Archives For #50BookPledge

Such a disappointment. I’d heard this book pimped by so many cinephiles, including the guys on Filmspotting. How could it possibly not live up? Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is Peter Biskind‘s book about the New Hollywood of the late-60s and 70s. It promised to run through everything. All the little details. A journalistic look at how the era came about and eventually faltered. Unfortunately I wasn’t told that the journalism was less New Yorker, more People Magazine. Click to read more.


I love me some Mark Kermode. LOVE HIM! For those of you who may not be familiar with The Good Doctor, Mark Kermode PhD is a film critic for BBC radio. His show is available on iTunes as a podcast called Kermode and Mayo Film Review. Go listen to it. It’s great.

Anyway, Mark Kermode is one of the most entertaining and erudite critics around. He also knows how to string a damn good sentence together. He’s passionate and loud and funny and loves to rant. Basically the perfect guy to write a book about the state of film in the modern era. But here’s the rub: I didn’t actually “read” his latest book, The Good, the Bad and the Multiplex. Instead, since he’s a great guy to listen to on the radio, I opted for the audiobook version. Kermode reads his book and brings so much passion in his voice that I can’t recommend “reading” it any other way. Click to read more.

Two books down. My choice for the second book of my 50 Book Pledge was Cormac McCarthy’s seminal Blood Meridian. Given how much I loved the Coen brothers’ adaptation of No Country for Old Men, and how great McCarthy’s novel The Road was, my excitement was pretty high. Sadly, I can’t say I enjoyed Blood Meridian very much. Click to read more.

My (50) Book Pledge

January 9, 2012 — 12 Comments

This week I learned about something called The 50 Book Pledge. The idea comes from the site, The Savvy Reader, and I think it’s a great one. What does the pledge entail? Well, it’s as simple as it sounds.

I hereby pledge to read 50 books during the calendar year 2012.

Okay, fine, I’ll be honest with you. I am very bad with these sorts of pledges. Very bad. I usually bail out super fast. A pledge that relates specifically to books is even harder for me. I enjoy reading, but I’m not the fastest reader, and my reading habits are terrible. Sometimes I can read a book in two days. Sometimes it takes me five months.

So here’s how this will work. My pledge is going to be a bit more maleable. I’m going to hedge myself. My aim is to get to 50 books. Heck, maybe I’ll try for more than 50. But I don’t think the idea behind the pledge is to stress people out about reaching any particular number. It’s a way to get people like myself to read more. That’s all. So here’s the altered version of my pledge.

I hereby pledge to attempt to read 50 books during the calendar year 2012.

It’s a slight change, but it makes a huge difference. No longer is my pledge about the number, it’s about the attempt. It’s about the idea of the pledge in the first place. I’m going to try to read as much as possible. I’m going to mix it up with fiction and non-fiction. I’m going to aim for the stars (50) and hopefully I’ll reach them, but if I only get to the moon at least I’ll have gotten somewhere.

So here goes My (50) Book Pledge. The first book on the docket? Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

I’ll be using this post as the index for reviews of each book I finish, as well as any potentially related posts I write. Let’s hope it’s nice and long by the end of the year.

Click to see Index