Saturday, January 01, 2011

My Annual Reading Review

It has been a dismal year for blogging (on my part, I mean) and yet I still found time to read and write. For writing, I have been maintaining a Moleskine journal for personal reflections; I have reverted to pen-and-paper log---"plogging" if you will. I am not a Luddite who has rejected technology and blogging; I am just trying to sort out what this blog ought to be. I keep reading other bloggers who seem to be doing a great job writing interesting and relevant posts.... In the meantime, I will continue to post in the intermittent and non-committal way. Hopefully I will find my blogging-way soon.

One thing that I have done regularly with this blog is to record my reading list from the preceding year. I didn't have any specific goals this year, such as reading (almost exclusively) C.S. Lewis or Francis Schaeffer. So here is the list from 2010.

Epic poetry
The Aeneid by Virgil (trans. by Robert Fagles)
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Inferno by Dante (trans. by Dorothy Sayers), not finished

Marshall McLuhan by Douglas Coupland
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Christian Lover by Michael Haykin
The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs
Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life by Adam Gopnik
Abraham Lincoln: A Presidential Life by James McPherson
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson (not finished)

The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye
The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan
Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person by Covey
Art for God's Sake by Philip Ryken
A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton (not finished... yet!)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Remarque
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
A Christmas Carol by Dickens (not finished)

Children's Literature
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Crispin: The Lead Cross by Avi (a wonderfully written novel set in Medieval England)
The Sword in the Tree by Bulla
Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien... I am still reading with the boys (but clearly not often enough!)

I have some ideas for this coming year; besides finishing Chesterton's masterpiece The Everlasting Man, I would like to read a little more C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer. I will continue my odyssey through "epic poetry" with Dante's Divine Comedy translated by Dorothy Sayers. I am hoping to get to John Milton's Paradise Lost right after Dante. I could also do for a little more theology reading. As I typed up this list just now, I became painfully aware of the lack of good old theology. It has been a few years since I dabbled in the Puritans. I wouldn't mind reading some J.I. Packer, John Piper or more R.C. Sproul. I would also like to read Augustine and Bunyan again. So many books, so little time! In terms of fiction, I feel that I might now be old enough to read Russian literature... I have a brilliant former student who keeps recommending authors like Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn (Although young in years, he is an old soul). 2011 might be the year... might be.

Carpe MMXI. Tolle Lege.