Friday, January 8, 2010

On Reading and Reading Groups
(This is not a blog post)

I've been reading some really great books lately but unfortunately the holidays have quickly given way to fiscal year end and one of the most hellishly busy weeks of my job. Reviews are coming soon for Norwegian Wood, Homer & Langley, and The Cardboard Universe: A Guide to the World of Phoebus K. Dank. I hope to use the weekend to get caught up.

Meanwhile, I am building on my Cannonball Read momentum and seeking out more book reviews, discussions, and book-related blogs in my spare time. It has lead to a lot of introspection as I seek to understand what reading means for me, and what kind of reader I am, and what kind of books I want to read next, and why, and what I hope to get out of them, and how to better appreciate what I read, and understand it, and what to do with the excitable urge to share everything that inspires me with other people who will appreciate it too...

Of course this blog and the Pajiba/ Cannonball Read community are a great outlet for this. I'm really glad I made the commitment to participate even when I feel too overwhelmed to contemplate 40+ more books in the coming 10 months. (Really, the hardest part is maintaining the discipline to finish each book I start and not starting too many different books at a time; two are three at most). And as I try to apply order to my chaotic whims I see some opportunities coming up that I want to build into my Cannonball goals.

First, it sounds like there is going to be a large-ish online reading group tackling Roberto Bolaño's 2666 this year. Originally this was a project announced by the guys who did Infinite Summer last year (a large online reading of Infinite Jest that coordinated in-depth analysis of that complex novel while providing summaries of sections to help guide readers of all different experience levels). Now it looks like some of the centralized organization of that effort is falling through but there is still enough interest that people are going to band together and try to pull this off. The web site with detials is here: 2666 Group Read.

From Wikipedia:
2666 (2004) is the last novel written by Chilean-born novelist Roberto Bolaño. Depicting the unsolved and ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juárez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the Eastern Front in World War II, and the breakdown of relationships and careers. The apocalyptic 2666 explores 20th century degeneration through a wide array of characters, locations, time periods, and stories within stories.
I'm going to attempt to read this along with the group. If anyone else is interested enough to give it a try I welcome you. The book consists of 5 parts so I will probably post 5 seperate "reviews" as I work through it. They space out the reading pretty well (about 50 pages a week, 15 weeks total) so I will continue to read other novels and review them here.

The other big news is that it looks like there is enough support to get a loose Pajiba/ Cannonball Read reading group organized. I haven't had much of a chance to follow up on it this week due to work obligations but announcements should be comming soon. It won't be a big ordeal since most of the structure- blog networl, Facebook Group, Web Site- alredy exists. It is just an attmept to propose a "book of the month"so that various Pajibans can read the same thing at the same time and maybe have some good discussion and sharing come from it. I think Lolita will be the first book. Any official announcements will come from

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