Thank you to everyone who left me comments on how you keep track of the books you have read. Lots of great suggestions. I followed up on many of them over the weekend and have decided to go with the Excel spreadsheet method. But I got so many great ideas from you all about what you keep track of that I had never thought about that I suddenly have lots of things on my spreadsheet. I think it will be fun though and very useful once I transfer all of my past lists.
I spent a lot of time fussing around with Excel over the weekend. I decided to forego checking out Excel for Dummies from the library because it was too basic and because it wasn’t for the version of Excel that I have. So I took advantage of the vastness of the Internet and gained much knowledge. One of these days I am going to make some spiffy charts and see if I can figure out a way to post them.
But for all you list-makers out there, you may find Everyday Lists a fun place to visit. It’s a blog about lists and list-keeping systems for a variety of things. There was even a post recently about tracking books.
I did manage to do some reading. I am moving right along through Hearts and Minds and enjoying it very much. I also browsed through the recent print edition of Rain Taxi. I read a review about a new book by Paul Verhaeghen called Omega Minor. The book appears to be experimental and as post everything as you can get. I tend to not like experimental fiction as much as I think I do, but I was nodding my head and thinking that this might be a good book to try. Then the reviewer says this:
Verhaeghen has written–and translated, from the original Flemis–a novel with a narrow potential audience, but one that will be admired fiercely by readers who value Byzantine plots, stylistic pyrotechnics, and theoretical ambition.
So I ask myself, do I like Byzantine plots? What is a Byzantine plot anyway? I conclude that it means intricate. But it could also mean labyrinthine according to the dictionary. But it doesn’t really matter since I like intricate and/ or labyrinthine plots if there is a point and purpose to them.
But what about stylistic pyrotechnics? Google the phrase and there are 826 exact matches. It seems that everyone is into stylistic pyrotechnics these days from Kelly Link and Dave Eggers to John Updike and Salman Rushdie. I have nothing against pyrotechnics, but I have to wonder, doesn’t anybody just write a good book anymore?
As for theoretical ambition, I am all for that too as long as it has a point. Theoretical ambition sometimes amounts to a lot of navel gazing and meaningless stylistic pyrotechnics that leave the reader lost in a labyrinth. That kind of book is no fun to me.
I still have no idea if Omega Minor will dazzle or disappoint. I will add it to my TBR list with a question mark. I will see what kind of notice the book gets and from whom. And maybe, if you, kind reader, have ever experienced a Paul Verhaeghen tome, you will be kind enough to share your experience.