Monday, January 6, 2014

This week at the library: prospects for the new year

Dear readers:

The winter solstice is passed and December has ended, beginning a new year regardless of your reckoning. In the past few days I've used my time off, and the fact that it's too cold and dark out to do anything outside, to finish a few books begun in late December -- Bernard Cornwell's Stonehenge, and The Red Queen, a book on sexuality and human nature. With the year anew, what lies ahead? 

January is a kind of penitent season, as people start New Years resolutions to get out of debt and lose all the weight they accumulated eating Christmas goodies.  In that spirit, I'm going to be making an effort to read some books I've long intended to read, but have never quite gotten around to. That includes the first book in a Roman historical fiction series (spotted on Seeking a Little Truth), as well as some science fiction.  I will also be resuming the Story of Civilization series by Will Durant sometime this..ah, year.  The problem at this point  is that the last three books all seem to be about the same things:   the climax of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and Napoleon.  

In the coming year I will of course have the usual tributary readings; a focus on English culture in April, for St. George's Day;  a set on the American revolution in late June for the Fourth of July;  some French items in mid-July for Bastille Day, and something in October for Germany.  As previously announced, throughout 2014 I will be reading books on the Great War, one a month.  I won't be combining the Great War theme with the heritage readings. 

I suspect historical fiction is going to take a hit, because once I read Sharpe's Waterloo, I will have not only finished Sharpe's series but exhausted virtually all of Cornwell's fictional offerings. There remain a few books I've not read, like the second in his Grailquest series and a historical romance he wrote under a false name (yes, really), but after a few years of dedicated, wholly enjoyable reading, I'm reduced to waiting for him to write new books. Alas.  

I also think that 2014 will be a boom year for science and nature reading, because I've discovered an author whose work I think I'll take to. We'll see..

2014 will continue readings in city planning, food, and the like, with everything under the sun also under consideration.  

A year of fascinating reads to you all!


  1. I tend to take my science and nature reading in snippets, usually articles and blog posts I find online. I find it interesting, but I don't know if I could read a whole book. I suppose it would depend on the author. I look forward to reading your posts about the author that has captured your interest.

  2. sc said: That includes the first book in a Roman historical fiction series (spotted on Seeking a Little Truth)...

    Is that the series by John Stack? I'll think you'll like them very much. I picked up his last book - about the Armada - which looks just as interesting. I'll get around to reading it at some point! Maybe I could do a naval fiction theme (muses).

  3. @ Loni: This author seems to specialize in books written more on the observing-nature side of things...more like David Attenborough's work, I imagine. I'm ordering one of his books in a week or so, so look for one in early February.

    @ Cyberkitten: It is indeed! I bought the first book. I'm also buying either Starship Troopers or The Forever War this month, in the next couple of weeks. I want to read them together, since both are presumably written around Vietnam.

    If you go for naval fiction, I'd heartily recommend Hornblower.. ;)

  4. Both Starship Troopers and Forever War are very good in their own ways.

    Joe Haldeman also wrote '1968' which is a fictionalised account of his own experiences in Vietnam.


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