Joy of Joy’s Book Blog is hosting this month’s discussion of B.A.N.D. and in her post, she asks the question, “What book or books have you used or are you using to support a goal, resolution, or project?” That’s a good question and it demands a good answer. So let’s see what I can come up with to hopefully answer Joy’s question.
As I look back on 2011 and ponder Joy’s question I guess the first things that jumps out at me are a few of reading projects I featured last year on my blog.
- True Tales of Survival. It seems that few of us can’t resist those thrilling yet true stories of folks who survived disastrous circumstances. Well, neither can I. Therefore, in 2011 I featured several books that fell under this category, books like Leningrad: State of Siege, Island of the Lost and (one of my favorites), Lost in Shangri-La. In 2012 I hope to continue this trend with Batavia’s Graveyard, Over the Edge of the World and Skeletons on the Zahara.
- About Time I Read It. Since my reading tastes can run a bit on the, um, obscure side, I admit that sometimes it takes me a while to read some of those popular, well-reviewed and even award-winning books. Therefore, last year I tried to feature several of these kind of books that sadly, took me forever to finally read. Last year I featured The Nine and The Planets. In 2012 I hope to feature other acclaimed books such as Reading Lolita in Tehran, King Leopold’s Ghost and The Evolution of God.
- Gospel Goodies. Being a wannabe theologian, over the course of 2011 I featured several books dealing with the Gospels, the life of Jesus and all things related. I ending up reading The Pagan Christ and Jesus Compared, in addition to Phillip Pullman’s fictional account The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. In 2012 I hope to feature other books of this type, with many of them being old and obscure books.
- Biographies of Faith. In 2011 I featured the life stories of famous individuals like Martin Luther and Maimonides. My spin-off project Memoirs of Faith featured the memoirs of two former fundamentalists, (one Catholic and the other Protestant), a former Jehovah’s Witness and a Muslim convert. In 2012 I plan to continue this project, hopefully encompassing individuals representing the non-Abrahamic faiths.
That’s a brief run-down on the reading projects of 2011. But what about 2012? In addition to the above-mentioned projects, (and number of reading challenges including Kinna’s African one and Helen’s Middle East one), I hope to unleash two new reading projects.
- The Enlightenment Project. I’ve been mulling this one over for about a year. I wanna start a project featuring books that explore the Enlightenment period of history. Besides A Wicked Company, I have a number of books in mind for this project including Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment and Henry Steele Commager’s The Empire of Reason. I can’t wait to start this project.
- Church-State Studies. Yet another one that’s been on my mind for a while. There’s several books I have in mind for this project including Peter Irons’s God on Trial and Greenhaven Press’s Church and State: Opposing Viewpoints.
- Point-Counterpoint. Speaking of Greenhaven Press and their Opposing Viewpoints and Current Controversies series of fine books, I’m toying with the idea of a project in which I review two diametrically opposed books side by side. Possible candidates for this project could be Cornell West’s Race Matters and Joseph Graves’s The Race Myth or maybe a pair of books representing opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Well that’s all for right now. Probably time for me to get back to my reading. It look’s like there’s a lot of work ahead of me.