Sunday, 11 April 2010

The List So Far

1. The Unfolding of Language (NF)
2. Put Out More Flags
3. Animal Farm
4. Author, Author
5. Shades of Grey
6. The Mysterious Affair at Styles
7. Journey Into Space
8. Three Men in a Boat

This is a list of what I've read so far on this blog, in order of reading, not preference. I'll probably post an updated version of this list every couple of months. I'm posting it now because the current book I'm reading is bogging me down a bit, so it's given me a window of opportunity to blog about less important things. So when you spot a list update, you know I'm stuck in a long and probably less-than-gripping beastie of a book.

While I'm here, I'd like to share one of the rules of this whole business. The rule is this: one re-read is allowed, for every ten books read. One in every ten books can be one I've read before at some point, that is. Mathematicians among you will notice that, once I post the book I'm currently reading, that will make nine: and I'll be due a re-read. Yay!
It's 'yay!' because these re-reads will feature some of my favourite reads from the brief period between being born and starting this blog. The basic principle behind it is two-fold.

Firstly, it would be great to make some headway into subjecting the 300+ books I have sitting--already read--on my shelves to something approaching critical faculties. Clearly, there's no better place to learn what to get right than from the books that I most love. Maybe as a spin-off of that, I will read some of my least favourite novels as well, to learn best what to avoid. I mean, I once read about half a dozen Marian Keyes novels... in my defence, they were just sitting in the house, and I used to read anything. Think of how much I could learn! I probably (definitely) won't actually do that, though.
Secondly (you thought I'd forgotten the two-fold thing, didn't you? So did I.) Secondly, it will be a lot of fun. I started reading, as a tiny person, because I loved it. And I don't want to forget that. And while reading new stuff is a big part of that love--the main part, I still think--spending time with an old friend is self-indulgent bliss, and not to be missed.

I will probably mark these old friends on the list with an (RR). In a similar way, I have marked non-fiction with an (NF), and these will crop up much less frequently. After all, it's fiction I'm trying to learn, much as I love Daniel Dennett. Expect to see one (NF) in every 50 or so books. They're rare little babies.

A final thought: I'm toying with the idea of marking out favourites and unfavourites. Maybe by putting an asterix next to the books I would most love to revisit, and another symbol next to the ones I would like to avoid in future. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I have seen other book blogs with ratings out of 5 or 10, but that's definitely something I want to avoid. But considering how long this list could get, a little in the way of pointers might be grand. For my own memory, at least. So far, of the eight, there is only one in consideration for a thumbs down, but anything from one to five that could merit an asterix. The more I read, the more discerning I imagine I'll get, though.
Asterixes and Opposites: a good thing or not?


  1. I am anti-rating out of ten. The point is not to be subjective, more analytical. Surely what you are analysing isn't numbers but WORDS. Therefore, rate in words.

    I vote to mark favourites with an asterix. And as you go on, you could possibly re-rate these books.

  2. I feel like rating (i personally do mine out of 5) is more of a gut feel of what you personally felt at the end of whatever you just finished. I totally get where you're coming from though. Just be careful that you don't end up with seven different abbreviation and symbols after each book on your list!

    I really like your reread plan. I always feel bad rereading. I think in the entirety of last year I only reread 3 books out of the near 50 I read.

  3. an overdose of abbreviations would get tiresome. it's a good's a thought (i've just had):

    my re-reads will basically be a list of my
    favourites, so further down the line, i can re-read any of my favourites (Jounrey Into Space) and thereby highlight them.

    that way, i am only highlighting books that have stood the test of time in my memory.

  4. I approve of everything here, including the asterix. Reading what you already loved should be very interesting now you're reading for knowledge rather than just enjoyment and reading what you hated should be interesting too, though probably slightly annoying for you.

    I reread Jane Eyre once to satisfy a boy I was seeing (I hated it when I first read it, but he loved it so I thought I'd give it another go) and I still hated that crap.