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Posts from the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

5 Things I’ve Learned About Book Blogging

So I’ve been at this for nearly 15 months now, and I’m still enjoying it as much as the day I started.

If you didn’t know (and why would you?)  this is my third attempt at a blog. The first was a rambling personal blog that I didn’t promote and really didn’t care to. The second one was a golf blog that I updated 1-2 times a week and, at least for awhile, felt like I got into a flow of niche blogging.

But I’ve never enjoyed blogging like I do now. I don’t think you can write posts 5 days a week unless you enjoy doing it. If you’re not having fun, you’ll burn out and begin dreading sitting down at the computer. Believe me, I know.

But even though the blog is just part of this project–the other, of course, is reading 101 books–I feel the blog is almost more fun, just barely, than reading the books.

And along the way, I’ve learned a lot about blogging–and, more specifically, book blogging. This isn’t life-changing stuff you’ve never heard. But experience really is the greatest teacher, and this experience has taught me a lot.

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5 Disgusting Words That Make Me Cringe

I have a friend who hates the word “moist.”

It’s true. You may ask, “Hey Robert, what does the word ‘moist’ have to do with your 101 Book project?”

Great question, to which I would answer, “Hey there. Absolutely nothing.”

But, truthfully, this blog is not just about the 101 books. It’s about reading words. Yes, I read words. Lots of words. And then I sit down and write words about the words I just read. It gets a little wordy up in here.

So, with all that in mind, I thought I’d list my 5 least favorite words today. These are the words that make me cringe, twinge, squirm and scream. Sometimes, their usage might raise the hairs on my arms.

If any of these words appear in any of the 101 books, you can count on me automatically excluding that book from the top 10 in my rankings. That’s just how I roll, to borrow a cliche’.

Curious? Here are my least favorite words.

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Thoughts From A Chauvinist Pig

Are all the great authors a little bit crazy?

The reason I ask, and I apologize for being a little late to the game on this, is because of V.S. Naipaul. If you haven’t heard, the always controversial Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2001 and also has a book (A House for Mr. Biswas) on the Time list I am reading, had some wild things to say about female writers last week.

“I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not,” he said. “I think [it is] unequal to me.” Oh, but that’s not all. He followed that up with, “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.”

On Jane Austen, Naipaul said that he “couldn’t possibly share her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world.” And I’m sure she couldn’t possibly share your overinflated ego and narcissism, V.S.

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Vonnegut and Fitzgerald Ponder Punctuation

Only dorks like me have opinions on semicolons.

I love quotes and tips about writing, especially from the great writers.

So, on occasion, I’ll throw a writing post into the mix–especially if it has something to do with an author on the Time list.  In fact, the most popular post in the history of this blog is about writing.

Anyway, here are two of my favorite quotes about punctuation from two authors on the Time list:

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The Blah Story is Full of Blah

You can’t make this stuff up.

I stumbled across this last month while we were discussing the longest novels in literature. An “author” named Nigel Tomm “wrote” a “book” that consists of 23 volumes, 11,338,105 words, 61,745,771 characters (with spaces), and 17,868 pages.

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So You Want To Write A Novel?

It’s Friday, so I thought I’d veer off the beaten path a little bit.

I absolutely love this video a friend sent me the other day. It’s clever, hilarious, truthful.

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The Plan

As Gone With The Wind lumbers along, I thought I’d write a little about my plan for this 101 book adventure.

I’m a numbers guy. When I’m training for a marathon, I love creating an Excel sheet with 54 runs, adding up the total mileage, tracking my pace for each run, and so on. But, mainly, I like having a plan.

This is no different. Like running 26.2 miles, my strategy here is to start with a steady pace–not too slow, not too fast. With that in mind, I started out of the gate with several manageable books, no more than 300 pages each: The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, Slaughterhouse Five, Lord of the Flies.

This is kind of like Dave Ramsey‘s debt snowball.  Pay off the small debts to create momentum before you get to the large debts. Same thing here. I guess you could say Gone With The Wind is the $80,000 student loan then. I am about 70% complete after a month of reading.

There are quite a few bulky books on the list–Gone With The Wind, Infinite Jest, Gravity’s Rainbow, Lord of the Rings, just to name a few. I’ve got to spread those bad boys out or I’ll never keep my momentum going. That’s the general idea–four or five short-to-medium sized books, then a long book. Rinse and repeat.

I haven’t mapped out the order in which I’ll read all 101 books. Right now, I’ve planned about 3 or 4 books ahead. The next three are The Big Sleep, Blood Meridian, and I, Claudius.

As always, feel free to make suggestions, or join in on the fun and read along with me.


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