Happy New Year! So, one of my three resolutions in the new year is to keep track of every book I read in 2011. I will be curious to see how many books this is. I'm guessing that I read about 200 books a year. That sounds like a lot, but I read a lot of children's books that only take a night to read. I read every day for about two to three hours, but sometimes I don't read at all for a few days. We shall see.
I just read the first five books of the Chronicles of Narnia over the past few days. I am a bit surprised that kids take to them like they do because I find the enjoyment for me is in the little details. I read a biography of Lewis and many of his colleagues at Oxford thought he was the most well-read man in history. And so when I read his story about a battle, or how a dragon acts, it rings true and of erudition and knowledge. I guess kids would pick up on that as well. And one thing that is over-arching among all the books that I'm sure kids love as much as I do is the sense of moral goodness. In a profound way too, that you don't find in modern life too much. I think it is the religious nature of the goodness that makes it so full and the religious mythology that gives it an interesting back story and fullness.
So much power in Lewis' writing and nobility and whimsy and fun. My first book of 2011 will be Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Once I'm done with that I'm going to dash through Waiter Rant. I picked it up today in Newburyport. (You probably don't know this but as a member of the Eternal Book Guild I am obligated to buy a book in every book shop I enter).
I've read about the first 50 pages of Waiter Rant and it is good. But I pretty much know everything in the book from the other restaurant and cookbooks I've read. He really should have made the book a personal narrative about why he fell into waitering and how he can't get out. That is the most interesting part of the book. Silly stories about bad customers and bad tippers are mildly fun, but do not a book make.
Then back to Narnia. By the way, hordes of Manchester By the Book blog readers : January 2011 is C.S. Lewis month in our store, meaning we have his books displayed and discounted, and we a having a cocktail party on January 29th at 7 p.m. which we be Lewis themed. You can ask me about the Eternal Book Guild at the party, but I doubt if I will tell you.