My Second Book of the Year?

After finishing my first book of the year last week, I now am stuck on what will be my second book of the year…that I finish. I already have abandoned two:

However, because of a telephone conversation with that friend last week, I am refocusing much of my reading on what I know I love: older murder mysteries along the lines of Agatha Christie and the like.

So now I am thinking the second book that I will finish this year might be Over My Dead Body, the seventh in the Nero Wolfe series, by Rex Stout. I restarted reading/rereading the series in 2017 and now am returning to doing that. When I was a teenager, I read many of them, although I’m not sure if I read all of them. That’s why I wanted to restart them especially when I learned that the Free Library of Philadelphia had all 33 of the novels available on ebook.

Beyond Over My Dead Body

I have several other books on the radar, including those in this stack (that also includes DVDs) I picked up after getting a community patron card at a local state university:

Among the books in the stack are a couple books by Haruki Murakami. When I posted the photo, Monika (lovelybookshelf on Instagram) mentioned a new Murakami Book Club on discord with the first book being Norwegian Wood. Even though I didn’t know what discord is, I decided to join. The group begins discussing the first four chapters tomorrow and all this week on discord, which I know is a free voice and text chat for gamers. Then the group will discuss subsequent chapters through the week of Feb. 16 to Feb. 22. The only thing my book is due back Feb. 12. I guess I hope no one puts a hold on it between now and then. Otherwise, I might have to find it elsewhere…or…GASP! buy it!

Also in the stack are a few collections of poetry, which I thought might count toward a poetry reading challenge for this year that I only recently learned about: Poetry Reading Challenge 2020, hosted by Serena from the blog Savvy Verse & Wit. Then tonight I actually read (imagine that!) the options for the challenge and realized that a couple of options for the challenge is not just reading, but reviewing (gah!) books of poetry and realized I’m not much (er, at all) a reviewer. I think I am going to try another one of the options:

  • Signing up to read a poem-a-day through the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day service, then reading a poem-a-day for a week once per month and writing about which poems were your favorite and why on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your blog.

Since I’m getting to this party late in the month, that means that I will be reading a poem-a-day for this week and then writing about which ones are my favorite and why on my blog at the end of the week. No pressure or anything. πŸ˜‰

In other news…

This past week:

Please go congratulate them both and add them to blogs to read, and if you haven’t listened to Chris Wolak and her friend Emily Fine’s podcast Book Cougars, definitely go give it a listen. They just did their 94th show!

Author’s Note: *facepalm* I don’t know why I titled this “My Second Book of the Year?” because at this point I already had read my second book of the year: A Call To Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard. I actually should have titled this “And For My Third Book of the Year?” Duh.

38 thoughts on “My Second Book of the Year?

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Bryan, much appreciated! I’ve been reading a lot about Agatha Christie recently and am mulling it all over for a future post. I love all of the classic authors and totally agree that they are almost always worth re-reading!

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  2. I struggle whenever I talk about my thoughts on the poetry I read. I kind of prefer reviewing a book of poetry to an individual poem if only because I can hide my clumsy interpretations more easily when I speak about the book as a whole. I always feel so inadequate when I talk about poetry. But I do enjoy reading it. Even when I miss the meaning but just like the way it sounds.

    I still have yet to read a Murakami book. I do have three or so on my TBR shelf, including Norwegian Wood. Maybe I should make a point of reading something by him this year finally . . . I can’t remember if I’ve said so here before, but his sort of intimidates me.

    Nero Wolfe and I have never met, but I perhaps someday. I hope you enjoy your re-read of Over My Dead Body. I think it’s a series I would enjoy.

    I hope you have a great week, Bryan.

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  3. I sometimes try reading out of the “tried and true” books I love, but find that after I have read a whole bunch of books that I moderately enjoyed in other genres, when I get back to my wheelhouse of historical fiction, that’s when I really love reading.

    I like the idea of getting a patron card at your local university! I always got a Philly library card even though I am now in SC. I am sad that this year will be the first year I am losing my Free Library of Philadelphia card! They have such a vast collection of eBooks, that I bought a card every year to be able to use the library. And having strong Philly connections lead me to doing that in the first place. This year they stopped allowing out of state patrons to buy a library card to focus on their local patrons. I can understand. I think maybe also it wasn’t a popular program?
    My now local library is VERY small with a very limited budget, so either I’ll be buying more books or will have to find another source.

    Enjoy your poetry challenge too! I just picked up the US’s new Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s book of poetry to try.

    Have a great week!

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  4. I get the Writer’s Almanac in my inbox each morning, and that includes a daily poem. Sometimes I read it; sometimes I don’t. I have a collection of poetry that I’ve had since the 2017 Texas Book Festival that I hope to read this year or next year. It’s a collection of twentieth-century Latin American poetry. I bought it because it’s in English and Spanish, and I always enjoy reading a little Spanish every year. I added it to my Classics Club list to encourage me to read it soon.

    I’m glad you are able to check out books from a local state university. I have cards for the Houston Public Library and the county Houston is in, the Harris County Public Library. I recently discovered that I can often check out books for six weeks, rather than two, if no one else has a hold on the books. That is helpful for me.

    Murakami is an author that is both magical and mysterious. His characters always seem beaten down by life and at the whim of the vagarities of life. I’m not sure I really understand what Murakami is trying to say, but I enjoy going down the path with him.

    Have a great week!

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  5. I love how intentional you are with picking your next reads! Makes the time spent with the book all the book worthwhile. That sounds like a good mystery book – this is the first time I am hearing of Rex Stout. I’m hoping to read more mystery books this year. I haven’t had a lot of success with them so it will be a little bit of trial and error.

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    1. My problem with mystery fiction is that I’m finding newer mystery fiction not as strong as the classics. I don’t know how many new mystery fiction I have DNF’ed, but it has to be more than 20.

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  6. I went down a Nero Wolfe rabbit hole after seeing your post. He sounds like an interesting character so I added the first book in the series to my Goodreads TBR. I was hoping my Mom had not read him yet so that I could get her started with the series on her Kindle, but unfortunately, she already has. When you’ve reached 92 there aren’t many major novels or series that you haven’t already read. And she’s not interested in any new stuff, unfortunately. Finds it all “too hard to follow”.

    I don’t know why but I love seeing pictures of stacks of books like you have posted here. The spines catch my eyes and the titles always sound so intriguing I want to immediately read them all. Never mind the fact I have my own stacks of spines right there in the other room, but for some reason they aren’t as appealing as other peoples stacks of books. LOL Not sure if the apostrophe goes before or after the s in peoples so I’m just quietly walking away from the word.

    I’m on Discord at the insistence of a friend, but I find the version on my Chromebook sucks the life out of my internet for some reason. The Norwegian Wood discussion sounds great and I immediately looked to see if MY library has any copies available. I wasn’t going to ask to join the group because I have other reading commitments, mind you, I was just curious to see if the book was available. And I’m kind of glad it’s not because this is the year I am DETERMINED to read my own books. I hope you enjoy the book and the discussions!!

    Poetry…I’ve never been able to get into poetry or short stories for some reason. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about any poems you decide to write about.

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    1. First, I corrected your “news” to “new.”

      Second, just because your mom already read the Nero Wolfe series doesn’t mean she might not enjoy a reread. And as for you, the good thing about the books is that they are short so if you want to try…

      Third, I’ve read other Murakami and so far, four chapters in, Norwegian Wood isn’t my favorite. I still think my favorite was one of the first I read: A Wild Sheep Chase. It also is short. πŸ™‚

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      1. Thanks for correcting my post! I have read one Murakami also and I wasn’t impressed with it…I think it was Never Let Me Go…but since all his books are so different I definitely want to try more of them.

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          1. Whaaaaaat???? Ohmygosh. Ok let me check my Goodreads. I should’ve done that in the first place. “After Dark” is the one I read. I gave it 2 stars. Started off good, had a couple laughs and then it was all downhill after that.

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