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Words, Words, Words

A catalog of my comments and thoughts on books, reading, and writing as well as anything I come across that seems interesting. I used to sell other people's words at an independent bookstore but now I hope to get by on selling my own.

A New Year, A New Project: Faulkner

A Summer of Faulkner: As I Lay Dying/The Sound and the Fury/Light in August - William Faulkner

I have started looking into meditation and one of the things every video and article has conveyed is the idea that you are going to fail. A lot. You won't keep your mind clear for more than a second or less, but you shake it off, try again to clear your mind. Lose focus. Start again. Repeat.


It is a feeling I am familiar with.


Unless you really bind yourself, say to one author, you're going to fall behind on reading, and I have this perpetual feeling--especially with the classics, however you define that--that I am catching up, what I am reading now is something I should have read already and so are all those other books people have recommended or I have seen referenced.


Part of that, to be sure, is a fools errand; I read more than most people I know but I can't outpace all of them. There will always be someone who can't believe I haven't read Margaret Atwood yet or Dostoevsky or Proust, or, in this case Faulkner. So I add it to the list and read another book, then repeat. I'll never read them all but that is what's great, reading and learning--one in the same really--are lifelong projects.


Which brings me to Faulkner.


I haven't read him since high school and even then it was a passing look at "A Rose for Emily." I was expecting something pretty or sweet based on the title and intrigued by the strange and morbid tale I got--and maybe pretty in its own way(?) this was a while ago and the twist is about all I remember. He is right up my alley, I love to unpack the more daunting writers, the ones who challenge readers and scare many off, but I've been borrowing a lot recently and my own pile has stayed pretty much as it was a few months ago.


I picked up this three-book set used from the bookshop--where I used to work--in my New Jersey hometown and lieu of making a New Year's Resolution, a famously fruitless venture, I've decided to take the trio on as a project for the first month of 2016.


It is something I have done before and I think it is a good idea, the holiday season has just passed and that's a good chance to ask for a book--if you're as much of a nerd as I am, you're probably getting a few anyway, let people know what you want. There is nothing much going on in January, winter hits its stride in much of the country, there are no holidays until MLK Jr. day, even at movie theaters January is purported to be a place to drop some duds, so settle in with some book with heft that's been languishing on some shelf or list. I've read Don Quixote and Moby Dick in this manner and think I'll make it a tradition.



What books have you been waiting on that would make a good new years project?