What's a Common Reader -- and what is Uncommon Reading?

Virginia Woolf defined a common reader as someone who is not a scholar; not a critic. A common reader "reads for his own pleasure rather than to impart knowledge or correct the opinions of others. Above all, he is guided by an instinct to create for himself, out of whatever odds and ends he can come by, some kind of whole." By that definition, I'm definitely a common reader -- reading an uncommonly large and diverse collection of books.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

OK, I'm back....

I know, I know... Consistency is supposed to be a trait of all good bloggers... and I have failed that test miserably.

Some new gigs, writing magazine stories about everything from colored diamonds and New York's fashion district, to Silicon Alley entrepreneurs; editing all kinds of high-intensity financial news; writing a column that mysteriously morphed from weekly to daily. Major Internet catastrophes (Verizon left me sans phone, sans Internet, sans connection to the outer world, from August through Thanksgiving...) -- and just real life. Travels have been fun -- including one jaunt to San Juan for a magazine story that involved me sampling "La Bestia" -- the longest and highest zipline in the Western Hemisphere. All I can say is, never again. They strap you into a harness so you're sailing above a forest and a river hundreds of feet in the air, looking down, and seeing a tiny little dot move across the ground, and realizing omigod that's me.... Nope. Done it. Got the T-shirt. (Yes, literally.) Nevermore.

Anyway... hanging out at BookExpo (BEA) last month reminded me of the fun that sharing favorite books and taking a hard look at books with lotsa buzz can be. Plus, my shelves are now absolutely jammed with new books, both the real shelves and the Kindle cyber-shelves. Indeed, I have (again) run out of shelf space. Oh, and wall space for new bookshelves...

Some of my new acquisitions:

From BookExpo, I managed to get galleys of the following:
  • Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis
  • The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
  • Sweet Tooth by Ian MacEwan
  • The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann
  • Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross KIng
  • Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • The Absolutist by John Boyne
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
  • The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penn
Other galleys/ARCs from NetGalley or Amazon Vine:
  • The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid
  • Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • The Joy Brigade by Martin Limon
  • True Believers by Kurt Andersen
  • Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews
  • The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart
  • The Lower River by Paul Theroux
  • Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua
  • Meander by Jeremy Seal
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Rian Malan
And I've acquired so many library books (and a few Kindle/dead tree ones, too) that I'll have to circle back in a future update on those!!

But I do promise to try to be a more frequent and diligent reviewer in the coming weeks and months... really! So, Uncommon Reading is open for business once more...

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