Although I don’t expect that this blog will reach beyond a small circle of family members, and perhaps a few close friends, for anyone who stumbles upon it in a dark corner of the interweb someday and values a total stranger’s opinion on random books, here is a brief summary of the purpose behind this website:
I have always been an avid reader. The obsession started when I was ten years old and a friend of mine invited me to go to the public library with her where I stumbled upon Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I was hooked. Not just on the books themselves but on the act of reading. I spent so many hours holed up in my room that summer, my parents eventually set a number of hours a day I was allowed to spend reading before having to rejoin the family. Not that they weren’t happy I was reading, but I think my pale, sickly appearance from lack of sunlight was beginning to worry them.
A husband and two children (three children) later, finding time to read has become much more difficult. As a stay-at-home mom, I certainly have more time than most, but I don’t always have the mental energy to take on a new book. So I end up reading old favorites over and over. Over the past few years I’ve really started to miss diving into something new.
This blog was inspired when my husband’s family invited us to join a reading challenge for the year. The reading challenge this year consists of the following required categories:
- A Barnes & Noble Classic
- A book that takes place in the future
- A book made into a movie
- A book that takes place in a different country
- A book of Norwegian or Welsh origin
- A book chosen based on its’ cover
- A religious text (read for two weeks)
- An LDS biography
- A book chosen for you by another member of the challenge
- A book from the alternate history genre
In addition to these ten categories, each member of the challenge gets additional points for any other books they read throughout the year.
I have read more in the past two months than I have in years and I’ve absolutely loved it! Part of this zeal has come from wanting to blow this competition out of the water, but I’ve also rediscovered my passion for reading. However, as I took on the reading challenge for this year, I decided to set a private challenge for myself: this year I will read at least 50 books. Because I’ve been stuck in a cycle rereading old books for so long, in addition to the challenge of reading 50 books, I also want each book to be one I have never read before (with the exception of Jane Austen’s books, which I’ve read before but want to reread for the first time this year).
Upon setting this challenge for myself, I began fantasizing about writing a blog documenting my thoughts on each book I read. Sort of a “Julie/Julia Project” kind of thing, but without all the swearing. However, as I thought more about it the excitement began to fade. I mean, I’m hardly a critic, have no credibility, and who would be interested in reading a complete stranger’s opinions on random books? I considered spicing it up by balancing my thoughts on books with the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom, but even that felt pretty feeble. I was starting to bore myself.
When I brought up the idea to my husband, Ryan, I pretty much told him I’d already decided not to go through with it. However, being the amazing and supportive man that he his, he wouldn’t hear of it and suggested that we create a blog that not only reviews books we read, but also allows others to talk about the books they’re reading and leaves room for discussion. Kind of an online book club.
Our hope for this blog is that other book lovers, such as ourselves, will find a place where they can find book recommendations, share their thoughts and opinions on different books, genres, and authors, and we can discuss our insights into what we read and how they may be affecting (effecting? I never know. Maybe I’ll find the answer in a book) our lives.