I’ve just posted my in-progress 2017 Book List. I’ll update it with books as I finish them, and I’ll also update it with reviews (even of the “here’s a brief comment” variety) as I do them. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for my own sake for a while, and bumping into this post by Tim Brown reminded me how much I want to be sharing what I read with other people.
Sometimes I get myself spun up on thinking that I need to be reviewing books with the best of them. In reality, I really just want to do like Tim says in that post (emphasis his):
When I am reading and sharing ideas about what I have read, I feel like my best self. I want more of that feeling.… I’m wondering if acknowledging what I read, along with a substantial visual (a book cover image?) and any highlights or notes, could feel just as good as having a physical book…. Maybe I could list my piles of books here on my website, and link them to blog post entries with highlights/notes.
That’s it exactly. So I’m going ahead and doing the work: I’m going to keep that list up to date, and I’m going to try to write and share something about every book I read for the rest of the year. It doesn’t have to be a lot—just a sentence or two will do in many cases. “I liked it” or “This had a lot of potential but didn’t quite measure up to it.” Something simple like what Wynn Netherland does, or something long and careful when it makes good sense.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to write one of those killer reviews that ends up changing a whole conversation, or maybe I’ll just have a bunch of interesting notes I can look back on later and be able to see what I thought about a book when I’m curious a decade later. Either way, I think it’ll be a nice win.
So: book list.