One book a week for 2007

This isn’t a new year’s resolution but, this year, I intend to read 52 books. I talk about it a bit on this week’s podcast, which will be coming out today. For now, though, I want to try and explain why I’ve decided to do this:

I’m have a feeling I’m becoming stupid.

Oh wow, that was easy.

What I really mean to say is, I think I’m spending too much time on the web and around its ideas. Subscribing to 300+ RSS feeds may be killing me. I love blogs, and I love podcasts, but in 2007 I want to experience real life again.

This doesn’t mean I’ll stop producing content. Quite the contrary, in fact. More than likely, I’ll produce more— there’ll just be less obsessive, consistent parsing of content. I suspect that checking my feeds a mere twice a day will not kill me, and will leave me time for much richer endeavours.

This week I’ll be reading Grimus, the first book by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie would later have a fatwa issued upon him by Ruhollah Khomeini because of his work, The Satanic Verses, the novel that made him famous. (I chose Grimus because it was shorter.)

I tried to pick something that was outside my normal sphere; all year I’ve been reading business and self-development books, while my understanding of culture and art has remained the same– possibly even shrunk. I don’t want to neglect this any further, so this is one way of dealing with the problem.

That said, I intend to blog about every book I read as I begin it. Hopefully you’ll like, or be interested by, my choices. If you are (or if you disagree with them), let me know.





26 responses to “One book a week for 2007”

  1. Chris Avatar

    You should join or start a local book group…

  2. Nico Avatar

    I have that feeling too. It sucks. See? If I read more I could have said something more intelligent than “sucks”. I don’t know if a book a week (not because it’s too much but because I don’t want to impose any deadlines on myself) but I will be trying to read lots more this year.

    By the way, you still up for giving me a tour of the town?

  3. Rob McDougall Avatar

    I started reading recently. This one book has taken me about 3 months. Heat by George Monbiot. I’m only halfway through too…

    Audiobooks seem to be a timesaving method, I’m halfway through The God Dellusion by Richard Dawkins and I’ve only been listening for a weeks!

  4. Julie Avatar

    I send you much respect and a plethora of good wishes in taking on this project. I once tried to read 15 volumes of poetry during of my school breaks. I figured it would be managable considering poetry books have less, um, textual bulk (?) than most novels. I should have known that some poems have to sit inside your head for days or weeks before they begin to bloom…let alone whole books.

    I hope you’ll be reading some poetry this year. If you need any recommendations, let me know.

  5. Report: Sealand is for sale (or “transfer”)…

    Xeni Jardin : Julien says, The digital haven The Principality of Sealand is for sale. Originally an abandoned…

  6. hugh Avatar

    i’m in. just finished:
    -Clockwork Orange, Burgess (great)
    -God Delusion, Dawkins (sucked)

    now reading:
    -Kafka on the Shore, Murakami (good)
    -the Wealth of Networks, Benkler (great)
    -Programming the Universe, Llyod (fantastic)

    for me: less web this year, more books.

  7. mhp Avatar

    I’m in too, and i’m ahead a week (for now).
    I’ve been plowing through a bunch of books the past few weeks, part of my priming (luck = preparation + opportunity). Of them, I recommend:
    – The New New Thing (Lewis)
    – The Purple Cow (Godin)
    – The Tipping Point, and Blink (Malcolm Gladwell)
    – Freakonomics (Levitt and Dubner)
    – The Long Tail (Chris Anderson) [i read half yesterday, that good/relevant]

    Hugh, why didn’t you like God Delusion? I’ve heard good reviews and was thinking of adding it to my list.

  8. Julien Avatar

    Dudes, let’s make this a project.

  9. C.C. Chapman Avatar

    I expect full book reports for all of them young man. *grin*

  10. mhp Avatar

    Jules’ Book Club… eat that Oprah

  11. Julie Avatar

    I’m in.

  12. Stephanie Avatar

    Hey Julien

    Great idea to write down all your impressions of books you read. I started doing this with plays in theater school so that I could remember years later what my initial response was to the play before I tossed it over in my head a hundred times…

  13. hugh Avatar

    mhp, re: god delusion: check my blog in a few days for a review. but in short: i thought it was lazy science, lazy philosophy, lazy theology. it was snarky and sarcastic (i couldn’t help thinking of dawkins as head of his private school debating team thinking up clever barbs, while getting drunk on sherry, rather than actually doing any work).

    finally it did not do what I expected a dawkins book to do: take a serious look at possible darwinian/environmental forces that could explain religion and belief in God. He *hates* religion, so he just can’t provide an interesting, cold scientific look at it. just too involved in the topic, in a bad way.

  14. Julien Avatar

    Yeah, I saw “Root of All Evil?”, a mini-series he hosts, a week ago. He was vicious on it. The logic he uses is solid, but the way he treats people on it is downright rude on occasion. I think it comes from the fact that he sees other people as turning a blind eye to superstition/religion, which it seems he despises.

  15. Jessica Avatar

    I’m a compulsive reader. I’ve been an insomniac for years and would amuse myself all night by reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. Whenever I get into a reading funk, I try to alternate books, a classic, something new on the bestsellers list, some poetry, an autbiography. Just new things that strike me as interesting as I wonder through the library.
    If you need ideas just ask… I go through about 2-3 books a week.

  16. anji bee Avatar

    i read all the time. often i have more than one book going at a time to serve my different moods. like i’ve been reading “walden” for the past few months, as well as bair’s bio of de beauvoir. i read a bunch of other stuff this year, i was actually thinking about writing something about it on my site.

    i don’t really read current books per se, i mostly try to catch up with classic literature, well, my concept of “classic”. i think the only new book i read this year was by jeanette winterson, who is my favorite living writer.

    anyway, i highly recommend you replace some of your internet reading with actual books. i find it much more satisfying, myself.

  17. […] Small post, I’ve been trying to follow Julien’s idea about reading a book a week. My schedule doesn’t really allow me that much liberty and I have an awful taste that keep me for getting any “educative” book: I like fantasy ;-). And the kind of epic fantasy I read tend to be a bit “big”…. so for the latest 800 pages: James Barclay’s “Cry of the newborn“. Light, good reading material if your into cute fantasy epic. I’m a bit surprised that his latest novel seem much less mature that “The Chronicles of the Raven” serie.  Kinda weird, but this is what you get by bringing “god-like power” so early in the story. […]

  18. Amiel Avatar

    Similar project that I’ve been doing:

    Read magazines and books in a foreign language to help keep it up/develop it more. My French has gotten a lot better!

  19. Dave Delaney Avatar

    I totally support this initiative dude. The only drag for me is I have two babies…I’m working on getting through a book a month right now.

    Anyway…here’s something you NEED to know about:
    Start tagging your books and share them with the world.


  20. Ibrahim Avatar

    The book “God delusion”, though i’ve not read it simply shows that the writer is short sighted in his reasoning.he has centred all his believes, ideas and thoughts in scientific realm.some things are just accepted; faith! some thing do not have any explanation as to how it came about or happened. i think at this juncture, i’ll refer the writer to come down to Africa and see some mysterious things(witchcraft) that his science will not have the slightest idea or explanation as to how it works!

  21. tom Avatar

    did you actually do this? never heard either way??

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