Law and Conversation

December 23, 2010

Three for 2011

Filed under: Books and writing,Law,reading — Helen Gunnarsson @ 2:27 pm

Earlier this week I mentioned looking back over what I’ve read in 2010 and considering what goals to set in 2011. 

It can be dangerous to mention a goal to another person.  Have you ever indiscreetly mentioned a project to someone who later, after all hope of completing it had evaporated, pointedly asked you in front of others how it was going?  That happened to me years ago, and I’m still wondering whether I was the only one who had that passive-aggressive individual’s number.

As many others have noted, publicly announcing a goal can also be a good way of putting extra pressure on yourself to complete it.  I’ve read a number of wonderful books I might not have but for committing to others that I’d do so.  And, unlike the project I unwisely let slip to that frenemy so many years ago, I really love reading, so motivation is not an issue.

Here are three reading goals of mine for 2011:

1) A Dickens novel.  Haven’t read one in a couple of years, and I’m thinking it’s time for “Little Dorrit.”

2) A nice, juicy biography.  Much as I love biographies, I haven’t read enough of them this year.  I’m thinking of Benita Eisler’s “O’Keefe and Stieglitz,” which has been on my nightstand for way too long.

3) “Can You Forgive Her?” by Anthony Trollope.  Best known for his Palliser and Barsetshire novel series, his pictures of human nature in 19th-century England are entertaining and dead-on.

A further goal of mine is to think and write more about the legal issues that the stories in these and other books raise.  As the discussion with the authors of the delightful new blog on comics and the law, “Law and the Multiverse,” shows, even the most fantastic fiction–to say nothing of even more fantastic real-life tales–provides fodder for legal thought.

What are your reading goals for 2011? 

This is my last post for 2010.  See you next year!

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