This year I am trying to differentiate my reading. I love books and tend to collect them where ever I go (seriously though, during the Global CRC Program I ended up with my suitcase half-filled with books I had picked up over the year). But between getting burned out from university reading and working full time, I have set a lot of my books to the side in favor of mindless fanfiction.
To me, fanfiction is fun and easy. It’s entertaining and usually not that complicated in wording or plot. It’s free and I can explore the same favorite universe many times over in a thousand different ways at any length (ranging from 600 words to over 300,000). Technically it’s still reading but I like variety and stories that challenge and push me mentally and morally. Fanfiction rarely does this.
So in 2018, I have decided to set aside time for intentional reading from my (physical) bookshelf. I’m not forcing myself to cut back reading fanfiction but rather challenging myself to read more printed books. At the end of every month, I will check in with you, dear reader, and share what I have been reading in the past month. I will give a quick review and maybe share a profound thought or two.
So let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?
In my free time in January I have joyfully, albeit slowly, read Kent Nerburn’s Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder.
I’m not sure if I would have ever found this book if it wasn’t for my mother and our church. She recommended it to me a year or so ago and even gave it to me for Christmas. I let it age on my bookshelf before diving in. I am close to finishing the book, and I have to say this is turning out to be a new favorite.
This is a quiet book with the force of a hurricane. It pulls no punches, speaks with frank honesty, and cuts through the romanticizations and the stereotypes placed on American Indians. This book is a bridge between Native Americans and white Americans or at the very least a step to truly understanding one another.
I’ll share some of my favorite parts in the February review since I’m not done yet.
There is no way I could read this book in a month. It’s a monster of a book. But I did start reading this book this January. Harman’s ‘A People’s History of the World‘ is my reading goal for 2018. I will be reading a little bit every day and make a note of what bits of history I read each month. It’s an interesting but dense book. To keep my concentration I read out loud. It helps me focus and stay on track. I’m currently in the first few chapters of the book, so covering the fact that several separate groups of people around the world made the switch from hunter-gather societies to an agriculture. Also learning about how the practice of grain storage influenced hierarchies and religion. Fascinating.