facts about my preferences in books, which I will share for your amusement and edification. 1. I dislike Dover Thrift editions. Every single Dover Thrift edition I owned ended up in the discard pile. 2. However, I am extremely attac

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

1. I'm more than 70% done with my NaNoWriMo word count!!! I think my novel may need to go over the 50,000 words, but it looks like I'm going to win on my first try! I rigged it a little, since I've purposely avoided doing it until such year as I had enough time. Also, I got some advice from a friend who's done it in the past that really helped. She told me to get as far ahead as I could in the first few days, and that even if I write, say, 4,000 words in one day, don't use that as an excuse not to write the next day. When she told me that, I laughed because I thought there was no way I could write 4,000 words in a day, but I surprised myself by writing 4,000 words the very next day and over 5,000 on one other day. Keep in mind, this is definitely an Ann Lamott-esque first draft, but 38, 769 words and counting! 2. My library reduction project has been started and completed! Using the KonMari method as outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up , I went from

Books Read in Autumn

These books all fall in an awkward category between late October, after I scheduled the October Books post, and early November. Thus, Autumn. 58. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard An instructor that I worked with gifted me with this slim volume a few years ago. It never felt like the moment to read it until I was ready to embark on NaNoWriMo (I'm past 16k!). While I've felt guilty for not reading it before, I'm glad I waited. It had a special resonance now. Although this book is ostensibly a book to help writers, it's not about the art of writing so much as it is the art of writing. The ironic, or perhaps, unironic observation I've made on books about writing is that they read so well. Each word has purpose, depth, motivation. What most captured me about Dillard's book is an image of a plane swirling in the sky, and even though it seems like it has nothing to do with writing, it gave me a vision for what to do. 59. Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie I can