New year, new post

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Happy New Year!

Welcome back to re: read pages, the blog that looks for books worth rereading and discusses the art of writing all while forcing me to keep working on my own first novel.

I hope you all had a fun and festive holiday season. Since we are now in a new year, I have made some resolutions about re: read pages that I would like to share with you.

  • Writing for my novel has priority over writing for my blog – I lost a lot of good writing time by trying to maintain the quality and quantity of this blog. While I really enjoyed all that I did on re: read pages, it didn’t help me with my ultimate goal of finishing my novel.
  • It is important that I post, not when I post – while I will make every attempt to post two times a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, I will not hold on to an idea just to match up to my intended blogging schedule.
  • Have more fun – as I have in other areas of my life, I took things a little too seriously when writing for re: read pages. Reading is fun and this blog so should be as well.

That’s it for me for now. Do you have any reading or writing resolutions for 2015? Sound off in the comments below and happy reading.

BJL

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2014 in review

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Looking back is always part of New Year’s Eve, and looking back over a year of re: read pages gives me a lot of joy. I hope you found some great new authors or books worth rereading as a result of perusing this blog. Thanks so much for checking in. I hope to bring more discussion, reviews and writing updates in the year to come.

Check out the year in review for re: read pages from WordPress.

Happy reading in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 990 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Interview: Caitlin Moran on the Working Class, Masturbation, and Writing a Novel

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An interview with the excellent Caitlin Moran about her new novel.

Longreads

Jessica Gross | Longreads | Sept. 25, 2014 | 13 minutes (3,300 words)

Caitlin Moran has worked as a journalist, critic, and essayist in the U.K. for over two decades, since she was 16. In her 2011 memoir/manifesto, How to Be a Woman, she argued women should keep their vaginas hairy, said she has no regret over her own abortion, and advocated for the term “strident feminist.” Moran brings the same gallivanting, taboo-crushing spirit to her debut novel, How to Build a Girl, which follows Johanna Morrigan, a working class teenager, as she navigates her way toward adulthood. Morrigan shares a few traits with Moran, from her background and career path to her obsession with music and masturbation.

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As I read How to Build a Girl, I pictured you laughing uproariously to yourself as you were writing it. But in the acknowledgments, you say…

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When love speaks

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I don’t remember my wedding vows. My husband and I wrote them together, and we stumbled through them together on our wedding day – nine years ago today. But unless I managed to find a working cassette player and listened to the recording again, I would not be able to tell you what they included. Something about love and respect, I’m sure.

But what I do remember is the reading we selected for the ceremony, which, thanks to Rufus Wainwright, we also danced to for our first dance.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29

When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least.

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

These words have held me up, held us up, through the best and worst moments. They remind me when I feel worthless that someone values me more than anything else in the world. They remind him that I love him as he is not as he expected to be to others. They remind us that just because we own less than some people doesn’t mean we have less.

These words bring us back to the moment we first said I love you, to the moment we said I do, and to each moment when we chose to stay side by side.

Happy anniversary, Sweet Pea.

Tattoos by the book

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I have often thought of getting a tattoo but never have because I couldn’t find something that I thought I would love for always. But after seeing some of these literary tattoos featured on Buzzfeed, I think maybe I’ve just been looking in the wrong place.

I still would be terrified of having a typo.

What words mean enough to you to permanently add them to your body?

High/Low reading and it is all good

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I arrange my books by alphabetically by author, and I track them all on an excel spreadsheet. What? There are a lot of them. I used to have more books, but several moves and two children forced me to cull our library in order to save my back and make space. I borrow most of my books from the library anyway, so it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it might when I started the process.

The results of our book purge made me laugh though, as the range my reading habits were made starkly obvious. If you check out the picture below, you’ll see Can’t Get Enough by Sarah Mayberry tucked between the covers of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.

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Ha! What is more hilarious to me is that I will admit that I have never been able to make it through One Hundred Years and have never read Moby-Dick (unless you count the board book version we bought for our infant) but really can’t get enough of Mayberry’s contribution to the romance genre.

Of course, the fact that I haven’t read them is the reason why they are still on our shelf. Perhaps, I should give One Hundred Years another shot and put it on the list for this blog.

How do your shelves stack up? Any amusing literary companions?

BJL

Month One

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So, December is not the month I recommend you start a blog. Whoa. Between illness and the holidays, I kinda drop the book for this blog, as it were. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that I started re: read pages and I am looking forward to writing some more, but, not unlike the writing of my book, I underestimated the effort involved in maintaining a good blog.

Thank goodness for new years and fresh starts.

Welcome back, dear Readers, and Happy New Year!

Looking at how my first month went, I am going to revise the blogging schedule. Mondays will still be book discussion, but, for the time being, I am dropping it down to a bi-weekly update, with maybe a little commentary as I read to help keep the habit up.

So, please enjoy my take on a classic novel, A Christmas Carol, which you’ll find in the next post, and we’ll start fresh for 2014.