Monday, November 29, 2010

Structurally Sound

Every new year, I like to come up with one or two small goals I want to achieve. One year, I sat in a bathtub filled with Froot Loops and milk (see picture below). Another year, I went to see every movie they screened at the Music Hall. I never pick anything unrealistic, like 'climb Mount Everest' or 'read every book I own' (the more unachievable of those two, believe me). Just something fun. And it usually revolves around reading: last year's goal was to read more science fiction. This year's goal was simply to read more than I did last year. I like having a little bit of structure to follow. As 2011 approaches, I have been racking my brain for a goal - and yesterday, I finally hit on it: I want to read one book a week by someone I discovered through Twitter.

Now, while the Twitter haters still be hatin', let me say this: this year, I have read just under 100 books. Almost all of those books were recommendations made to me on Twitter, and this achievement was also significant in that I have enjoyed more of the books I have read this year than any other year I can remember. That says a lot to me. Also, 21 of them were books by people I met on Twitter.

I have 17 more books in my house I bought because I met the author on Twitter. For instance, I still have to read "Edinburgh" by Alexander Chee, one of my favorite human beings, both on the internet and in person. January will bring the release of the lovely Emma Straub's first book, "Other People We Married", which is sure to be wonderful. And I'm sure as the year goes by, I will acquire more.

In thinking about this all day, and now, while writing this post, I realized I am so excited to get going on this goal, I am going to start early - this week, in fact! For my first book, I have chosen "Into the Beautiful North", by Luis Alberto Urrea. I came across Luis on Twitter this spring, and then had the pleasure of hearing him speak at RiverRun this summer. He was fantastic - I believe there isn't a more charming storyteller out there. And his wife Cindy is wonderful, too.

All right, all right, enough talk already - I'm off to read. I'll try and post a blog about the book I choose each week. And please feel free to make suggestions - you have yet to steer me wrong, my Twitter lovelies.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Liberty, What was it like to be submerged in milk and Fruit Loops? Do you normally bathe with your glasses on? Just kidding.

    Your goal setting reminds me of something fun that I did on my birthday this year. I was out on Block Island, Rhode Island, last June. I got up early, walked to the beach, took off all my clothes and dove into the ocean. Only some distant dog-walkers were my witnesses. It felt like a memorable way to celebrate my birthday, though maybe not quite as good as a Fruit Loops bath! And, Yes, I told all my family and friends later about it. I think the adults were envious on some level, though most said they lacked the nerve to skinny dip. My boys were incredulous. Maybe they learned something about seizing the moment, or maybe it was just another instance of Dad doing something slightly embarrassing? Regardless, I relished the feeling of salt water all day, and still do on this cold December day in Portsmouth.

    Another post by You-Know-Who.