“I never have time for pleasure reading!” Do you ever say that? I used to—a lot. It seemed that there were always so many tasks and errands to do (particularly after Katrina) that I was lucky to find an hour or two a week free to read.
Then last December, someone on one of the email lists I belong to mentioned that she keeps a reading list for the year. It sounded like a fun idea, so I started in January.
I was surprised to discover that I was reading much more than I thought. Those dribbles and drabs of time I eked out of my schedule added up to a decent number of books—ten in January (keeping a list prompted me to finish several books that I was partway through), seven in February, seven in March, and two in April (with two others underway).
Here are my favorites from my 2007 list so far.
•Rogue’s Salute by Jennifer Blake (about a swordsman in New Orleans in the early 1800s)
•Deliver Me by Farrah Rochon (takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans)
•Crusader’s Lady by Lynna Banning (takes place in the Holy Lands during the Middle Ages)
•Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney (an excellent, free-flowing translation)
•The Knight by Gene Wolfe (as per his usual, complex and sometimes confusing, but hard to put down)
•Eifelheim by Michael Flynn (a Medieval village copes with the aliens whose spaceship crashes among them)
•Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler (a vampire genetically engineered to withstand sunlight tries to find out who killed her family)
•Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Paul Kahumbu (a fascinating children’s book about a baby hippo and a giant tortoise that become best friends; it made me rethink my opinion of reptile brain plasticity)
•Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry (dense but well written; strongly recommended for every American to read, particularly those who live in the states drained by the Mississippi)
Now that I keep a list, I feel far less frustrated about my reading time.
But I still wish I had more!