The End of the Beginning

If we never read the next chapter, we’ll never know how the story ends, and the only way to appreciate a book is to know its entire story. Continue reading

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Exploring the World from the Comfort of my Chair

It’s a common trope among readers to compare reading to travel. We can read about countries we cannot (or simply have not) go to in person, and learn about other cultures, customs, and ideas. Even within the canon of English literature (meaning the theoretical collection of works written in English and deemed important, classic, or worth passing down), there are books set in nearly every country! Once blogger/author that I follow once undertook a project attempting to read a book from every country, with fascinating results. This, combined with some inspiration from the last book I read (Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold), has inspired me to keep track of the places featured in the books that I read in 2018. As someone who loves adventure but who always has to plan everything out, I think it will be interesting to see all the places that I visit in books this year.

Below is the map that I will be updating with every book that I finish. I will be coloring in countries in which part of the story takes place; that is, places that the characters actually go, not just places that are mentioned or referenced. I hope to see a lot of the countries filled in by the end of the year! The more important thing, however, is not where the book is set but what the reader learns from it. Perhaps, by reading about people in vastly different places and situations, I will end up learning more about myself, my beliefs, and my world throughout this year.

How many countries I have been to. Visited Countries Map Maker
Visited 4 UN countries (2.07%) out of 193.
Make your own visited countries map.

UPDATE! I’m starting one for US states that the books I read are set in, as well. I expect this to be a lot easier to fill up than the world map.


Create Your Own Visited States Map

What’s the most interesting or unique setting you have read this year? Has a book ever caused you to have such extreme wanderlust that you ended up visiting its setting? Tell me in comments section!

Brief Update: Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

If you follow me on Goodreads, you know that I’ve been doing a lot of casual research on J.D. Salinger recently, as well as working my way through his short stories. Yesterday I finished the novella “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”, the first of two stories collected into a single volume. Although I will do a full review of the book after I finish the second novella (“Seymour: An Introduction”), I wanted to say something about this story alone. As with all good stories, I’m left mulling over what has happened and uncertain about how to feel. The story revolves around Seymour’s wedding day, but interestingly, Seymour is never present in the action of the story. Salinger accomplishes a great feat in this story; he manages to teach the reader a lot about a character who is never actually there. Moreover, he delves subtly into deep questions like what it means to be happy and how to prioritize your own and others’ happiness. It is definitely an interesting addition to my understanding of Seymour and Buddy Glass. Now, after taking a little time to think through this first story, I am eager to see how “Seymour: An Introduction” adds to my mental image of Seymour and whether Salinger will continue to develop the questions raised in “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”.