Retrospective.

2011: What a long, strange trip it’s been.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for symbolic milestones. Rather than put you through the torture of reviewing my year, I’ll share some of the best things I read on Ye Olde Intarwebs this year. A few may be repeats and others are recent finds. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading

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Now, I’m not one to preach, but…

It’s time for another Friday Word of the Week. I started this topic to help myself learn more words and to give myself motivation to expand my reading and put more challenging authors into my reading circulation (Hello, Nabakov!). I also found that the intense focus on a word helped me truly learn it in a more complete way than simply looking it up and trying to remember it.

In this journey so far, short as it’s been, I’ve learned some brand new words and explored the origins of familiar words. There’s a third kind, however, that needs to be included as well: words that I recognize and should know, but whose definition, for some reason, escapes me. These are the words that prompt me, when I see them, to think, “Oh, I know that word. It means…um…uh…oh yeah, it’s about…Okay, fine, fine! I’ll look it up. Crap.” I trot off to consult a dictionary. What usually happens next is a sharp slap to the forehead and an exclamation of “Well, duh!” And then comes the forgetting. Lather, rinse, repeat. Several times. Continue reading

Beware of the Russians

As I look forward towards the next few homework-free months of summer, my thoughts very naturally go to my reading list. Really, it’s my reading shelf. Okay, shelves. It started out with a small section of one shelf devoted to the books that I wanted to get to sooner rather than later. I dubbed it The Green Room, and it has grown substantially since I first inaugurated it.

The problem is that I am the kind of reader who really needs to be focused on one book at a time. I become so utterly immersed in the story that trying to read another book at the same time feels like cheating. Even more than that, though, it feels unsatisfactory. Having to split my attention means I can’t fully engage the way I like to when I read, and so I end up feeling like I just ate a couple of slices of individually-wrapped cheese product when what I really wanted was one small bite of a fantastic triple cream Brie. Continue reading