With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
I have read 50 books this year. I had wanted to read more than I did last year (23) and it has taken me in so many wonderful directions so far. I am selective in my reading and therefore have only read a few books this year I would not read again. In fact I did read a book this year twice (The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes) because I was so enthralled by the mystery and beauty of his words.
The fiftieth book was Barnes’ collection of short stories called The Lemon Table chronicling the passage of time when middle age becomes elderly. His careful, surgical words sliced up the mundane without ever flirting with contrivance. Pure delight.
I do not think I would have started this blog were I not so focused on reading. It was the many different genres of books helping me to stay interested and inspired, though the mystical existential dream that is The Book of Disquiet will most likely remain my favorite book read this year.
I will do a rundown of sorts of these books next month. Suffice to say, the bookshelf or in my case, bookcase of unread books has finally been substantially bitten.
I had wanted my 50th to be a special book and had originally selected Will Self’s Umbrella considered his most ambitious book to date, which is saying something, for the honour. Concerned it may take a long time and deserved proper attention I chose to offer the prize to Barnes. And I am glad I did. With deft and grace I can float through the 50’s, reading Self possibly next. His new book comes out this month and don’t want to be too far behind.
I am excited to read each new book, wondering what delights it will hold and how it may entertain and inspire. Since completing things is a bit of a bugger for me this achievement gives me hope. My mind is clogged with story branches, sentence twigs and thorns of bad writing. Time to get my head straight and clear the brush.