I love books! I love to read and make/mend them. I've spent more time than is probably healthy in libraries. I love when books make me think and I read diversely. I read while waiting for appointments, on public transit, and in bed instead of doing laundry.
I also read and reply to emails: mongoosenamedt [at] yahoo
This blog is one of my multiple blog projects and it follows the quote for a title theme that has inadvertently popped up. I take photos at All Human Communication is Miscommunication ( Ludwig Wittgenstein) and make books at Unworn World (Patrick Kavanaugh).
I don't intend this to be a
deep literary blog in which I name drop literary theory (though I can-read on) but rather one
of a layman's opinion who reads critically but also for sheer enjoyment
only. I am at heart an amateur-here it is because I have no
academic literary background- and I make no attempt to hide my
subjectivity. I do what I do because I enjoy it-no more, no less-and
would like to talk about it. I do not follow Wilde's assertion that to
read books he reviews would be to prejudice himself-every book on this
blog has been read and those books I've skimmed or abandoned midway occupy a different position in my life.
Indeed this blog functions more like Montaigne's notes at the end of
the books to remind him of what he's read. Since most of what I read is
from the library, I can't go about writing in the books themselves so
instead, in order to battle my poor memory, my opinions and feelings end
up on this blog.
I can read most Romance languages and (pitifully) German and Modern Greek but my dominant language is English. I'll always try to rely on professional translations to figure out what the English translation of titles (if they exist) and such are and those translations are what you'll read about. Hopefully I'll remember to note which I've read in non-English editions.
I used to live in the UK but my spellings are American. My background is Cuban and Galician. I've also lived and worked in various places along the Mediterranean. These two seas, Atlantic and Mediterranean, have long influenced my reading choices.
Am I an English major or anything like that? No, I'm a doctoral candidate in prehistoric archaeology and somewhat
ironically tend to find writing cultures rather uninteresting to study. I lack any enjoyment of latin, ancient greek, sumerian, egyptian or babylonian, etc-usually my eyes glaze over if it's more modern than 3000BCE (pretty much until the 20th century).
What kinds of genres do I read? I tend towards non-linear, transgressional literature with a definite love of dystopias. I tend towards philosophical novels and narrative non fiction. Many of my favorite books blend fact and fiction or are Young Adult. I prefer my poetry terse but romantic and have a weakness for a well turned phrase.
Who're my favorite authors? In no particular order: Milan Kundera, Virginia Woolf, W.G. Sebald, Oscar Wilde, Louise Erdrich, Franz Kafka, Susan Sontag, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Vladimir Nabokov, Manuel Rivas, Garth Nix, Chuck Palahnuik, China Miéville, Sarah Vowell, Jose Saramago, Diane Ackerman, Pablo Neruda among others
What are your favorite time periods? I prefer contemporary 20-21st century fiction. As a child I was not allowed to read anything newer than the 1860s so this preference may well be reactionary but I prefer the language of modern books.
How many books do you read a year? In 2006, I read 116 books with an average length of 266pgs. In 2007, I read 107 books with an average length of 224pgs. In 2008, 105 with 274pgs. In 2009, 83 books with 279pgs. In 2010, 91 books with 267pgs and in 2011, 82 books with 323 pgs. Here's 2012 in detail. In 2013, there were 110 books. In 2014, I read 146 books. In 2015, I read 127 books. These counts tend to not account for the archaeological books I read for courses and dissertations.
What are your book reading goals? In fiction, to read mostly female authors and/or authors of ethnic/cultural minority status. In non-fiction, to finish more books! I abandon many books for lack of interest so I really ought to be better at seeking out non fiction I want to finish.
Where do I find the time? I'm unemployed on the weekends. But also I genuinely read very very quickly.
I have a review policy for review copies if that's why you're reading this. But realize that 99% of my reading comes from the library or open source ebooks (the 1% are books I've picked up for less than a quid). More recently, I have begun using netgalley for ARCs. As an archaeologist I move often and refuse to burden myself with books. I have boxed up libraries in two countries already, I do not need any more.