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Field Notes, vol 1

January 6, 2013

field notes

I love reading other bloggers’ journal-like notes on what they’ve been reading, and I’ve long wanted to do something similar, a bit looser than my one-book posts or my old Sunday Salon format. Since a new year seems like a good time for new beginnings, I’ll be doing just that! Sundays will now be a day for me to step back and reflect on the larger picture of what I’ve been reading, both book-wise and blog-wise. And rather than participating in TSS, I’ll now be doing my own little feature, which I’ve entitled Field Notes to indulge my secret wish to be a gentleman naturalist when I grow up. I expect to play with the format for a bit before settling into what works best.

The new year has definitely started off on the right foot: every book I’ve read so far as been quite enjoyable, and several I’ve adored. I doubt it’s a coincidence that I’ve also been exploring the back lists of authors I’ve read in the past. There’s something so delicious about reconnecting with a writer and seeing new sides to her. I’m a bit tempted to put together a mini theme of winter books. We’ve been having unusually chilly weather, which for my cold-loving self has felt like a gift from the gods. So now is the time for me to indulge in winter settings without becoming hopelessly envious! At the same time, I’m feeling the call towards older books. When I went to choose a new novel to start yesterday, I was shocked to discover that almost all of the ones I had out from the library had been published in the twenty-first century. The tyranny of the new I suppose. Good thing I’ve put my books up on my new bookcases (part of my fit of activity on New Year’s Eve), so I have access to older works as well! And luckily I had Isak Dinesen’s Winter Tales stored away, the perfect combination of winter and older writing. It’s a short story collection, so I’ve been pausing more than during a novel, and as I type I have only one story left. Each has been a jewel so far, enough that I wish the collection was twice as large. Ah well: perhaps I’ll reread her Gothic Tales for consolation.

I went on my first library catalogue frolic of the year and now have all kinds of lovely books making their way towards my library branch. I usually go to the library on Monday, so I hope most of them arrive by tomorrow. You’ll meet them on Friday when I dust off my vlogging skills, but let’s just say I definitely indulged in more of authors I’ve read in the past with a few new-to-me ones for spice.

Marilyn’s has begun a new project: Global Women of Color. It’s both a resource blog and challenge for 2013, and I hope it has widespread success. Look for a list from me soon of books I might read for it and books I definitely recommend to other participants, but for now I urge you to visit and sign up. Marilyn has provided three different levels, one of which is simply to follow the blog and comment, so you can broaden your awareness even if you can’t read any books.

On a related note, it’s my turn to host the discussion at A Year of Feminist Classics. We’re reading Feminism Without Borders by Chandra Talpade Mohanty this month. I’m not going to start the discussion until mid January, so you’ve got time to get your hands on a copy and join us (I’ll be picking it up from the library tomorrow)!

Finally, I’ve decided to do a blog makeover in the next couple of months. It’s been years, literally, and though I’m content to be a creature of habit I’ve got a few new ideas I’d like to try out. If you have any thoughts on the matter, do share, although if you’re like me most of your blog reading is through a feed reader anyway.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2013 8:28 am

    What a great idea. I have started something similar, which I’m calling Stacked-Up Book Thoughts, which is my sporadic way of talking about my reading and viewing life. I’m looking forward to these.

  2. January 6, 2013 9:48 am

    I like the idea of field notes, or short blurbs about books being read – not every book needs a detailed analysis by me, nor can I do it. Which is why I fall behind in my book reviews too, because I think I ought to review this one or that one, this is a book blog I’m writing! when I realize, this blog is mine, and I can write about any book I want, when I want. It’s my ruminative journal about books. This was over the past couple of years, as I struggled to know how I wanted to write on my blog about books. I look forward to your field notes, Eva, and to hearing about the books you want to talk about. Happy New Year, and I hope 2013 has lots of reading pleasures for you.

  3. January 6, 2013 10:21 am

    How fun! I am still basically in a reading slump, but am attempting to work my way out of it. I really should participate in A Year of Feminist Classics one of these months. I need to get better at reading, though!

  4. January 6, 2013 11:27 am

    I like the overall design of your blog very much. I’ve never used a feed reader myself. Your current design is very classy, very classic, kind of academic looking, very clearly about books. I wonder if there is a visual image you like that might pop-out and really identify your blog as yours. That would be my suggestion. Have fun with the redesign.

    • January 7, 2013 6:14 am

      Thanks CB! By visual image, do you mean the header? That’s definitely the main thing I’m going to change; I got a fun new camera for Christmas so I’m trying to decide what type of photo I want to take/use.

  5. January 6, 2013 11:46 am

    This is a great idea! Also, I’m really looking forward to the vlog you promised us! Though I must say, your vlogs tend to be dangerous when it comes to the length of my TBR-list. :D

  6. January 6, 2013 1:13 pm

    I love your new feature! Happy Sunday. :)

  7. January 6, 2013 2:19 pm

    I like your journal idea – and like James said, since I never use a feed reader, I admire well designed blog sites…and yours is certainly one of those. Have a great year.

    • January 7, 2013 6:15 am

      Thanks Sam! I imagine the general layout & emphasis on white space will remain the same in the redesign. Perhaps more of a sprucing up than extreme makeover. ;)

  8. January 6, 2013 2:23 pm

    great new feature Eva ,I loved rob of robaroundbooks reading journal posts ,all the best stu

  9. January 7, 2013 9:17 am

    I understand the desire to change things but I like the basic design of your blog. I also like the “Field Notes” idea. I’ve written a few post with thoughts about several books I’ve read and find it a quick way to play catch-up. Glad you are back!

    • January 7, 2013 8:12 pm

      I like the basic design too! I just want to play around with the header/side bars, etc. and maybe find a similar template with a few different features. No big changes! :)

  10. January 7, 2013 11:58 am

    I’m enjoying your new 2013 posts. Looking forward to all the changes you’re contemplating, especially the field notes.

  11. January 7, 2013 7:34 pm

    I hope it does not say anything terrible about me that my immediate response to your remark about gentleman naturalists was to imagine Luna Lovegood’s future career as a lady naturalist, and how cool it would be to be her. :p

    I’m excited to read your Field Notes — excellent name for what I’m sure will be an excellent feature — and looking forward to seeing your new blog layout. This current one is very simple and lovely, but I always enjoy a redesign. (Not for me because I am lazy. For other people. :p)

    • January 7, 2013 8:14 pm

      From the comments I’m beginning to realise that my mental idea of a redesign is far more conservative than other people’s! lol I too am happily lazy & am mainly just going to mess with the photos a bit.

      I don’t really remember Luna Lovegood (I gave up on Harry Potter after the 5th book came out) but squee for lady naturalists! I should’ve written that instead of gentleman naturalist but I was in a cranky gender mood. lol

  12. January 8, 2013 7:26 am

    Loving Field Notes! I love when people write about their reading experiences. Of course, I love book reviews, too. Call me greedy if you will, but getting both from you is absolutely wonderful! :D

  13. boardinginmyforties permalink
    January 8, 2013 4:34 pm

    Very excited you will be dusting off your vlog again. I always enjoy hearing you talk about the books you find at the library and have missed seeing Thistle too!

  14. January 13, 2013 8:21 am

    I love the idea of your new posts – very excited to read more of them!


  1. Global Women of Color 2013 « Olduvai Reads

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