2013 What books reveal about yourself!

11 Jan


I read about this clever  idea  at Col’s blog   The Only Way is Reading 

The rules are simple: record the first  line(s) of your  blogpost ( in my case the conclusion)  from the first bloppost of every month.

I was  surprised what it revealed   about  myself!


World War I: my only source of history about this was  is  series of war  movies: All Quiet on the Western Front, Atonement, War Horse for example.It was time to do some research.


No posts…..up to my ears  in  Le Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo…….


This book (in Le Notre-Dame de Paris)  is going to take months to read. Plowed through to pg 84 and finding it easier than expected.   Vocabulary somewhat similar to Flaubert. Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) at least lived to a ripe old age unlike Flaubert, Maupassant en Daudet!


Cin cin e   saluti!!
Every french book (Princesse de Clèves)  I finish is a celebration! Time to relax, gather my   thoughts and enjoy my  traditional Heineken!


This was a difficult  book  ( Rhinocéros d’or) to read. I struggled with every chapter and had to skim a few. Without the help of  Wikipedia I would not  have been able to read this book.


Mega French challenge starts today. I finished 1 year of French reading and now I will start the Zola cycle of 20 books about a fictional family living in France 1852-1870 les Rougon-Macquart.


Not every Zola book ( Son Excellence Eugène Rougon) is a  “home run” . There are better books in the Rougon-Macquart series, but this was well worth reading once you know what to look for.


This was a terrible book (Stranger in a Strange Land). It had very little to do with science fiction. It was more of a religious allegory.


I’ve had this book (Persuasion)  for years and  never got around to reading it. I am a  “not a fan” of  Jane Austen, but realize she has given us  an inportant  and   detailed picture of gentry life  in 19th century British society.


I have spent many moments thinking  about this book ( 2666) . What is it worth? How many stars?   1st reaction:  1  star  it was difficult to swallow, sometimes dry and other times  bitter.  2nd reaction:  5 star  It is a mammoth undertaking and it seems Bolano’s genius lays in its excess.


On The Beach is widely considered one of the most significant anti-war novels of the 20th century.  It seems  to me no one ever reads this book anymore,  even though it is often listed as one of the best novels written.


This book  ( Op Zee) had me hooked right from the start.  It has short chapters which I have found help to keep the pack moving along quickly but even without these the story had drawn me in and made me want to keep reading.

What do the first lines of my 1st blogpost  per  month say about me?

  1. Sometimes I can be “way too serious”.
  2. I never give up on a book. “When you’re going through hell, just keep on going” ( Churchill)
  3. I like to be challenged:  It started out as “read French for a  year” and I just keep on reading!
  4. I like a Heineken beer after finishing a book in French…..I earned it!
  5. I leave the comfort zone once and a while.   Definitely a  “hit or miss” situation.
  6. I must learn NOT to judge a book by it’s cover.  Rhinéros d’ or  was a BIG mistake.
  7. I give a book a “chance to prove itself”   Bolano’s 2666  took me to new ‘reading limits’ and no regets. It was the first book  that I ever read that was  physically exhausting.
  8. I like to investigate a  book when   it’s on ALL the bestseller  lists.  “What’s the hype”?
  9. I try to read books from Booker Short list BEFORE the prize is made known. I never  read more than one.
  10. I am very careful about entering “ reading challenges”  I don’t like to commit but happy with  discovering  Nevil Shute.



Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


11 responses to “2013 What books reveal about yourself!

  1. Brona

    January 13, 2014 at 12:21

    You’ve had a good mix or reading and blogging experiences over the past year …and I’m so happy that my AusReading Month was one of them🙂

    This is a great idea – I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it.

    • N@ncy

      January 13, 2014 at 13:42

      This methopd of recording the first line/lines of the first blogpost per month is a refreshing way to reflect on your books. I glad you like it. Looking forward to the 2014 recap…..already!

  2. Jean @ Howling Frog

    January 14, 2014 at 06:09

    Cool idea! I will steal it now.🙂

    • N@ncy

      January 14, 2014 at 08:57

      Looking forward to your blogpost using this clever idea! Have fun!

  3. Amy

    January 14, 2014 at 21:24

    I admire the quality that I don’t share–sticking with a book when I’m not enjoying it. I almost never do that. But as you say in your post on Lawrence In Arabia, “sometimes the problem is not the book, but me.” Food for thought.

    • N@ncy

      January 15, 2014 at 11:25

      Dutch writer Simon Vestdijk is a national treasure. Reading Pastorale 1943 about a small band of Resistance fighters in the Dutch conuntryside. He has his characters use ‘private idioms’ and local dilalect. This makes it difficut, but I’m giving the book a chance!

  4. TracyK

    January 19, 2014 at 22:53

    This is a very interesting premise, checking out the first post of each month. I mainly read mysteries so it will be interesting to see what I get. You are very analytical. I should be since I am a programmer, but don’t seem to analyze myself as well.

    • N@ncy

      January 19, 2014 at 23:30

      Just think of your self as the ‘problem’ in a book system: What did I do?,…what were the impediments?…what am I going to do differently in the future? Voilâ …self- analysis!

      • TracyK

        January 19, 2014 at 23:37

        Thanks, that is helpful. I also meant to add that I also always finish books. In the last 3 years, I only stopped reading one, because it was truly too tense for me. But maybe if I had stuck it out, I would have learned something from it.

    • N@ncy

      January 19, 2014 at 23:46

      Actually, the books I hate are the most fun to review! You can just speak from the heart and forget any deep literary thoughts! I remember “Stranger in a Strange Land” my only thought was: “I want this book out of my life!”

  5. Claire 'Word by Word'

    January 26, 2014 at 18:07

    An interesting collection of first lines, like meeting yourself out running🙂


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