Thursday, July 22, 2010

Conjuring Books....

"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." -Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of Experience

When I started this blog a couple months ago, I was a complete ingenue to the blogosphere. (Still am. A friend told me that most bloggers don't use words like ingenue. Alas, will I ever learn?) You see, for the past ten years I was a geeky grad student and then an English prof, and a lot of stuff happened during that time - Facebook, wikipedia and Survivor happened - and throughout it all I had my head buried in the dusty pages of a rare books library.

When I decided to cash in my chips on that socks-and-Birkenstock profession and rejoin the land of the living, I had some catching up to do. All these acronyms, like LOL, WTH or WTFH, left me feeling like an oblivious wallflower. But now, thanks to the friend who convinced me to start this blog (the therapeutic effects of blogging and sharing my experiences, he said, might be beneficial to my wellbeing) and the support of you kind-hearted readers, I feel as if I've at least got a toe in the twenty-first century.

The other day, a certain Bushpig left a comment that alerted me to a glaring oversight. He (I'm assuming Bushpig is a he) wanted to know where my actual reading list can be found. Considering that I've named my blog "The Reading List," it's a fair question. Thanks for pulling my head out of the dusty tomes, Bushpig.

Initially, when I was toying with the idea of blogging about the books that have uplifted and inspired me at crisis points in my life (moments when my career and love life were going so badly I was getting damned close to the edge of the rooftop), I envisioned "The Reading List" as an ever evolving, notebook-like compilation of scribblings about diverse books. The reading list would be more of an overarching concept than an actual list. Now that I think about it, however, Bushpig is right. A blog called "The Reading List" should include an actual list. So as of this afternoon, I've created on the right hand side a list of all the books I have discussed so far, and gone back to old posts and added the corresponding book numbers to their titles.

And if other readers have suggestions, please, pretty please, let me know - we Luddites need all the help we can get.

Photo from: here


Naomi said...

Do you plan to post the reading list you suggested to your father or will this be kept for your book? Posting your reading list is a great idea!

Alyce said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and I'm loving the intelligent writing! I'll be adding this to my reader so that I can keep up with your posts.

Leslie Shimotakahara said...


Hmm.... I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to post the reading list that I suggested to my dad. A few of the books I've written about in the blog so far (Walden, The House of Mirth, The Maltese Falcon) were on my father's reading list. Discussing these books with him helped me get to know him better and unearthed some family secrets that made me see our family as screwed up as a Faulknerian family - as I discuss in my memoir-in-progress. I'm sure that bits and pieces of that family history will make its way into the blog, too....

Brenda said...

Keep up the good writing. Despite what you might have been told, I think it is possible to be attracted to an ingenue in the blogosphere.

I love the Louisa May Alcott quote. I have my reading list posted on Goodreads and I try to review some or most of what I have read on my blog as well.

I think you sound delightful! What is a Bushpig? Is that a euphemism for a Republican or is it some kind of an animal?
Just wondering.

Leslie Shimotakahara said...

Thanks, Brenda! Your comment about Bushpig amuses me.... I have no idea of his political affiliations - all I know is that he's a guy who started following my blog early on, leaving surly but entertaining comments. And now he's giving me tips about blogging....

Bushpig.vrc said...

LOL - euphemism for a republican. I was last asked if it was some sort of anti-W'ism.

I'm just a guy that likes to wear a pig helmet when I go to the mountains.


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About Me

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Toronto, ON, Canada
Leslie Shimotakahara is a writer and recovering academic, who wanted to be simply a writer from before the time she could read. Hard-pressed to answer her parents’ question of how she would support herself as a writer, Leslie got drawn into the labyrinthine study of literature, completing her B.A. in Honours English from McGill in 2000, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American Literature from Brown in 2006. After graduation, she taught English at St. Francis Xavier University for two years. Leslie woke up one morning and realized that she’d had enough of the Ivory Tower. The fact that she wasn’t doing what she wanted to do with her life loomed over her, and the realization was startling. It was time to stop studying and passively observing life and do something real instead. She needed to discover herself and tell her own story. This blog and the book she has written under the same title (Variety Crossing Press, spring 2012) are her foray. Leslie's writing has been published in WRITE, TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and GENRE.