Okay, here’s my first post. I’m guessing that this blog will be more about books than bicycles, but I’m using both in my blog name because those are my two main obsessions. But I think I will have more to say about books. And I’m guessing also that I’ll have a lot to say about writing a blog itself — I’m not entirely sure how this will work, whether I will be able to post regularly (and be interested in posting regularly), what exactly I will want to talk about. But I’m interested in this because I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs lately and have become fascinated by them. I’m not interested in “creative” writing generally — “creative” as generally described — poems, fiction, plays — but I might like this sort of creative diary/non-fiction writing. At least it will be fun for me — an online diary.

So, I’m now reading Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, and am feeling ambivalently about it. She has some great theories about the novel — I like her wheel with the various genres that contribute to the novel, and I like her description of writing her own novel. But she has this weird way of refering to the writer as male and the reader as female. Why? And sometimes her theories seem too neat. She loves making broad statements about what the novel is versus what poetry is, and I don’t always buy it. Making broad statements like that will generally get you into trouble.

I’m now into the section where she is describing particular novels; I’m not sure how thoroughly I will read that part. It’s not really meant to be read straight through, but I find it very hard to put a book down without finishing it, and I might find her descriptions interesting, so for now I’m sticking with it. I want to be able to say that I’ve read the whole thing, and if I put it down without reading those descriptions, I can’t say that, can I? That’s the problem with keeping lists of books read — what about those things you read part of? Perhaps I should keep a list of partly-read books.


Filed under Books

2 responses to “

  1. Hello, I’ve just found your blog, and I’m enjoying it so much that I’ve gone back to your first post to read from the beginning.

    I’ve often wondered about how much of a book I need to read before adding to my list of books read. In fact, I’ve been thinking about the question for close to 15 years. Some time ago, I decided to list every book of which I’ve read at least half. Then, I mark those titles I don’t finish with a red dot—kind of like the notation after bike race results of those who abandoned or DNF.


  2. Thank you Jennifer! That’s a good system, I think; it would make me more likely to get something I wasn’t liking down, since I could still count it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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