Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reading Widely Next Year

I usually break my New years resolutions within two weeks, but this year I stuck with it. I wanted to listen to or read one classic every month.

The ones I finished:
Jan 2010: Moby Dick (***) t by Herman Melville,
Feb 2010: Great Expectations (*****) t by Charles Dickens
March 2010: War and Peace (*****) t by Leo Tolstoy
April 2010: Bleak House (*****) t by Charles Dickens,
May 2010:Alice in Wonderland (****) t by Lewis Caroll,
June 2010:Heart of Darkness (***) t by Joseph Conrad,
July 2010: The Idiot (***) t by Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
Aug 2010: Hamlet (****) p by William Shakespeare
Sept 2010: Around The World in Eighty Days (***) p by Jules Vern
Oct 2010: Lord of the Flies (***) p by William Golding,
Nov 2010: Kim (****) p by Rudyard Kipling
Dec 2010: One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Still in progress)

Finishing this many books has given me a lot to think about.
Here are some of my thoughts.
1. Why aren't there amazing books like these written anymore. If you have a book that you think is equal to War and Peace and Bleak House, please let me know.
2. These books were not only written for pleasure of the reader, but they usually had an alternative motive:
War and Peace is full of Tolstoy's ideaology on how nations are guided by God and no one really knows how to direct a nation. Bleak House is an exposo on how currupt and useless the courts were in England in 1852. In Moby Dick, Melville wants to explain every aspect of whaling.
3. I want to read more classics, but this schedule burned me out.
4. You can't just read the classics, you need to read current books also to keep up on whats going on.
5. Often I've wondered if absorbing classics and a wide variety of books would have any impact on my creativity. I am glad to report that if it worked for me, it can work for you: Reading this many books inspired me to
 A. Write a book for 15 to 25 years olds to get with the program and stop wasting their lives
 B. Make a short movie
 C. Give lots of speeches which you can see on youtube.com/bettworld
 D. Start this blog and my other blog: www.youcanbeasoftwarearchitect.com
6. It makes me stop and listen to people because now I realize from how many different places people might be coming.
7. I feel so lucky to have access to so many great books which many people in history couldn't access

All this to inspire you, if you don't already, to read some classics next year as part of your new years resolutions. Ask me for a recommendation. I am a maven when it comes to books. I know about them and I love sharing and recommending the perfect book for whatever you need to know. Also if you want to recommend your favorite book to me, I'd be delighted!

1 comment:

  1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. One of the best books out of the 400 plus I've read over 6 years. Its a classic and you won't be able to put it down!

    I also agree 100% that the "classics" need to consumed slowly and in moderation. I read 1 out of ever 10-20 regular books. 10 for the year is really good. Starting the year with War and Peace was my great accomplishment for 2010!