2017 reading challenge

I tried writing a post about the presidential election. I can’t. I write and I sound like I’m rambling. I’m interested in a detached sort of way (I couldn’t stand either candidate). Maybe that’s why I can’t write about it.

Plus, City Council took the wind out of my political sails.

Let’s write about something else.

I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing. Wonderful read. The first half of the book is an abridged autobiography. Kind of a snapshot of how a writer got interested in writing when he was a kid. A journey from writing a few short stories at a young age to helping his older brother write a neighborhood news paper to working (not much work got done) for the high school news paper. Then college and meeting his wife. Then struggling to make a living as a high school English teacher. Then his new found riches when Carrie is published. Along the way he battles alcoholism and a cocaine habit.

King has a great sense of humor.

You know, I don’t recall ever reading a King book. Maybe I have and don’t remember. I’ll have to fix that.

The second part of the book is the on writing part. If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader, King says.

I’m a reader, but I need to read more. I tend to read in fits and starts. I read nothing for awhile – maybe even months – and then I read a lot all at once.

I’ve finished many books and have many books only partly finished. Some non-fiction is that way. I read half to three-quarters and then think to myself “Okay, point made. Why go on?” Authors mostly go on when they should stop because of publishers. A publisher thinks that a book on American economic history, for example, should be 800 pages. The author is forced to write 800 pages, even if he could say it in 400.

I digress.

I’m a big sci fi fan. Not much of a fantasy fan. I haven’t read much fantasy, so I shouldn’t say that. I should give it a try. I found NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. The list is more than 100 in reality. The Foundation Trilogy is three books. Duh. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is, too. I’ve read some of the books on the list (like Foundation) and some I’ve tried to read but could never make it through (Rings. I’ve tried Rings. Can’t do it.)

But I’m going to try. Want to write some sci fi? Then read a lot of sci fi.

Can I make it through all 100 before year’s end. Let’s find out. Here are some ground rules. I’ll read every book even if I’ve read it before. Take notes on what I like and don’t like about the characters, the story and the style. I don’t have to read every book in the trilogy if I don’t want to. The first book will do.

I should add a page to my web site to track this. That sounds like fun.

I’m also allowed to read outside this list.

That’s a lot of books.

Way more interesting than politics.