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Currently reading

The Election of 1860: "A Campaign Fraught with Consequences"
Michael F. Holt
Progress: 50/272 pages
The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental
John Torpey

Which book project to tackle in 2018?

Yesterday while i was in my car running some errands Hector Berlioz's "Rob Roy Overture" came over the radio. Listening to it reminded me that I still have David Cairns's two-volume biography of the composer sitting unread on my shelves. It's right next to the three volumes of Alan Walker's biography of Franz Liszt, which I started a few years back but had to set aside, and near the three volumes of Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, which it has long been my intent to read.


Thinking about the Cairns volumes and the others left me contemplating about how to make the best use of my 2018 reading resolution. Over the years I have envisioned a number of reading projects, yet once I acquire the books for them the urgency dissipates, in no small part because once I own the titles I can start them anytime I want. It's a nice feeling to know that they're there when I'm ready, but the number of projects that are piling up is a sign that I need to turn intention into reality.


So this year, I'm going to find some time to undertake at least one of them. These are the ones that I'm thinking of starting soon:


Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago

Cairns's Berlioz biography (plus music)


Walker's Liszt biography (plus music)


John C. G. Röhl's Wilhelm II


Robert Skidelsky's John Maynard Keynes (plus related writings)


Completing any one of these would give me a feeling of real accomplishment; it's just a matter of deciding which one to do. Feel free to chime in on which one you would most like to see me undertake, as you'll encounter the results in your feed later this year.