Monday, February 08, 2010

50 books. Where do I stand?

At the last check in for my 50 Books in 2010 goal, I was at 3. That was on January 16. Today, on February 8, I'm at 7. Not bad, I'm slightly ahead of the minimum average I want to keep (1 book each week) to meet the goal by the end of the year. This is good, as I know that my reading will drop once the baby arrives in June.

Since my last update, I've read the following: The Pine Barrens by John McPhee, a history and memoir of the New Jersey Pine Barrens; The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, a childrens book that is part fairy tale and part complex poetry for adults; The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs, an author I read another book by recently (The Face in the Frost) but didn't realize he was the same person who wrote one of my favorite books from when I was a kid; and Dark Entries by Ian Rankin, a John Constantine (Hellblazer)graphic novel set in a haunted house that was somewhat curiously published in the Vertigo Crime series for no reason I can figure other than the author is primarily a mystery writer.

Next up: a new take on vampires in The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (thanks to Tim for the recommendation!)

listening: nothing at the moment

Manhood for Amateurs

I completed the first book of my "50 in 2010" on New Years Day-Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Fathr, Husband, and Son by Michael Chabon. I actually started it a while ago, getting about 1/3 of the way in, but it was a library book and was recalled before I had a chance to finish it. I checked it back out a couple weeks ago, and decided to kick off the new year by finishing it. I've read some of Chabon's work before-a few short stories, a couple essays, and his fantastic tribute to the pulp adventure stories of Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard, Gentlemen of the Road.  

Manhood for Amateurs is a collection of essays about being male, and the roles in life that men play-son, husband, father, brother, son-in-law, and so on. Chabon is definitely a geek-comics, sword & sorcery, science fiction, to name a few typically geeky things that had (and continue to have) a major impact on his life. Between the writings about being male and those about interests that I share with him, I found myself relating to almost all the essays one way or another.

Reading these essays made me think a lot about who I was growing up, where I came from, who the male figures were that influenced my life, and where my life is now. As I read about his life as a father, especially the birth of his first child, I was thinking to the future. Who will my child be? What will they be like, and what will their influences be? I am looking forward to sharing the things I liked as a kid-Lego bricks, Star Wars, comics, playing in the woods, and so on. Will my son enjoy the same things I did? Or will we be strangers to each other, not able to comprehend what/why we are different?

So, as not to stray too far from the original point of this post, I highly recommend Manhood for Amateurs. Knowing a number of people who read my blog, I have a feeling they will relate to, and enjoy, Chabon's essays in many of the same ways I did.