You, you hang out with those people, you have lunch a lot, and, and, before you even know it attachments form.

Five authors I'd like to hang out with:

William Shakespeare

Jane Austen

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wilfred Owen

Mary Stewart

Five fictional characters I'd like to hang out with:

First is Verity Kindle, but there are no pictures of her. Alas.

Harriet Vane

Elizabeth Bennet



I know Ratty is really small and so is his boat, and I wouldn't want to crush or drown him, so I would only hang out with him if I could shrink down to the size of a water vole for the day. If that's not allowed, then I'd hang out with Mr Gumpy. I promise not to squabble.

Mr Gumpy

Five fictional places I'd like to hang out:

The park on Cherry Tree Lane

The Chathrand, as it sails all about in Alifros


Barchester (this is actually Salisbury, but Trollope
supposedly got his inspiration for Barchester from here)

Middle Earth

What about you? Literarily speaking, where or with whom would you like to hang out?


I checked this out weeks ago for a bit of light reading

Acknowledgements: I was inspired to write this post after reading a couple of others like it.

I've whined in the past about how I don't think I read fast enough, or maybe I just plain don't read enough, when all around me I hear about people reading 30 or 50 or 120 or even more books a year. Three books a week I heard one person say. She's the one who reads while watching tv, and somehow that just doesn't seem right or true to me, like you're either not really reading or not really watching tv. If you eat and vomit at the same time, you're not really eating, are you? Well, maybe that's not a good example.

Anyway, I read 22 books during 2010. That averages to fewer than two books a month. Pretty pathetic, especially since two of the 22 were audio books, two were graphic novels (sort of - The Invention of Hugo Cabret was part regular novel and part graphic novel), and four were young adult books.

On the other hand, I think it counts for something that seven of the books were monstrous great tomes. I enjoyed them a lot, but still, reading one of them was like reading three normal size books.

So, of the 22 books I read this year, I most recommend the following:

Leviathan and Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld
Blackout and All Clear, by Connie Willis
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown
(I wish I could include The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The [Rats and the] Ruling Sea, by Robert V S Redick, but I read them last year.)

You may notice that these books are all science fiction or fantasy novels. I realize those genres may not be to everyone's taste, but if you are eager to experience excellent writing about realistic and engaging characters involved in intriguing plots, challenge yourself to expand your reading mind with these wonderful books.

Several people I know make goals for how many books they hope to read during a given year. I've decided to try that this year and see how it goes. I've started with a goal of 25 books and I've listed them on my Goodreads page. (#25, Nation Within, is actually one I already started, but I've been ignoring it for some time and want to finish.) I think maybe choosing the books I want to read this year will help me achieve my goal, but we'll see how it really goes. My question is, am I being too easy on myself by not challenging myself more?