Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy 9th Birthday

As we come to the close of another year, let us attempt to reflect upon our accomplishments.  This time on our annual round-up, we bemoan that, for the third year in a row, our output is weak.  21 posts the last couple years, and it looks like 20 this year.  Honestly though, I don't care anymore.

I'm no longer interested in trying to grow this blog, but I have been reinvigorated with a desire to write.  This is due to my terrible livelihood.  A couple days ago, a pure wave of depression hit me as I considered my fate.  I struggle against this fate, yet cannot seem to overcome it, or see any way out of it.  In short, things will ever be as they have always been.  I am never going anywhere.

Now I could spend the time that I would be writing on other endeavors to try to boost my income, but even more sad is that I rarely write, and while I just stated that I have been "reinvigorated," I rarely find myself willing to sit down for 30 or 45 minutes and just type on a blank screen.  There are too many other distractions in this world now.  And the real writers should consider this an advantage--technology has provided so many distractions that less writers will actually do the work and be in competition for xxxxx number of books that get published each year.  (Perhaps this has nothing to do with reality, but the thought has crossed my mind a few times over the past couple of years, since I have had a smart phone.)

No more jibberish.  Let's get to the lists.

First of all, the top 5 most popular posts:

(2) Bossypants - Tina Fey
(1) Identical - Scott Turow 

First of all, it is shocking how popular the Identical review was--perhaps because I advertised it as a negative one, and perhaps because it may have gotten a tiny bit of traction on Twitter.  Second, the 6 other posts in the top 5 were all extremely close--between 58 and 63 views--which is even lower than last year, but like I said, I don't really care anymore.  

More important than quantity is quality, and here are the 5 posts of which I am most proud:

(1) The Goldfinch 

This is a classic FH review, in the style of many older posts.  It's quite long, and it's probably my favorite book reviewed in the past year.  The further I get away from it, the more fondly I recall it.

(2) Chicago Cubs Report Card

Of course, 2016 was a perfectly terrible year, one of the worst years in recent memory.  However, the Cubs won, so all was not lost.  

(3) Then We Came to the End

One of the more special books read in the past year, along with The Goldfinch.  One of the more entertaining reads in recent years, and I'm not sure my review itself was that entertaining, but still recommend this book to most. It casts a wide net and should appeal to a large number of readers

This is not a perfect post by any stretch, but it's a big book, and I think it was a fairly novel idea to keep track of the One Book, One Chicago project.  So I will try to keep doing that.  I think I hit on most of the major ideas from this book.  I don't think I'd read it again, but I definitely want to check out some of the other works that it references.

Not one of the best reads of the past year, but I felt this was a fairly well-written review.  I, along with everyone else, love the Smiths, and have a soft spot for Morrissey, even with how he has become increasingly strident.  There are incredibly beautiful moments in the book, and I am glad I captured them (that ending is so special to me, as I live very close to the Congress--indeed I moved even closer a couple months after the review was posted).  If you haven't read Autobiography but only have a vague interest in doing so, the review should appropriately inform you whether it's worth it to devote the 10-20 hours it should take to read.  That is the platonic ideal of a review for me and I will continue to aim to do that here.

Finally, THANK YOU ALL for reading again.  Few things in life give me greater pleasure than interacting with others that want to build and maintain a solid library of their own favorite books.  If you're reading this, you're the best!

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