Let’s Rewind…

…to last week where I joined an online Haruki Murakami Book Club on a chat app called discord and also joined the 2020 Poetry Reading Challenge. Since then, I have decided to “unjoin” the book club and adjust my goals with the poetry reading challenge. My “unjoining” the book club has nothing to do with person who invited me to the group, but that I am not “feeling” the book right now and I also have mostly read the Murakami books I want to read. It also has to do with what I want to read right now, and that is, on the fiction front anyway, mostly older detective fiction.

On that front, last week on the blog, I talked about starting/restarting the Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. On Thursday and last night, I did just that by reading and finishing Over My Dead Body, the seventh in the series. I also want to start/restart reading the Sherlock Holmes short stories. I don’t even know where I am in reading them, so I’m going to start over with the stories, skipping if I remember and then going on from there. I have the complete collection on Google Play Books so I can read them on my phone. While I’d prefer to have them on my Kindle   I now have the complete collection of novels and stories on my Kindle and am reading from there so I can keep track of where I am instead of forgetting where I left off.

With the poetry reading challenge, the option that I signed up for reading a poem-a-day through the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day service. The challenge, as outlined by Serena, is to read a poem-a-day for a week once per month and write about which poems were your favorite and why on your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or your blog. I am adjusting it to pick out my favorites from the month and write about them at the end of the month, providing links to the poems as well. Most likely, I will limit my choices to a few so as not to overwhelm you all.

I also have a plan for when and how I will read…

Short bursts AND long stretches

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t read well in short bursts. I prefer to read in longer stretches of time, which I usually am afforded on weekends, most Saturdays (except when I’m working at the library) and all Sundays. This is assisted by my wife working 12-hour shifts Saturday into Sunday and Sunday into Monday, which means I have more “free time” during the day to do what I want. I learned with reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius to start the year that I can read in short bursts. To that end, I want to read Sherlock Holmes during the week throughout the year, no specific deadline on when to finish or if I’ll finish this year, just to read a short story in the morning before work or in the evening Monday to Friday.

On the weekends, though, I still want to read in those longer stretches of time that I am afforded. On Saturdays, starting with today, I will go to the local state university I mentioned previously and read for the afternoon. Then on Sundays, as is my custom, I will read Sunday Salon posts in the morning and then books in the afternoon. At least that is the plan here at the start of February.

This Weekend

As for what I plan on starting to read today, I have a couple of possibilities. First, on the fiction front are two:

  • Where There’s A Will, the eighth in the Nero Wolfe series, by Rex Stout.
  • Heaven, My Home, the second in the Highway 59 series, by Attica Locke.

I’m leaning toward Heaven, My Home as it will dovetail nicely with the start of Black History Month in a book about a black Texas Ranger, authored by a black female.

On the nonfiction front this weekend, I plan on starting with How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. I started this one last year but didn’t finish and it also coincides with Black History Month. Then next weekend, I would like to begin digging into Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65, the second part of Taylor Branch’s history of the Civil Rights Movement in America. I had planned to begin reading the latter on MLK Day but that didn’t happen (I finished the a book of King speeches instead). Based on the length of Pillar of Fire, it will be one I’ll be delving into over several weekends, not just next weekend.

As always, I’ll keep you posted here on my progress with these and other books throughout the rest of the month or the lack of progress thereof, but I’m hoping for the former.

15 thoughts on “Let’s Rewind…

  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve read in longer stretches. I usually just get some time here and there – of course that affects the quality of my reading but I tried to adapt to that way of reading. Lately, I’ve tried to take an evening off work and routines and do something focused on fun. I’ll probably devote such evenings to reading unless I’m trying to catch up on the blog.


  2. I am starting How to Be An Antiracist this weekend as well. I am reading at least one social justice book each month and this is my choice for February.


  3. I feel like I am constantly planning and then replanning my reading. I smile in bemusement when I remember my old self who doggedly persisted with books, even those I couldn’t connect with, even those I wasn’t enjoying. I will finish this book, I’d tell myself fiercely. And why? I do love to have lots of choices, but if I’m not feeling a book, I can easily set it aside.

    I like to read best when I have a nice big block of time, but I find I like five minutes here and there, too.

    I hope to do something with poetry in April during Poetry Month. Right now, I found a little (maybe a hundred fifty pages) collection of French poetry to take with me here in Paris. I’ve enjoyed reading a poem, written in French and English, and also reading a little about the poet. These are perfect for those little squares of time. I’m also reading Emile Zola for the first time. Early yesterday morning, I read a chapter where the main character got married in Paris. It started raining and the wedding party didn’t know what to do and they ended up going to the Louvre. It rained on us yesterday and we couldn’t go to the park so we ended up going to a museum. I kept reminding myself that these things happened right where I am and that the author lived right here. It gives everything a sense of immediacy.

    Good luck with your reading plans. Have a lovely week!


  4. This sounds good that you reevaluated your plans to read what you feel like reading right now.
    I keep saying I want to try more poetry (I’m super picky with English poetry, I found them less wordy in French), so I’ll follow again your inspiration (thanks for the Murakami invite) and I just signed up.
    I actually just checked out from my library a collection by the Japanese master of Haiku Masaoka Shiki.
    I love classic mysteries! A couple of years ago, I LISTENED to all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories in their chronological order. I used the hoopla website offered by my library. The narrator was fantastic, and he narrated them all. That was great to have only 1 narrator for the whole canon.
    As this year is the 100th anniversary of Hercule Poirot appearance, I’m planning to do the same with him. Hopefully I’ll be able to start this month.
    With one of my French students, I’m rereading some Maigret. Read #1 last month, and we will read #2 this month.
    There are actually a lot of mysteries on my Classics list of 50 titles I plan to read in 5 years, maybe you’ll find some inspiration there: https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/09/12/the-classics-club-2019-2024/


    1. Thanks, Emma. I have my hands full with the Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe, for now. I’m glad you enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes on audiobook, but I don’t do audio. I prefer reading, since it doesn’t take as long.


  5. Elin and I were supposed to see Ibram X. Kendi at an author event in Pittsburgh…but I got sick and couldn’t go. Elin still went. I was so disappointed about missing out on that. She said it was fantastic.

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