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101 Books Mailbag #2

Thanks to everyone who asked questions on Tuesday for this second version of the 101 Books Mailbag. I also pulled a few questions I didn’t get to last time to round it.

So let’s get our mailbag on!

Do you have any regrets about making the commitment to read the 100 books on the Times list? Do you ever have time to read anything else? Jilanne Hoffman

No and no.

I’ve really enjoyed this experience. I won’t say it hasn’t been difficult, especially the daily blogging part, but I feel like all the reading and writing has made me more creative and a better writer. I do wonder if I’ll need therapy after reading all these depressing books.

And, no, I just don’t have time to read much else. And I’m okay with that right now, though I’ve recently started getting the itch to read some historical biographies—Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, and Walt Disney, to name a few.

Someone once said that everyone has a novel in them. Do you believe this and do you believe blogging is an attempt to satisfy the would-be novelist in us? –jackiemallon

I’m not a novelist, and I don’t think I ever will be. I’ve written one mediocre-at-best short story in my entire life. I enjoy writing, blogging, creative non-fiction, but I don’t think I have a novel in me, and that’s totally fine.

Aside from the awesome content and great subject matter of your blog, what did you do initially to get people to read your blog? Are there things outside of the posts themselves that you continue to do to build your subscriber list? – A.K. Andrew

I just kept posting and WordPress eventually noticed. I use Twitter and I have a Facebook fan page for the blog. The biggest thing that’s helped me is being featured as one of WordPress’s recommended book blogs. That’s an everyday thing, so it really helps my subscriber list.

How did all of that happen? I think by just posting consistently and having a blog with a strong theme that people find interesting.

Best BBQ in Nashville? –EddieB

I’ll nominate Jack’s in downtown Nashville and Edley’s in 12 South. That junk is good. If someone says Whitt’s, don’t listen. It’s overrated.

In all the books on the list that you have read, what character do you identify with the most? And, if you could be one of the characters, who would you be? –Don Royster

Oh, tough question. All these stories are so depressing. I feel like, at heart, I’m more of an observer of life. I tend to watch things from the background, so I guess you could say I’m a little like Nick Carraway. I have no desire to be the life of the party, but I don’t mind standing to the side and watching it all go down.

If I could be any one character, I’d probably go with Atticus Finch—so clichéd, I know. He’s good dad, a man of integrity.

What’s your favorite book of all time that’s not on the list? –Sissy

Can I go with nonfiction here? I love Into the Wild. The movie was good, but it just couldn’t do the book justice.

Although I don’t plan on basing my blog around reading the Time 100 novels, I would like to read them anyway because I’m a Lit major and I enjoy a good challenge. However, I’m finding it difficult to cut out time to read them (on top of the reading for my classes) and perhaps a (slight) lack of motivation. How do you stay motivated and determined to complete the list when life in general consumes your time? –themonkeyrope

Just making it a priority over other “hobbies” and free-time activities. My work and family come first, but after that I spend a lot of my extra, limited time on this. I’ve written about this a lot, so I’ll refer you this article I wrote on Michael Hyatt’s blog and this post that appeared here on 101 Books.

That’s all for this time around.

Thanks again to everyone who participated. We’ll do this again in a few months.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Patrice #

    Your mentioning your desire to read biographies led me to make this comment. Last year, I started reading biographies of the US presidents (in order, of course). Two a year, with two other biographies of the times in between. I’m LOVING it. Currently, I’m reading about Thomas Jefferson. You would have lots to blog about reading biographies!


    March 21, 2014
  2. I think Patrice is on to something. My husband has read several about the Roosevelts, John Adams, and Jefferson. Perhaps that’s your next endeavor?

    Thanks for the mention and for answering my questions. You take a more Zen-like approach to reading. I tend to skitter about, reading whatever interests me at the moment, so I would feel shackled if restricted to The List. Now, I’m wondering how (if) you will celebrate when you are finally finished?


    March 21, 2014
  3. “How did all of that happen? I think by just posting consistently and having a blog with a strong theme that people find interesting.”

    Thanks for sharing this observation. It sounds like you’re essentially saying that focus and persistence paid off in your case.


    March 21, 2014
  4. Thanks for answering my question. Good choices. One of the great things about blogging is that it is great writing practice. And it is a great way for a writer to hear immediately from his/her audience.


    March 22, 2014
  5. I finally got the book Revolutionary Road. Thank you. I’m going to enjoy reading it.


    March 22, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on Dentro il cerchio.


    March 23, 2014

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