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Introductions and Re-Introductions

Club Read 2010

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1avaland
Edited: Dec 27, 2009, 7:58am Top

Please introduce yourself or reintroduce yourself to the Club Read community!

Edited to add: You may want to add a link* to your personal thread on Club Read 2010, so we can find you should your introduction prove intriguing...

*if you don't know how to do this, we can show you...

2Mr.Durick
Dec 16, 2009, 5:24pm Top

I've been around, but now here I am.

Robert

3avaland
Edited: Dec 25, 2009, 8:54pm Top

I suspect most know who I am, at least nominally; but, for any newcomers, here's my profile page blurb:

Middle-aged, married mother of three grown children. Former bookseller & journalist, published poet (nothing recent). Founder of Belletrista.com: an online, nonprofit web zine which celebrates women authors from around the world. See LT user "Belletrista."

Creator of the following live* LT Groups:

Reading Globally
Club Read 2009
Club Read 2010
Atwoodians
I Lock My Door Upon Myself: Fans of Joyce Carol Oates
All Things New England
3 private groups

*not meant to suggest activity level, but meaning "not defunct/deleted."


My 2010 CLUB READ thread is HERE

4Nickelini
Dec 17, 2009, 1:19pm Top

Hi, I'm back this year too. I'm a 46-yr old married mother of two daughters (9 and almost-13). I have two courses left toward earning my BA (major: English lit, extended minor: Humanities). I will graduate in June 2010. I'm also a part-time corporate writer, and when I grow up I want to be a librarian. I live in Vancouver--host city of the winter Olympics.

In 2009 I concentrated on reading British and Canadian literature, which I will probably continue to do in 2010.

5EnriqueFreeque
Edited: Dec 17, 2009, 8:15pm Top

Hi, I'm Brent. This is my first year joining at the beginning. I joined in late '09 and got sidetracked and didn't post as much as I would've liked, but I read a lot of your posts. I haven't even heard of probably 95% of the titles I've seen posted here, which is the biggest reason I'm here, to learn about all the books I'll probably never have the time to read, but at least I can I say I've heard of them now, and speak intelligibly (if briefly) about them, based on your observations.

I search out arcane, underappreciated titles for fun. And attempt, usually w/out much success, to turn other people on to them. I lean naturally toward the macabre and experimental/postmodern stuff, but I'll read mainstream classics and contemporary lit, dipping into genre occasionally, just as readily. Novels of disjointed ideas that ramble and digress all over the place - maximalist in style and language and intensity - and that lack orthodox structure, appeal to me as much as conventionally structured novels, if not more so. But sometimes a simply crafted novel (and by no means do I mean to suggest that such a novel is "simple" or easy to craft) are just what the doctor ordered.

Look forward to reading more of your discoveries...

6Medellia
Dec 17, 2009, 8:41pm Top

Brent/EnriqueFreeque is also too humble to add that he founded the fabulous Le Salon Litteraire.

Hi again, everybody. I'm Medellia. 27 (I'm a cube!), composer, refugee from Texas (first Minneapolis, now Manhattan), grad student (working on my PhD in composition), married to my high school sweetheart, a former lit major who was kind enough this year to read some books aloud with me.

I finished reading Proust this year and read most of E.M. Forster's works. I will be carrying both of those things into the new year with me. I also fell in love with George Eliot (Middlemarch) and Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) this year, so I expect to read some secondary texts & other works next year as well. And I'll be finishing War and Peace and reading Montaigne. And Shakespeare. And Dostoevsky. And other stuff. I like literary fiction (global, both classic and contemporary, love magic realist works), some speculative fiction, fairy tales & folklore, the occasional literary mystery, and just about anything that's well-written and imaginative.

7LisaCurcio
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 3:58pm Top

My name is Lisa (really, for those who remember that obnoxious pop song). I read cereal boxes, the signs on the "L", and just about anything else. Well, I am not crazy about sci-fi or romance, but if backed into a corner with nothing else to read, it would do. I am old enough to belong to AARP. My work is in the law, and I like it. My husband is good enough to build bookshelves for me, and occasionally says "I might like to read that", but he never does. We have two dogs who don't mind if I read so long as they get to curl up in a position next to me that makes it impossible for me to move. We all live in Chicago. I mean we actually live in the city. We love it.

Last year I did not do such a good job of posting, but I lurked on a lot of people's threads and continued to expand my reading horizons as a result. This year, I hope to keep a journal of my reading and to contribute to your "TBR" piles in retribution.

Link to my thread: Lisa's thread

8theaelizabet
Dec 17, 2009, 10:20pm Top

I'm also a refugee from Texas. I married my college sweetheart and moved to Los Angeles. We played around in theater awhile, then got job offers in other fields and moved to New York about 20 years ago. Now we're in New Jersey with a lovely almost-14 year old daughter (who's a budding bibliophile), a dog and two cats. I used to write and edit for publications that no one will have heard of. Now, I am running a youth program (part-time) and enjoying the last few years of having my daughter at home. My husband reads quite a bit, but as my daughter points out, "is not one of us." He is, however, my best friend. I'm also old enough to join AARP and am delighted to find out how good that feels.

These days, I find myself wanting to read all of those classics that I seem to have missed through the years. I already "know" many of you and I look forward to reading about your reading.

9bragan
Dec 18, 2009, 2:20am Top

Hello, all! I might as well re-introduce myself... I'm Betty, age 38, and I'm a radio telescope operator for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is really much less interesting than it sounds.

I read joyfully and compulsively, and my tastes are pretty much the definition of eclectic, featuring everything from trashy TV tie-in novels to great works of literature. (Although, all right, I'll admit that there are a few more of the former than the latter. Hey, they're a lot faster to read! And are at about the level my brain wants to handle sometimes when I'm working night shifts and starting to get muzzy from sleep deprivation.) Being the radio-telescope-operating geek that I am, I love science fiction and fantasy, but I find that the older I get, the broader my tastes become, and in recent years I've found myself reading a lot more mainstream literature than I used to. I also read a lot of non-fiction, on pretty much any subject that seems like it might be even vaguely interesting. These days, my reading is almost exactly evenly split between fiction and non-fiction.

I'm currently making a real effort to eat into the massive TBR Pile, but at the rate I'm going, it's going to take many years to get it down to anything remotely resembling a reasonable size. Eep.

I will admit to being one of those folks who's occasionally a little intimidated by the level of literary discourse to be found at Club Read, so you might not see me joining in too many high-level discussions. But I'm always interested to see what you people are reading, and this group (or its 2009 counterpart) has been responsible for a fair few of those TBR Pile books. And I'm always happy to hear what other people might have to say about what I've been reading.

And I'll shut up now, honest!

10rachbxl
Dec 18, 2009, 5:48am Top

And I'll re-introduce myself too:

I'm Rachel, a 30-something refugee not from Texas but from the UK - I came to Belgium for work, and it's where I'm likely to stay (I'm a linguist).

The 2 years I've been active on LT have been wonderful reading years, and I'm looking forward to another. Through the Reading Globally group I'm reading my way around the world (slowly, very slowly - am definitely travelling by steamship rather than plane), which has expanded my reading horizons beyond belief.

As for the TBR pile, it's out of all control thanks to all your recommendations, and I'm seriously considering charbutton's "book raffle" idea to tame it a little...!

11charbutton
Dec 18, 2009, 6:18am Top

Definitely do the raffle!

Hi all, I'm Char. I'm also a 30-something living in London.

2009 was a great reading year and a lot of that was down to the Club Read thread. It made me think more about what I was reading and introduced me to some fantastic writers that I might never have found. I'm looking forward to more of the same in 2010.

I'm hoping to plough through my TBR list this year without adding too many new books to the pile. That's the theory anyway.

I don't have too many plans for 2010's reading. I want to spend some time investigating literature from the Caribbean. I have the idea of a PhD nagging away in my head so that may divert me later.

In the meantime, I shall continue with the Charbutton Book Raffle (patent pending). I have a bag full of numbers written on folded up bits of paper that correspond to books on my TBR list. I read whatever is chosen from the bag, although I do divert on occasion.

12rebeccanyc
Edited: Dec 23, 2009, 9:16am Top

I am Rebecca and, surprise, I live in New York City. I'm in my mid-50s and so have been an avid reader for half a century (a little scary!). I joined this group last year because I welcomed the opportunity to have interesting conversations about books with like-minded readers without obsessing about numbers, and I was not disappointed. I look forward to an equally fun, stimulating, and bad-for-my-TBR/wallet year!

When I have a little more time, I will post any thoughts I have about my reading for 2010 on my thread, but I'm a pretty opportunistic reader and don't really plan ahead. I try to read a little contemporary fiction, catch up on classics and older works I've missed, broaden the geographical reach of the fiction I read, and pursue various topics I'm interested in with nonfiction.

And, like many (all?) of you, my TBR is frightening. I just can't walk past a bookstore without going in!

My personal thread is here (idea for putting a link here stolen from another group).

13Talbin
Dec 18, 2009, 11:31am Top

Hello everyone!

I'm Tracy. I'm a 40-something living in a suburb of Minneapolis and am currently unemployed (but working on changing that). 2009 was a horrendous year for me, and for about six months my reading reflected the chaos in my life. I mostly read thrillers and mysteries, not having the wherewithal to read anything more substantial. However, in the past three months or so, things have been getting better and I've started reading more challenging novels again. Right now I'm working my way through Les Miserables for the group read in Le Salon, which I hope to finish before the end of the year - I just wish the holidays didn't keep cutting into my reading time!

I'm really looking forward to 2010, not only because I hope it will be a much better year in general, but also because I hope to return to reading more good books. I enjoy literary fiction, historical fiction, the classics, mysteries and thrillers, and the occasional well-written non-fiction book. I've been trying to work my way through my TBR pile rather than buying new books, but like most LTer's I tend to add to the pile more quickly than I should. ;-)

14polutropon
Edited: Dec 18, 2009, 12:12pm Top

I'm Ryan, a 26-year old lawyer in northern Louisiana, USA. I graduated law school in 2008, and the intensity/dullness of those readings soured me on recreational reading until about the middle of 2009. But now I'm feeling like my old self again.

In fiction, my taste runs toward classics and literary fiction. Accordingly, my TBR shelf for 2010 (which is to say, my nightstand) is already stocked with Nabokov, Emily Bronte, Michael Chabon, Umberto Eco, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Penn Warren. Though I don't already have them on hand, I'm also intending to delve further into the back-catalogs of Cormac McCarthy and Jorge Luis Borges this year, and to expand my horizons into sci-fi with Stanislaw Lem and perhaps China Mieville.

In non-fiction, my biggest interest (at present) is in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. In 2009, I read a lot of Daniel Dennett, Douglas Hofstadter, and Steven Pinker, and I'll probably read more of the same this year. I'm also trying to supplement my knowledge of U.S. history (having realized last year that I knew more about the Peloponnesian War than I did about the U.S. Civil War), and to that end, I anticipate finishing Shelby Foote's gargantuan history of the Civil War, and the first couple of volumes of the Oxford History of the United States in 2010. I'm also planning to read a biography (or two) of Huey Long.

It's good to meet you all. Happy reading.

15janeajones
Dec 18, 2009, 12:43pm Top

By way of reintroduction -- I'm (surprise!) Jane Jones. I live in Florida by way of western NYS, Baltimore, Cleveland and NYC. The community college, where I've taught English and humanities for over 25 years, has recently become a state college, by adding a few 4 year BS degrees, most notably in nursing. Besides reading, I love the theatre (I better -- my husband is an actor), travel, eating out, museums and my family (not necessarily in that order). Given my teaching schedule, I lurk more than I post -- except when I'm on vacation.

16solla
Edited: Dec 18, 2009, 2:52pm Top

Hello, I'm Solla from Portland, Oregon, USA. I work as a computer program, and, in spare time of which I have little, am writing a novel, occasionally draw on the computer, and write educational software maintaining a website geared to kids. I have one daughter, Erin, who teaches Middle School, eighth graders. I have degrees in computer science, art and psychology. Computer science was the last and the only one that really enabled me to earn a decent living. But now I am 58 years old and longing for retirement to spend all my time doing the things most important to me - the spare time things, only painting on a canvas rather than a computer. But that is 7 or 8 years away unless I encounter some kind of windfall.

I read fiction and non fiction, but mainly fiction. I don't have a plan or goal about what to read. Some favorite writers are Marilyn Robinson, Edward P. Jones, Pers Petterson, Doris Lessing, Faulkner, Doestoevsky, Carson McCullers, Flanner O'Connor, Victor Hugo, Dorothy Bryant, Cormac McCarthy, etc. I tend to read a fair number of "children's books", including The Animal Family, Moomintroll books, books by E.Nesbit (Five Children and It, and others), books by Maria Gripe (Pappa Pellegrin's Daughter, and others)

Poets: Linda Gregg, Jack Gilbert, Lorca, Rilke

Favorite artists: Kathe Kollwitz, Paul Modersohn-Becker,

Current favorite music: Kris Delmhorst, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky, Dar Williams, Mary Gauthier, Patty Griffin, Tracy Grammar, Dave Carter, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlile,Tracy Chapman, Aimee Mann, EmmyLou Harris, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joan Baez, Griffin House, Indigo Girls, Karla Bonhoff, Joan Armatrading, Linda Ronstadt, John Gorky, Richard Shindell

Being on library thing has caused me to record a lot more about what I read. There are 60 reviews on my profile since March, though some of the first were rather short.

I like this thread, being able to write and read about books in some depth. I said when I joined the 2009 thread that I wanted to write about how books affected my life as well as about them, and I did that some, but not as much as I would like, so that is a goal for this year as well. Other than that, I like being undirected, meandering from topic to topic.

17avaland
Dec 18, 2009, 7:04pm Top

>7 LisaCurcio:, 8 I am a member of AARP! (that only means we're over 50... :-)

18rebeccanyc
Dec 18, 2009, 8:11pm Top

#17, Isn't it uncanny/scary how they start mailing you stuff as soon as you turn 50?

19theaelizabet
Dec 18, 2009, 8:11pm Top

#17 #18 Indeed!

20Mr.Durick
Dec 18, 2009, 8:18pm Top

Curiously, I expected the mailings. It didn't happen. I called them. I called them again. Finally they sent something and I joined. When I was 53 or so I started to get pitches to join although I was already a member.

Robert

21kiwiflowa
Edited: Dec 18, 2009, 11:27pm Top

Hi I'm Lisa!

I'm 25 y/o and live in Auckland, New Zealand with my partner and cat. I love to read and for me the hardest task about reading is choosing what to read next! On Christmas Eve my partner and I are going to his parents house for Christmas and new year, their property is isolated and is right on the border of a national forrest and I have been working out in my head which books to take with me as reading is going to be my primary occupation! (I have checked out the maximum 30 books allowed from the public library never mind my extensive private collection and my birthday book vouchers) When I get back I'll start a thread of what I read and my thoughts.

2009 was the first time since I was 4 years old that I wasn't enrolled in formal academic study. All I had to do was work 7.5 hours Mon-Fri and the weekends and evenings were mine to do as I wished. It wasn't until the onset of winter in May/June that all of a sudden I became passionate about reading again and it hasn't stopped. Last year I read whatever I wanted and a lot of my focus was on YA fiction. For 2010 I still want to read freely with no self imposed rules but I would like to try reading out of my comfort zone... try some short stories, plays and even poetry. Try to broaden my usual reading range.

22avaland
Dec 19, 2009, 8:15am Top

>18 rebeccanyc: dukedom is 4 years older than I, so our mailings started coming real early...

It's nice to read everyone's introductions or reintroductions. I didn't write about my reading earlier, so I'll add it here: I read mostly literary fiction but will read whatever peaks my interest. Lately, I seem to be reading more short fiction than in the past. I read poetry - mostly contemporary - and some nonfiction (last nonfiction read was: The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell and Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich. I have a voracious appetite for books, but also do a fair amount of other things - each competing with the other for my attention.

23RidgewayGirl
Dec 19, 2009, 4:49pm Top

I'm Kay and I joined midway through the year last year. I'm excited to be able to be in on the conversation from the beginning this year. I've enjoyed the discussions and reviews, and while I often felt extremely challenged and sometimes overwhelmed by the erudition of some of you, I was never bored. My list of books I must read right away grew to unmanageable proportions this past year, but that's no bad thing. I look forward to more of the same.

I like noirish mystery novels, preferably set somewhere cold, anything from the Booker prize shortlist (or longlist, if I'm being honest), literary fiction (whatever that means), well done historical fiction (not modern characters dressed up in old fashioned clothes) and social history.

I can't be bothered with, but fully understand that others love 'em, anything featuring the paranormal, elves, sexy vampires who are able to articulate their feelings or anything that could be described as a "cozy". On the other hand, I have liked books with these things, like The Historian.

24jaseD
Dec 20, 2009, 10:33am Top

Hey all
An Aussie dad of two girls under 5 here. By day a teacher librarian in a primary (elementary for our North American friends) school, by night an owl who reads into the wee hours (only chance I get really when family sleeps). I am currently halfway through my masters of arts -children's literature and loving it. Just complete Young Adult Literature and read Twilight of course, Thirsty and Peeps and wrote about teenage sexuality and vampirism. I've just started 104pgs into The Hunger Games. Totally Hooked!!! My reading varies, read many Oprah's picks, an avid reader, who cut his teeth on A big ball of string and The Witches by Roald Dahl, graduating to Stephen King his early work Salem's Lot, The Shining, Misery, Needful Things, then progressed or regressed (depends on your view) to Jackie Collins. High School English was major part of studies and then went to Uni and studied to be French/Japanese Language Teacher..after 10+ yrs in the classroom (High School and Primary) retrained and in current Library position for past four years. LOVE IT!!! surrounded by books and get to share and hoepfully encourage children to read for pleasure. Book Shelf over flowing with books to be read, might try and finish Twilight series only books 3 +4 to go??? if not might re read Wicked and start the sequel Son of a Witch. Look forward to sharing with you all. BTW Anyone know of a book club I could join???

25janemarieprice
Dec 20, 2009, 11:26pm Top

I'm Jane, 27, architect/interior designer, originally from Louisiana, now live in NY with my husband. Until recently I read mainly classic literature, fantasy/sci-fi, and architecture-related things. Some projects for 2010 - continuing my Louisiana reading, cooking/food, sports, reasearch for school programs, and study for some really unfortunate professional exam. Some lifelong projects - books by/about US presidents, books from/about every country/state, and selections from various prize/book lists. Some things I want to read more of - history, biography, science, contemporary literature, and comic/graphic novels. Outside of reading I watch a lot of sports, cook, and go to art shows.

26moneybeets
Dec 22, 2009, 11:40am Top

Good morning! I'm Kelly, a 23-year-old recent college grad (just two days ago, to be exact.) I currently live in Indiana, but should be moving later this year to attend grad school--if any school accepts me! (knock on wood) I love LT because hardly any of my family, friends, etc. read, so I have no one to discuss books with IRL. I'm a bit intimidated by how well some of you articulate your thoughts and opinions about literature, but I suppose my discussion contributions are just as useful as the next person's, even if inelegantly phrased.
Last year I did the 999 Challenge rather than Club Read, and while it was fun, towards the end of the year I felt pressured to read books I "should" instead of what I was in the mood for. Also, I just couldn't complete the 81 (or 72) books it required, so Club Read sounds like a better fit for me. My reading goals for the year are to absorb bunches of German and Polish history, and to read more prizewinners (Booker, Nobel, Pulitzer, and so forth). Also, I'll still like to try and follow along with Reading Globally's monthly group reads.

27avaland
Dec 23, 2009, 1:03pm Top

Congratulations on your graduation, moneybeets!

28stretch
Edited: Jan 7, 2010, 2:47pm Top

Hi y'all, I'm Kevin a 23 year old geologist currently living in Indianapolis, Indiana. Currently I'm preparing to go back to grad school, I apparently like being broke. I'm a migrant from one of those challenge groups. I found myself trying to get a number and avoiding longer books. I really just want a easy going no pressure place to talk about what I read and maybe pick up a few suggestions here and there.

I typically read a lot of humorous and satire heavily fiction. Been trying to catch up on all those classics I have neglected for so long. I also read quite a bit of Non-Fiction mostly science related and early American History. I have a tendency to read at least one fiction book and a Non-Fiction book at the same time. I really don't have any reading goals this year, except make a good dent on TBR pile and eventually start reading my Foote trilogy again. I also want to get more into contemporary literature or at least add a little class to the library. So to do this I've added a bunch of National, Booker and Pulitzer prize winners to my wishlist, not the most original way to go about the goal but I figure it's a decent start.

Stretch's thread

29moneybeets
Dec 24, 2009, 12:36am Top

Kevin, where are you going to grad school?

30stretch
Dec 24, 2009, 7:15am Top

I've got a couple choices, but I'm leaning towards the Colorado School of Mines or New Mexico Tech.

31avaland
Dec 24, 2009, 7:39am Top

>28 stretch: what's your specialty interest?

32stretch
Dec 24, 2009, 7:56am Top

I'm something of a Hydrogeologist/Hydrologist. So I deal with mostly water resources/management and aquifer restoration (that's a fancy word for clean up).

33thelotustree
Dec 24, 2009, 9:16am Top

Hello, Marya from Montreal. I'm new to this year's club read but am really looking forward to participating.

A little about me: I'm 32, originally a west coast BC girl but relocated to Montreal 9 years ago (so I complain about the cold a lot!) to finish my MA in English Literature on sonnets from India, married, no kids just a cute Siamese black cat (she talks a lot), who works as a college level English as a second language teacher and learning specialist for students with learning disabilities.

My library consists mainly of books written by postcolonial writers or the classics in the British canon and I'm looking to branch out. I'm horribly unaware of contemporary writers if they're not from India... it's shameful really! Any recommendations of contemporary literary must reads are highly appreciated!

Looking forward to reading with you in 2010.

34AquariusNat
Dec 24, 2009, 11:22am Top

Hiya , I'm Natalie ! I'm turning 39 and live in Michigan . I'm single and work in customer service . I enjoy classics and current fics . Been on a nonfic history kick in the last few years . Also if anyone has some good rec's for poetry books , single or multi authors , please send'em my way ! Looking forward to being here !

35bragan
Dec 24, 2009, 6:36pm Top

30: Hey, I'm a New Mexico Tech alumnus! I still work on the Tech campus, too. Excellent (possible) school choice there! Have you been down here before?

36timjones
Edited: Dec 25, 2009, 5:13am Top

I'm Tim Jones. I'm a 50-year-old writer and reader who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. (I won't often comment on the writing side of what I do here, but if you're interested, check out http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com)

Thanks to avaland, I joined Club Read 2009 near the start and set off with a hiss and a roar, trying to review everything I read - an effort that soon foundered on the rocks of diminishing time and increasing commitments. In 2010, I promise to do no more than list the books I read, with the occasional review.

You can check out what I've been reading in 2009 here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/66359

I have wide-ranging tastes. I have read less speculative fiction (mainly sf, plus some fantasy) than usual in 2009, even though some of what I write is sf, and less fiction in translation. But I have read lots of poetry, New Zealand poetry in particular - and I co-edited a poetry anthology this year.

So I'll be here or hereabouts, quietly adding books, and occasionally popping up with comments. See you round!

37avaland
Dec 25, 2009, 7:20am Top

>33 thelotustree: Did you catch the India theme over in the Reading Globally group? http://www.librarything.com/topic/75816
The discussion began in November but is still ongoing apparently.

38thelotustree
Dec 25, 2009, 8:07am Top

@37: I missed it but am perusing through it now. Thanks for the link.

39fuzzy_patters
Dec 25, 2009, 11:42pm Top

I'm Pat, a 31 year old social studies teacher in northwest Indiana. I joined club read 2009 but didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped. Sometimes real life gets in the way of leisure, particularly when you're a first year teacher with three kids. I'm in my second year of teaching now so I shouldn't have to do quite as much lesson planning as I did last year. Hopefully, that means that I will have more time to read.

I generally read more fiction than nonfiction although I certainly don't read fiction exclusively. Likewise, my reading tastes tend to be more literary, but that isn't exclusive either. Some of my favorite authors include Fyodor Dostoevsky, CormacMcCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut, and northwest Indiana's own Jean Sheppard. I'm also a huge Chicago White Sox and University of Notre Dame fan, so I will occasionally include some reading about my sporting interests as well.

40wandering_star
Dec 26, 2009, 3:43am Top

I'm Margaret, another thirty-something Brit.

I find it quite hard to describe my reading tastes. There isn't really any genre that I would say I don't like. OK, that's not quite true: I don't like horror, or the gruesome end of thrillers, but I do like mystery stories in general, and I'm perfectly happy with well-written chicklit and other trashy stuff. Actually I can't imagine wanting to read anything from the 'tragic life stories' genre - that might go back to the dislike for gruesomeness. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some books that I love because of their painstaking imagining of emotions, even though nothing much happens; some books I hate for the same reason.

Hmm, not too helpful as an introduction so far.

I love books - the physical items as well as the pleasure of reading. I like books which are ambitious (even if they fail). I like books about books and reading, and books about very cold places (even though personally I'd much rather be somewhere hot). I like books which take me somewhere (or some time) else - of all my five-starred books, only London Bridges could be said to be about people like me - although I love that book dearly because it's so exactly a picture of my London.

41auntmarge64
Dec 26, 2009, 10:45am Top

I'm a retired librarian, definitely a member of AARP, and I have a huge amount of time to read. I live in NJ (USA) in a log cabin, and we are into our snowy season (more time to read). I write reviews of most books I read, especially lesser-known ones and those about which I feel especially strong; I rarely finish a book I dislike and so my library on LT has few items with less than 3 stars. Currently I belong to the 1010, US Presidents, and Pulitzer Fiction challenges. Many of the books I read are on my Kindle, one of my most treasured belongings.

My reading interests include science, history, Antarctica, general fiction and classics, suspense, and some science fiction, especially apocalyptic. I'm currently working my way through all of the novels and story collections of John Wyndham (he wrote Day of the Triffids).

42urania1
Edited: Dec 26, 2009, 12:32pm Top

Hmmmm ... I thought I re-introduced myself somewhere; however, most likely I simply lost myself in the LT stacks.

I am Mary, a recovering academic. On LT, I live in a dacha. In "nonvirtual reality," I live in a Carl Larsson-like home. I keep bees, raise goats, and terrorize the neighbors. I own two Welsh terrorists and a husband.

For those of you who know urania from ClubRead 2009 . . . well her life is disheveled at best. She has been involved in a torrid affair with the wicked but seductive Baron von Kindle (hands off aunt marge64) for almost a year. She is a member of the extended Mucus clan, which includes her Great Martha. Great Aunt Martha spent the better part of 2009 visiting the Finer Spas of Europe in search of her wandering womb. Unfortunately, she has recovered it, which leaves her more time to be a trial to her ever-expanding family. We all try to ignore her.

I am somewhat troubled by the presence of auntmarge (64 no less) on this forum. I fear she may be in cahoots with Great Aunt Marcus Mucus. And the 64???? Does that mean, there are 63 other auntmarge's on LT!!!!! Oh dear. Oh dear. As the late P.G. Wodehouse said "Aunts aren't gentlemen" ;-)

43urania1
Dec 26, 2009, 12:38pm Top

P.S. I wondered where that hat went. I just visited auntmarge's house. She has the hat. First Baron von K., and now the hat. Tsk, tsk auntmarge. I feel an Anglo-Saxon attitude coming on. As for urania, when I conveyed the latest news to her, she collapsed in tears on her Soviet-issue fainting couch. ;-) ;-) ;-)

44auntmarge64
Dec 26, 2009, 7:37pm Top

>43 urania1: I hope there aren't 63 other auntmarges on LT!

45urania1
Dec 26, 2009, 8:15pm Top

>44 auntmarge64:,

Yes . . . but about that hat . . . I keep a collection and can identify the provenance of every hat . . .

And Baron von Kindle. What are we to say to urania????

46kidzdoc
Edited: Dec 26, 2009, 8:38pm Top

I'm Darryl (48 going on 49), and I work as a pediatric hospitalist (inpatient pediatrician) for a large children's hospital in Atlanta. I am originally from the Northeast (NJ and PA), and lived in the NYC area, Philadelphia, New Orleans (failed undergraduate experience), and Pittsburgh (medical school) prior to moving to Atlanta in 1997.

My home page indicates that I've been a member of LT since June 2006, but I only began to actively participate in threads at the end of last year. I'm also active in the 75 Books, Prizes, Reading Globally, and the Author Theme Reads groups, and I'll also participate in next year's Le Salon du Faulkner group.

I'm one of several LTers that submit articles for Belletrista (see message #3).

My main interests are world literature, fiction and nonfictional works about medicine and science, African-American and Asian-American literature, books nominated for UK prizes, especially the Booker and Orange prizes, and literature about displaced people or immigrants to the US and Europe. My favorite writers include Jose Saramago, Mario Vargas Llosa, James Baldwin, Haruki Murakami, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Caryl Phillips, Maxine Hong Kingston and Edwidge Danticat.

I'm also a huge jazz fan, especially of recordings from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s. I'll occasionally post reviews of jazz albums on my thread, and I have several books about jazz that I'm planning to read next year. My favorite artists include Jackie McLean, Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner, amongst many others.

47stretch
Dec 27, 2009, 9:29am Top

>30 stretch:: Yeah I've been down that way to visiting family. I love the town and the surrounding environment. New Mexico is such a beautiful place.

48bragan
Dec 27, 2009, 10:26am Top

It took me a while to get used to it, coming from the East Coast, but NM is, indeed, a beautiful place. Although, personally, I find the main attraction of Socorro is its lack of traffic.

49SandDune
Dec 27, 2009, 4:14pm Top

I'm Rhian, a 48 year accountant living in the UK (halfway between London and Cambridge), with my husband, son (age 9) and cat. I work part-time for a charity. I'm interested in environmental issues, travelling and food (chocolate in particular).

I usually read literary fiction with some classics thrown in, and I'm starting to read more science-fiction. I'll be doing an Open University course this year on 'Approaching Literature' and this will provide a certain amount of my 2010 reading. I've never done any formal studying of literature since leaving school and so I'm really looking forward to this. I also belong to a book group that meets monthly and this will also contributes a fair few books.

I joined the group earlier in the year but as I wasn't reading as much as usual (combination of new job and a few other factors) I didn't start my own thread - I'll be starting one for 2010. However, with reading everyone else's threads my LT wishlist has grown hugely.

50detailmuse
Dec 29, 2009, 8:27am Top

Hi, I’m MJ (Mary Jo) near Chicago; married no kids; a hospital pharmacist, technology project manager, and writer. I read mostly mainstream and literary fiction, memoir and science-related nonfiction. I’m especially drawn to coming-of-age stories, debut novels, stories set in workplaces, and books with original premises or styles. Having focused on science rather than arts from high school on, I’m beginning to fill in some of the history and literature I’ve missed.

I’d never read more than 48 books in a year until last year’s 888 Challenge and this year’s 999. I loved organizing my reading according to the challenges’ categories, and completing them required me to vastly improve my reading habits. But that's too many books for me, and much other delicious reading (magazines, websites) fell aside. I’m looking forward to the atmosphere here -- more contemplative reading for me, more ability to interact about everyone else’s reading. I’ve started a thread and look forward to beginning.

51jbleil
Dec 30, 2009, 7:21pm Top

Hello, there, I'm Jeanne. I joined Club Read in April, looking for a good site to log my reading without worrying about numbers. Love the conversations and What are you reading now. Here's what my profile says:

I am a lifelong reader who worked for more than 20 years in library administration (however, not as a librarian), which afforded me the opportunity to get my hands on books every single day. Since leaving library employment, I've discovered the joys of book ownership, although I'm determined not to let books overtake my house. They must earn a place on my bookshelves by being something I will read again, a classic book, or something I know I will pass on to friends or family. All else is eventually donated to the public library for its annual book sale.

I am currently 11+ years into a career as executive director of a very small (3 person) public access television station where we teach people how to produce television, give them the tools, then put their programs on the air. I am happy to report that I will be retiring on February 26, 2010, to spend more time with my husband, my children and grandchildren, reading, and learning more about photography.

My library is fairly evenly divided between fiction and nonfiction, with a scattering of children's books. I mostly enjoy contemporary and literary fiction, with mysteries thrown into the mix from time to time for relaxation and to clear my head after I've read something intense. I also enjoy historical fiction and nonfiction as well as biographies and memoirs. I recently rediscovered the gothic genre. I enjoy talking about books with my two daughters and daughter-in-law and have influenced, and been influenced by, their tastes. I am enjoying very much helping to introduce my three granddaughters to reading and am very much a "book" grandma, starting with cloth and board books and moving on up.

52ChocolateMuse
Jan 1, 2010, 12:55am Top

Hi, do call me Rena if you like :)

I live in Sydney, Australia. I work in a medical school at a university in a sort of semi-admin, semi-education, baby-academic capacity. I've been alive for a quarter of a century, but have spent most of it reading comfortable fluff. I still need regular doses of fluff (as in Wodehouse, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie and childhood favourites); but LT, and particularly Le Salon, has broadened my reading mind and I'm starting to branch out into more serious stuff. I'm reading Les Miserables at the moment (well, I say 'reading', but actually I'm kinda just leaving it it in a prominent place with a bookmark in it at the moment, because I have summer-holiday-brain) and intend to go onto Moby Dick and Middlemarch, and maybe one of the great Russians this year.

I hope to one day be able to sustain an adequately erudite conversation with some of the people in this group whose brains I humbly admire.

My thread is here.

53Cariola
Edited: Jan 1, 2010, 1:10pm Top

I'm Deborah, an English professor teaching in Pennsylvania, originally from Michigan. My area of expertise is Early Modern English literature, particularly drama. Reading fiction in the midst of stacks of student papers keeps me sane. I'm divorced, have a grown daughter who lives in Nashville, and reside with a chubby cat named Rafe.

In addition to reading books, I listen to audiobooks during my commute and while working out. I read mostly fiction: historical fiction, classics, and contemporary literary fiction. But you'll also find plays and poetry and a little nonfiction on my list, much of it material that I'm rereading for my classes.

My top ten books read last year:
1. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.
2. The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys.
3. The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt.
4. Music and Silence by Rose Tremain.
5. After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell.
6. The Autobiography of Henry VIII, with Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George.
7. Regeneration by Pat Barker.
8. No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym.
9. The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson.
10. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

I am eagerly awaiting a new novel by Ian McEwan. Other favorite authors are listed on my profile page. My best discovery of 2009: Barbara Pym.

Worst book read last year: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. (OK, I knew this would be dreadful, but I do have an excuse: I was co-editing a journal issue on the topic "Vampires, Invaders, and Other Bloodsuckers," and I felt that I HAD to see what all the buzz was about.)

I wish that I could say that I have a dwindling TBR shelf, but the truth is that I have growing bags, boxes, shelves, piles, closets, and drawers full of books. Swap sites and LT recommendations have been both a blessing and a curse.! I just try to keep guests away from the spare room.

54dukedom_enough
Jan 1, 2010, 9:34pm Top

I'm married to avaland, Our Founder here at Club Read. Fully AARP-compatible, I'm a scientist at a small consulting company in the Boston suburbs. I mostly read (what I consider) the better instances of speculative literature - science fiction, fantasy, magic realism. I read poetry intermittently, mostly old favorites such as Housman, St. Vincent Millay, and Larkin. I'm a jazz fan, though I don't listen to music much, lately. I don't read as many books as I'd like, partly because I read probably too many blogs. I sometimes miss reviewing a book because I'm a bit too ambitious about what I want to write about it, and don't complete the bigger review. I also read a fair number of short stories, which I don't think are fair to report as books read unless I've finished the book - so I'll try to note the stories individually, in my thread.

55timjones
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 4:22am Top

I have started my 2010 thread here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/80528

Just about to work out what my favourite books of 2009 were ... and here they are, with some comments:

http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-week-what-i-read-in-2009.html

56rainpebble
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 3:13pm Top

Hello. My name is Belva and I think that I am the eldest here at 62 years of age. I come from a family of 7 siblings (4 remaining) and we had no television growing up so all of us including mom and pop were/are avid readers. My mother is still living, 91 years young and still reading.
I am a retired banker. Talk about your perfect timing and my husband works for our county Sheriff Department. He doesn't work the road, thank goodness, he works within the jail system.
I, too, have migrated from a challenge group. I found that I wasn't consistently reading the kinds of books I really wanted to read there, although I do enjoy a variety of reads. I was too easily sidetracked into books that I considered just okay.
I enjoy the classics but would like to read more of them. I love biographies of authors and writers. I love books by and about women and books about and set in Africa. I do not read horror, science fiction nor fantasy. My favorite all time author is John Steinbeck and my favorite female author is Alice Hoffman, although Kate O'Brien and Vita Sackville-West are running a very close second/third at the moment.
I love my Viragos and want to include more reading of them in 2010. Have found many lovely authors among these books. msf59 and urania1 have lured me into many a good read. Mary is very good at encouraging one to stretch their self-imposed limitations.
This group and Le Salon challenge me with my reading and I like that a lot. I want to continue to step further and further out of my box and to continue to learn more and more.
L.T. is perhaps the best thing going on in my life besides my family. I have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren with our first great grandchild due in two weeks.
My Club Read 2010 thread is here:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/80775
My 10/10/10/ challenge is here:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/73020#1601771
It's good to be here and happy reading to all in 2010.
hugs,
belva

57Mr.Durick
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 3:52pm Top

Belva, I have been fairly open about my age, and I am older than you. You must have missed it.

Robert

58AnnieMod
Jan 2, 2010, 4:05pm Top

I am Annie, I am 28 and I am an IT Consultant from Bulgaria. Because of my work I am traveling a lot which influences my reading - I try to pack mainly mass market paperbacks and I have troubles not buying books when I am on a trip - I still refuse to get myself an e-reader and the airlines have their luggage restrictions - not that I had not mailed books from a longer trip - it's cheaper than paying extra luggage.

I would read pretty much anything with letters that I can recognize - including comics and all types of (usually literary) magazines - and I usually try to read an even or at least a close number of books in English and in Bulgarian (which failed miserably last year - I was reading mostly in English). I also try to read in Russian occasionally - don't have much chance to use the language otherwise and will hate to loose it.

I have a soft spot for cozy mysteries and science fiction and I love short stories - regardless of the genre and anything related to the Tudors.

59rainpebble
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 4:23pm Top

Well, Mr. Durick;
I am certain your brain is younger and more retentive!~!
hugs,
belva

60janeajones
Jan 2, 2010, 5:23pm Top

Belva -- you may have me beat by a few months, but I'll be 62 in August...no grandchildren yet (but I was a pretty old mom).

61arubabookwoman
Jan 2, 2010, 5:44pm Top

Club Read 2009 was my favorite group last year. Although I neglected my thread after about September, I did continue to follow everyone's reading and banter. I hope to do better this year.

I will be 60 this year, and I have 5 kids ranging in age from 19 to 32. Two of the kids are married, but no grandkids yet. (We got 2 kittens from the pound last year instead). I am a tax attorney, working to pay college tuition for the youngest two kids (and to buy books). In my real life, I am a fiber artist, and hope to pursue my art on a more full-time basis when I can retire from the law.

I like to read translated works and classics. I am doing a year-long read of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I have finished Swann's Way, and have begun Within A Budding Grove. I hope to keep up with the Reading Globally choices, and follow along with the Faulkner Salon reads. I also want to read Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, although I don't intend to try to finish that this year. I have read several of the better known novels in the series, but I am now going to read (and reread) in order. My last book of 2009 was book 1, The Fortune of the Rougons.

And of course I will try to read many of the wonderful recommendations this group comes up with, and some of my own serendiptious finds from frequent forays to my favorite books stores. Hmmm. Maybe I won't sleep this year.

2010--let's go!

62TadAD
Edited: Jan 2, 2010, 6:00pm Top

I'm Tad, 52, married with three kids and two dogs, live in New Jersey, write software for a living, used to enjoy skiing before back problems, still enjoy scuba diving, am getting tired of (and am, fortunately, almost done with) putting an old Victorian house back in shape, spend as much time in the summer as I can...not nearly enough!...in Ontario (where a lot of reading gets done), rather fond of classical music (e.g. Dvořák) and classic music (e.g. Janis Joplin). I have rather omnivorous reading tastes.

I'm also nominally in a challenge group. I say "nominally" not because I don't participate...I do...but because I pay no attention to the challenge aspect of it. I'm there because friends of a couple years are there.

My Club Read 2010 thread is here.

63tonikat
Jan 3, 2010, 7:17am Top

Yes, you guessed, I'm Tony. I'm in the UK. I'm starting to try to get back in shape, not a resolution but we'll see how long it lasts. I'm a type of therapist - really Person Centred and humanistic at heart but have to do other approaches too at the moment. Its the humanistic approach that brought me back to literature in recent years though. I rediscovered poetry, writing a bit (unintended consequence of a dissertation) as well as reading more than ever - huge gaps to fill though, even bigger than lots of other people's huge gaps, honest. Really my reading doesn't have a theme, or if it does it changes themes a lot - so it's a surprise a minute with me. I enjoyed Club Read last year and others input to my reading, some interesting conversations happened and I hope for more this year. My 2010 thread is linked to below - see my profile for links to previous years threads.

Tony's 2010 reading thread

Happy New Year.

64Cariola
Jan 3, 2010, 10:47am Top

60> Jane, me, too! (62 in August, that is.) And no grandchildren; my daughter is still single-but-looking.

65avaland
Jan 3, 2010, 10:54am Top

>For some reason I am very happy to sit back and let other people fight over the "oldest" member in the group (not that I can compete...) :-) The group has a wonderful spread of ages, though, doesn't it?

66Banoo
Jan 4, 2010, 4:06am Top

I'm a certified coonass born and raised on Bayou Lafourche deep in the swamps and marshes of Louisiana. Back in '86 I earned a degree at LSU in Landscape Architecture. My future wife and I moved to Florida for a couple of years and in '89 flew over the big ocean to Singapore where we both started working in different Landscape firms. In '94 we hopped over the causeway to her home country of Malaysia where today we operate our own Landscape Architecture company. Kuala Lumpur is now my home. It's been just over 20 years. What I thought was going to be a 2 year overseas adventure turned out to be a life.

My reading takes me places... literally. I started reading the Russians and then headed out to Moscow and St Petersburg. I fell in love with the writings of Orhan Pamuk and hightailed it to Turkey. The Japanese writers are among my favorite... Yasunari Kawabata, Matsuo Basho, Junichiro Tanizaki, Soseki Natsume, Kobo Abe... and it's up to Japan I go on average twice a year. Visiting the places I read about, seeing the world these writers lived in... that is as near to them as I can get... when their words merge with their landscape. I read The Master of Go while staying in the same inn Kawabata watched and then wrote about part of that infamous game between the two masters. I stood on the Tsar-cannon in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption where Petya was brought pale and breathless. And I've sailed down the Bosphorus where Pamuk has spent so much of his time.

I love world literature. Some of my favorite authors are Ismail Kadare, Yasunari Kawabata, Orhan Pamuk, J.M.G. Le Clézio, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Samuel Beckett, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and Jorge Luis Borges.

My reviews sometimes include photographs of my travels, emotions that a certain book may have stirred up deep within me, or... what the book meant to me. I'm rarely serious. And I'm deeply cynical. and i'm sometimes lazy with the shift key... and i like the ellipsis... i like it a bunch...

And I'm 49 years old... and unfortunately, we ain't got no AARP here.

My link is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/81120

And I'm at Goodreads (sorry if that offends any hardcore LT users. I'm there because of a group I belong to. We meet every year in Washington state for what we call Dorkapalooza... beer, books, and banter time... it's a fun nerdy kind of thing)... http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1551688-brian

67crazy4reading
Jan 6, 2010, 9:14pm Top

Hello everyone!! I joined the group last year, I believe late in the year and never posted anything. So this year I found the group early due to the new tags (love them) and decided to join right away. I will now do my introduction since I don't believe I introduced myself last year.

I am 41 year old mother of two young adults and a wife to a wonderful sometimes trying man. We have been married for 20 years. I enjoy reading, while hubby will read once in awhile. My children do read but not like I wish they would. My son loves to read books about animals and nature, and I always find his nose in the Audubon books he has. My daughter has read mostly Sarah Dessen books and anything that is required for college. I enjoy all sorts of books, from romance to mystery to non-fiction. I don't like to choose just one genre because I don't want to get bored with reading the same style of book over and over again. My tastes have changed with my mood.

I recently joined my library book club and have read 2 interesting books and am currently working on my third. I decided to join the book club to expand my reading experience and to read books I most likely would not find on my own or would never think to read. The 2 books that I read last year were The Book Thief and Testimony by Anita Shreve. I was thrilled to finally have read The Book Thief.

I don't know if I will be as intellectual in my response and I notice most people are. This year I hope to read some of the books from the 1001 books to read before I die and to try some of the classics that I have sitting on my shelves gathering dust.

Well I guess that is all to say for now. Here is the link to my thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/81478
not much written there yet.

Happy reading everyone!!

Monic'a

68C4RO
Jan 7, 2010, 11:48am Top

Hello everybody

I am Caroline, 35, from the UK but working in Amsterdam doing logistics design engineering (transport and warehouses).

I'd like to track the books I read but have not got the discipline to decide a list/ categorise ahead of time. Likely to include science, economics, fantasy, science fiction and history. I love finding new books and authors from others reviews and recommendations so I'll lurk on a lot of your threads!

69wildbill
Jan 7, 2010, 2:33pm Top

My name is Bill and I have been a member of LT since December of 2006. I read a lot of history and usually will study a specific topic for 3-5 years.
I have met some really good people on LT and widened my reading horizons. I enjoy posting my book reports and am a member of a number of groups.
I welcome visits to my book threads and enjoy discussions about the books I have read.
This year I want to concentrate on reading books that I have in my library so I am also posting in the Off the Shelf group.

70bragan
Jan 7, 2010, 2:42pm Top

I've just joined the Off the Shelf group, myself. I didn't even know it existed before today! I'm not much for specific reading challenges, or "read X books in a year" challenges, but "get some stuff the heck off the TBR pile" is a challenge I can get behind!

71deebee1
Edited: Jan 8, 2010, 12:36pm Top

Joined LT in 2008 and have been hooked since then. I joined Club Read last year but never got around to starting a thread. I live in Portugal with my husband -- got no kids, no cats, no dogs, but we got lots of books to keep us company!

I enjoy world literature, and regret not being able to read works and fully appreciate them in any language other than English. In terms of authors, Banoo's list up there in message 66 practically mirrors mine. Antonio Lobo Antunes deserves a special mention though. Add to that Javier Marias. I love short stories (Chekhov and Isaac Bashevis Singer are favorites). I read non-fiction on various subjects, but mainly on history, war, and economics.

Except for a group read on The Plague and perhaps The Count of Monte Cristo, I have no reading challenges for this year. I simply hope to make a dent in the toppling pile of unread books that I own. Oh, and I actually decided to finally open Swann's Way and work my way slowly through it this year.

72fannyprice
Edited: Jan 9, 2010, 12:10pm Top

I'm still not caught up from Club Read 2009 (listing my December reads and reading everyone's posts), but at some point, one has to move on. And when avaland beckons, I obey. I am overwhelmed to discover 71 posts in this thread alone already - I forsee trouble keeping up.

I have a rich fake-life on the interwebs as parallel universe versions of Austen's least-favorite heroine. I'm fannyprice at LT and F.P. Crawford at Belletrista.com, avaland's fantastic web magazine celebrating women's literature from around the world, where I am a sometimes reviewer.

I'm a bit of a dilettante - I love to learn new things and every book I read spurs in me the desire to read a whole different subset of (possibly unrelated) books. Consequently, it takes me a while to get deeply read in to anything, if such a thing happens at all. This also makes it impossible for me to stick to even the most hazily defined reading plan. Oddly, I also love to plan and make lists, which means I've got more unfulfilled reading commitments than I like to acknowledge and entire shelves of books I haven't read. I spend way too much time reading book reviewers and book blogs, which only exacerbates the problem. In short, if I say that my next read is X, count on it not to be. I read and write for a living, so sometimes I need a break from it all. That break usually involves video games - yes, I'm a total geek - that suck away entire weeks of my life. Any prolonged absences not attributable to major international incidents can probably be explained thusly.

My background is in Middle Eastern studies, with a focus on Judaism & Islam, Arabic literature, and Middle Eastern history & politics, and although I have fled academia, I still try to read a lot in these fields. I spent my adolescence as an aspiring Kremlinologist, so I've got a special interest in history and literature from Russia and the former Eastern bloc countries. Other areas of particular fascination for me include Antarctica, the Arctic, and other frozen-a$$ places; WW1; social and cultural histories, including the occasional commodity or micro-history; dystopias/speculative fiction/smart sci-fi; and most things somehow concerning England. I really love short fiction/essays and I collect and read children's books even though I'm not fond of kids.

Last year I read a lot of great stuff, but - as readers familiar with my Club Read 2009 postings here and here are certainly aware - I read a lot of crap, mostly in the YA genre. I'm not promising to stop completely, but I think the crack-like effect has worn off a lot of those books and I'm trying to reduce the amount of sheer schlock I read in 2010. Other than that, I am taking the revolutionary - for me, anyway - step of making virtually no commitments about the number of books I want to read in 2010, the topics I want to investigate, or the books I want to read - with the possible exception of trying to read more of the books that are languishing on my shelves unread. I had a great time in last year's iteration of this group and hope to do so again this year.

My 2010 Club Read Thread is here

73fannyprice
Jan 9, 2010, 1:02pm Top

Ok, I'm trying really hard not to respond to every funny interesting intro post I see here (since I have 50 more to read), but the AARP ones forced me. My former boss just turned 40 and is already getting letters from them!

74fannyprice
Jan 9, 2010, 4:39pm Top

>42 urania1: - urania: A Carl Larsson-like house?!?! I am damned jealous, that is too cute.

75pursuitofsanity
Jan 9, 2010, 10:52pm Top

Hi all.

I'm Maggie. I'm a 27 year old MD/PhD student. I live in Cincinnati with my fiancee and our enormous wall of books. I joined Club Read 2009, but fell off about halfway through the year. I came back because I liked it so darn much while I was keeping to it. I'm determined to do better. That being said, 2010 holds for me Step I Medical Boards, starting a PhD thesis, and a wedding... *eek*... so I perhaps will be reading less for personal enjoyment this year than in the past. Still, I'm a compulsive reader, so we'll see how much self control I have with regards to boards studying and wedding planning in place of a good novel. (My guess: not much). I have an enormous TBR pile, and my fiancee's family seems to have figured out that the Barnes and Noble gift card is always a wise Maggie present choice, so I anticipate it continuing to grow as fast as I plow through it. I've decided that I am OK with that.

Happy Reading everyone!

76kidzdoc
Jan 10, 2010, 3:54am Top

Welcome back, pursuitofsanity! Good luck on preparing for the USMLE step 1 exam, etc. I assume you'll start your PhD studies at the end of second year, and start your clinical rotations after you obtain the PhD. What area(s) are you planning to concentrate in?

77pursuitofsanity
Jan 10, 2010, 10:05am Top

You've got the sequence right kidzdoc. 2 years preclinical, 3-4 PhD, 2 years clinical rotations.
My research will likely be in functional imaging in psychiatric disorders, child and adolescents with bipolar disorder if I get my way. Logically that points to a residency in psych, although I am keeping the neurology and (hopefully) neuroradiology doors open. Mostly I really like brains. My issue is that I think that the psychiatry related research questions are by far the most compelling out there, because we know so little, but while I am comfortable with the idea of a research career in a field where we have so much to learn, I'm not quite as comfortable with the idea of practicing medicine in the unknown. tricky tricky. We shall see.

78bobmcconnaughey
Jan 10, 2010, 10:22am Top

by training - grad degrees in geography, faux librarian (mls) and public health. And married to another geographer manque. I've worked since 1985 as (essentially) a research assistant/data analyst for a small clique of reproductive epidemiologists at the Nat.Inst.for.Envi.Health.Sciences (NIEHS) in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/epi/reproductive/index.cfm)*. I very much enjoy my work most of the time. My wife does similar work. *umm that's Allen, the head of the group of 3, not me, in that repro photo; the one time i essayed a beard i looked like a failed terrorist)

I used to think i read a lot; then i saw how much some others on LT read. SF/Fantasy, poetry, comics, music, public health are general areas of reading intensity. (I promiscuously include a fairly wide range in the SF/F genre; Richard and Tim Powers, Murakami, Patricia McKillip, Michael Chabon and Tolkien all fit).

Will turn 60 this year. We have a 25yr old son who's forsaken the warmth of NC for the chill cold of the Twin Cities, Minn. We think he's applying to grad school looking for a combined program in African-American lit and writing. Share a lot of books/reading/hiking with yet another local long time friend from the graduate pgm in Geography at UNC-CHill. First online book group evolved from an online running group, a friend set up ~1990 - soon enough the "dead readers" evolved out of the "dead runners" (pre-zombie craze).

79dchaikin
Edited: Jan 10, 2010, 9:58pm Top

I just finished reading through all these posts and my head is little blurry.

I'm Daniel, a 36-yr-old father of a two - ages 3 and 5. I haven't escaped from Texas, but instead moved here about 11 years ago and actually hope to stay here a long time, as it's good place to be if you work in the oil industry. (I'm originally from south Florida.)

Reading-wise I'm trying to comes to terms with the realization that I'm unlikely to get through even 1% of the books I'd like to read. There are about 400 hundred books on the wish list and many hundreds here in the house I would like to read sometime - and both these numbers grow much faster than my actual reading pace. I read slow and each book takes me a long time. So, this year my planned solution is to ... read slower, disregard anything about numbers, and maybe try to explore a few larger classics. But these plans never work out, so who knows.

We tend to go through a lot of children's books, and hopefully I will post on them occasionally.

ETA - my thread is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/81181

80Disie35
Jan 13, 2010, 5:42pm Top

I'm probably the eldest here but figure that the love of reading makes us all instant friends whatever the age. Practically my first memory is my father saying 'put down that book and get some fresh air'.

I was born and grew up in a tiny town in New Jersey - Branchville, if anyone knows it I'd be shocked. Since then have been many, many places and am currently living in a tiny state in New England - Rhode Island.

I have two sons and a daughter and six grandchildren. All of them live nearby in Massachusetts. Reading, travel, and baseball have been my life-long passions. I always believed that I love the feel, sight, and smell of a 'real' book but about a year ago I got a Kindle and I do love that as well; and my suitcase is much lighter now! My first love was the Dodgers - the Brooklyn ones. My father was a fan and as soon as I could keep score, age about 7, he started taking me with him to Ebbets Field. Those were the Duke Snyder/Peewee Reese/Jackie Robinson years.

I digress.

Oh, I was born the same year as Elvis.

81theaelizabet
Jan 13, 2010, 5:46pm Top

Disie35--Welcome. Oh and I know Branchville :)

82auntmarge64
Jan 13, 2010, 8:04pm Top

>80 Disie35: I know Branchville too (a very charming town, too). I've lived in Sussex County for 30+ years.

83Caroline_Winston
Jan 20, 2010, 4:32pm Top

Hello,

I'm a new reader as an adult. I loved reading as a kid, then quit for years--I think I incorrectly concluded that books for adults were no fun after not loving high school English class--and just in the last year or so have picked it up again and like it even more than I remember liking it when I was in grade school.

My favorite books of 2009 were:
Middlemarch by Eliot
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
A Town Like Alice by Shute
The Razor's Edge by Maugham
David Copperfield by Dickens
Jane Eyre by Bronte

If the list above makes you think of any books I should try this year, please tell me. I'd like to make my 2010-to-read list the longest I've ever had!

I'm glad to join the thread~
Caroline

84janeajones
Jan 20, 2010, 4:34pm Top

Welcome Carolline! -- I think if you lurk on a few threads here, you'll find plenty of suggestions for great reading.

85Nickelini
Jan 20, 2010, 7:37pm Top

Caroline, based on your list, I recommend Bleak House and Portrait of a Lady. I too loved Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre.

86Nickelini
Jan 20, 2010, 7:37pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

87Caroline_Winston
Jan 21, 2010, 8:46am Top

Thank you for the welcome janeajones and the ideas, Nickelini

88Kirconnell
Feb 6, 2010, 9:01am Top

Hello everyone! My name is Velma and I live in Texas. I joined LT in May 2008. I wanted to find out how many books I normally read in a year so I maintained a reading log on the 50 Book Challenge Group during 2008 and 2009. After satisfing my curiosity (and as RL intruded) I moved to Club Read 2009 as a better fit to my reading habits, but mostly lurked on others threads absorbing the discussions and plucking book suggestions (thank you *smile*). I didn't start a thread of my own because most of you are so far above me in erudition and learning that I felt I had nothing to offer the group. This year I decided to take the plunge.
It may get lonely over on my thread (I wish that I could post a link, but I'm hopeless at such things), so I intend to keep lurking around the other discussions and adding to Mt. TBR which is more like a mountain range. Let's see there is Mt. Novel, Mysterious Mountain, Mt. History.....

89theaelizabet
Feb 6, 2010, 9:25am Top

Kirconnell! Welcome. I haven't seen you in a bit. Glad you're here.

90Kirconnell
Feb 6, 2010, 9:40am Top

Thanks for the welcome, Theaelizabet. I know I've been missing in action. RL intrudes on the important things. Great to see you again.

91littlebones
Feb 17, 2010, 11:33am Top

Hi everyone, my name is Jenn and I'm a total newcomer. :) I found Librarything through Bookmooch, which I found through Stumbleupon, and it's unleashed a frenzy of literary activity. It's good to be here.

I'm 21, I live in Atlantic Canada (precisely where I live in Canada changes a lot lately), and I hope to be returning to university in September to finish up the last half of the degree I started. Until then, I have a job basically hanging out with dogs (and sometimes cats, and rarely ferrets) and making sure they eat well. It's a pretty sweet set-up but I can't do it forever. Thankfully, this leaves me lots of free time, which I mostly use to read now, since soon I'll be buried under an avalanche of required reading and papers to write.

At any rate, I'm glad I found this group. I wasn't a part of Club Read 2009 but here are a few books I did read and love in 2009:

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (Yes, I actually liked it!)
Blindness by Jose Saramago, despite the lack of quotation marks.

My 2010 reading thread is right here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/84712

I hope to stick around at least long enough to make a 2011 thread. Anyway, hello! *waves*

92sacredstacks
Feb 22, 2010, 6:43pm Top

Hi. I'm Donna; and I have an awful lot of serious reading to catch up on. After a long spell of reading mostly self-help and "how-to" books I began reading mysteries -- specifically cozies (Is that the correct plural form?) around 2007. I've decided to go through my collection of novels in 2010. I hope to fit several classics into the mix.

I also like historical fiction and just completed The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat. I've only read 6 books so far this year. I'll get them posted.

93mariemerald
Jun 23, 2010, 10:27am Top


my reading journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/93501&newpost=1#lastmsg

Hello there!

My name is Mariam, I'm 25 and a 6th grade language arts teacher. I'm so excited to be here and finally get a chance to share books! Like a couple of people on this message board, most of my family doesn't read -- so it's nice to finally find a group of people who are constantly trying to expand their reading horizons -- like myself!

This year I've decided to take on the 1010 challenge and read 8 books in 10 categories: classics, science fiction, medicine, history, math/logic, scripture, cooking, action/adventure, Islamic studies, and science.

Some of my favorite books of all time are:
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Age of Innocence
The House of Mirth
The Holy Quran
Star Trek - Catalyst of Sorrows

I just finished reading Things Fall Apart and Moonraker a James Bond novel.

I was surprised to learn about the Nigerian culture in Things Fall Apart -- it's very tribal and superstitious. I was just shocked at how their priestess screamed and ran with one of the villagers children. Reading this book opened me up a non-western world. Looking at my picture you might guess that I'm from somewhere in the middle east, but I actually grew up here in the states, so just learning about a tribal culture where the leaders are chosen by brute strength was surprising. Read my thoughts here: http://www.shelfari.com/books/37588/Things-Fall-Apart/reviews/2051273

the James Bond novel was a typical action/adventure novel. Although I've read better ones, I liked this because it was fast-paced, full of fast cars, and high speed chases! I hated the unnecessary nudity in the book - which I was surprised to find since I'd never read a James Bond novel. Read my full review here: http://www.shelfari.com/books/223008/Moonraker/reviews/2046393

Right now I'm interested in reading about the histories and cultures of different countries. Which is what I'm going to move onto next!

So, I'm excited to be here and be a part of this reading group. Hope to see you all on the discussion boards!

Here's my Reading Journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/93501&newpost=1#lastmsg

- Mariam

94mariemerald
Jun 23, 2010, 10:41am Top

Hi Maggie! My name is Mariam and I'm from Boardman, Ohio. I moved to Florida over a decade ago. Even though I've gotten used to Florida I miss the snow and the town I grew up in!!! How do you like it up there?

You also mentioned being in medical school..... I have aspirations to go to medical school someday...possibly a MD/Ph.D program So, how do you like it? You can be sure I'll be lurking around your bookshelf!

By the way, do you have a reading goal for this year?

95mariemerald
Jun 23, 2010, 10:44am Top

Hello Fanny! You mentioned that your focus in academia is middle eastern studies....so that must mean that you know arabic, right? I'm actually learning it right now...not to study literature but to understand the scripture of the Quran. What are your thoughts on arabic literature versus the Quran? I'm really interested in this topic, so if you have time someday this week, perhaps we can talk on skype? Let me know! My email is: razamjr@gmail.com

96mariemerald
Jun 23, 2010, 10:53am Top

Hi Caroline!

Personally I liked Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth and Age of Innocence stories of two unique people - a man and woman - who struggle to find themselves. sometimes the end is not pretty, sometimes, it is.

Here's my review from my shelfari account:
the house of mirth One of the most captivating novels about inner struggles out there! Edith Wharton is a superb writer who depicts a young lady named Lily Bart in early 1900s New York struggling to accept her meager reality as an heiress who is getting down to the last of her inheritance. She must learn to find a job, and deal with the reality that she no longer belongs in upper class society. She's in the poor house, for sure! But furthermore, she also loses a dearly beloved out of her own pride, and something even greater thereafter. Read and find out what!

In Age of Innocence Newland finds that he likes being around the artists and writers in the not-so-nice part of town, and he struggles to find peace with his being a man of books and thoughts. Wharton creates really captivating characters :) I recommend both books!


97bragan
Jun 23, 2010, 7:30pm Top

Hello, Mariam! The Phantom Tollbooth is terrific! One of my favorites from childhood that held up amazingly well when I re-read it a few years ago, as an adult.

Also nice to meet a fellow Star Trek fan, although I mostly gave up on reading the novels a while back.

98tros
Jun 24, 2010, 10:38am Top

Hola, amigos, amigas
Native left-coaster, about to be drafted into medicare, kicking and screaming.
Addicted to the dark corners of world lit. Just got Three Drops of Blood by Sadeq Hedayat. Currently reading The Lemon by Mohammed Mrabet, trans. by Paul Bowles.
Noir: Horace McCoy, Charles Williams, Harry Whittington, etc.
Gothic: Melmoth The Wanderer, Arthur Machen, M.R. James, W.H. Hodson, LeFanu, Blackwood, etc.
Just finished Kokoro by Natsume Soseki. Excellent psychological study.

99dukedom_enough
Jun 24, 2010, 8:32pm Top

tros@98,

By W. H. Hodson, do you mean William Hope Hodgson?

100tros
Jun 24, 2010, 10:20pm Top

My typo, Duke. Try House on the Borderland
or Boats of the "Glen Carig" by William Hope HodGson. ;-)

101dukedom_enough
Jun 25, 2010, 8:38am Top

tros,

My question is: have you actually read all of The Night Land? I stopped right as the protagonist went out into the Night. My hat's off to anyone with the stamina to complete it.

102tros
Jun 25, 2010, 9:58am Top

Managed to finish it, somehow. Probably one of the strangest books I've read. I wouldn't recommend it. Ranks right up there in strangness with Gormenghast.

103timjones
Jun 28, 2010, 7:22am Top

>102 tros:, tros: I'm impressed: I loved both The House on the Borderland and The Boats of the "Glen Carrig", the former a little more, but I still couldn't finish The Night Land.

104dukedom_enough
Edited: Jun 28, 2010, 7:32am Top

I have the vague ambition to read all of The Night Land someday, if only to discuss its faults with more authority.

The book is in the public domain, and has inspired a number of stories set in that world. I can enthusiastically recommend John C. Wright's novella "Awake in the Night", which appeared in one of the Dozois Year's Best SF anthologies. Some of these stories appear in a couple of antholgies, although I think there are some clunkers there too.

105tros
Jun 28, 2010, 12:05pm Top

There's a "condensed" version called The Dream of X. Only 143 pages!

106dukedom_enough
Jun 29, 2010, 7:11am Top

I think that's from the nightland.co.uk site, IIRC.

107tros
Jun 29, 2010, 8:29am Top

1977. pre web sites.

108dukedom_enough
Jun 29, 2010, 10:18pm Top

Hmm. They may have reprinted it, then. I do remember encountering such a story there.

109timjones
Jun 30, 2010, 7:27am Top

>104 dukedom_enough:, dukedom_enough: I submitted a story to one of those anthologies. They rejected it, saying it was too generic & not specific enough to the world of The Night Land. (I'm paraphrasing - they put it better than that.)

Since I never finished The Night Land, I'm willing to concede that they may have had a point.

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