Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You may as well go stand upon the beach

I've been lucky enough to spend the past few days, basking in the sun of the Mayan Riviera, in Playa del Carmen.  While the trip's true purpose was to attend a friend's wedding, one of the side benefits is the amount of time I have to read.

There's really something about a vacation that puts me into a good reading mode.  I suppose while I'm at home, there are other things on my mind, or simply other things that need doing.  While on vacation, besides eating and sleeping, there isn't really anything that needs to be done.  I can spend all my time reading, without any nagging voice in the back of my head.  Plus, it's really nice to read, while sitting in the sun, with the sound of waves crashing down in the background.  We rarely hear this in Calgary.

My progress on my latest list read, Under the Volcano, has been...adequate; I'm about halfway through.  Truth be told, I've sort of slipped this past week, and while I've had so much time to read, I've been using that time to get in some non-fiction; most notably, The Professor and the Madman, the story of the making of the Oxford Dictionary, and Freakonomics, an interesting and unconventional way of looking at the world.  But those are finished now, so I'll be able to get back to Under the Volcano.

Speaking of non-fiction, there was some book news this week from Time magazine.  Six years after this list I am currently reading, they have released their 'All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books.'  I was a little surprised to see that I've only read two of them.  I've read a lot more non-fiction in the past ten years, and figured I would have read more of them, especially considering I'd read six of the novels before seeing this list.

I often thing about when I'm finished reading these 100 books, will I have less direction in my reading?  It serves as a motivator to have a list of books to get through, and also means that I always have a basic idea of what I'm going to be reading next.  Perhaps this non-fiction list can serve as that guide when I'm through with the novels.  But I think I've still got at least two years to think about that one, so I'll leave that decision for another day.


  1. After attending the Fernie Writers' Conference last month, I too realized that I needed to expand my reading habits.

    I am currently working through a list of 48 fiction classics (most of which I believe are on your list). I think when I am done, I will be a much more open-minded reader, and hopefully my writing will improve with the effort.

  2. I think that's the best past of trying to read a set list like this; merely expanding one's horizons.

    Good luck with your project!