Monday, September 11, 2006


Volume III of Mencken's autobiography is not sequentially related to the first two. According to the Preface, he decided to do another volume based on reader demand, and had leftover tidbits from childhood to dotage which he expanded to fill up a third tome. He also admits with a wink that there are a great many 'stretchers' in the text. I'd go further: Heathen Days is a book of tall-tales featuring H.L. Mencken as hero. It reads like Casanova's memoirs as re-imagined by Sam Clemens (minus the women), and is therefore unimaginably good.

I have 3.5 months in which to read 28 more books. I will never do this 100 books in a year thing again. I much prefer leisurely reading without keeping score.


nora said...

I think about keeping track sometimes - I did for a school assignment in early elementary school and handily beat the competition - but the need to hit benchmarks always seems like too much of an obligation, not much in tune with the natural fits and starts of leisure reading.

geoff said...

Agreed. Typically I go through heavy periods and light periods, and like to allow natural rhythms full sway. I'd guesstimate 80 books per year as a standard.

Aiming for 100 turns reading into a chore, a race, an obligation. Some can reap great rewards that way, but I'm going to pass on future numeric tallies after this year.

Nick said...

Just read some comics de Maupassant pamphlets and call it a wash. I wont tell.

geoff said...

That's a plan.

I have a de Maupassant ghost story compilation with an intro by R. Campbell.