We're about to start a new year! In this post, I'd like to review some of the things that I've done on this blog and in my life in the year 2012, as well as discuss what I'll be doing in 2013.
2012 was a good year for me, in terms of blogging. In February, for Black History Month, I blogged through Dean Kotlowski's Nixon's Civil Rights,
something that I've been wanting to do for Black History Month since I
first saw the book in the Cincinnati Public Library a few years ago. In
March, which was Women's History Month, I blogged through feminist
Susan Faludi's Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women,
which (in my opinion) was an effective critique of conservative
arguments regarding the pay gap between men and women in the workforce; I
also read parts of a couple of books that were edited by conservative
activist Phyllis Schlafly, which contained mostly conservative voices,
but one of them had a presentation that conveyed an interesting liberal
perspective (see here). In April, which was National Autism Month, I blogged through The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships,
by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron. I tried to read this book in 2006
but I did not finish it (perhaps due to my own insecurity about my
Asperger's, my fear that I may be doing things wrong, my lack of
interest in the topic, and my failure to identify with what the authors
were saying), but I read all of it in 2012, and I found it to be a
profitable experience. It was around that time that my Wordpress blog
started getting more followers.
continued to blog through academic books on the Bible, Judaism, and
Christianity, which I was reading in my attempt to come up with a
dissertation topic, and also to beef up my knowledge. Near the end of
the year, I changed my strategy for trying to find a dissertation topic,
which entails actively seeking a topic rather than passively reading
books. At that time, I started blogging through books that weren't as
relevant to biblical studies or antiquity, such as George Marsden's
excellent biography on Jonathan Edwards, as well as Paul Knitter's book
on religious pluralism. But I did continue to blog about a Psalm each
week throughout 2012, as I drew from academic insights and thoughts from
the History of Biblical Interpretation. I went through Psalms 58-109.
was an election year, and I decided that it was time for me to read
some political books that I wanted to read. For a long time, I had
wanted to read Rick Santorum's It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good,
and, since as a candidate he was appearing on television a lot, I
thought that 2012 was a good year to do that! I had books by Newt
Gingrich, and, since I admired his intelligence, I wanted to read about
his solutions to issues involving health care and the environment.
Along the way, I picked up Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, books by Ron Paul, Rick Perry's controversial Fed Up, Mitt Romney's No Apology,
a biography of Mitt Romney, and autobiographies by Herman Cain and
Michele Bachmann. I evaluated what I considered to be the positives and
negatives of what these politicians were saying, and, in the process, I
learned a lot. I then went on to read left-leaning books, along with
books on free trade, and one by Ed Dobson and Cal Thomas on the role of
religion in politics.
This coming year, in 2013, my plan is to
blog through books by and about Richard Nixon, since January 9, 2013
will be the centennial of his birth. I'll start this project in
January, after I finish M. Stanton Evans' Clear and Present Dangers: A Conservative View of America's Government.
I'll also be blogging through books that are about religion,
spirituality, or self-help. I'm not ruling out the possibility of
blogging through books by scholars, for I recently got an apologetics
sort of book to which a conservative New Testament scholar contributed.
Moreover, there will also be secondary literature that I will be
reading in researching for my dissertation (though I most likely won't
tell my readers what my topic is, lest someone steal it). And, of
course, I'll be blogging through the Psalms. This will take me the
whole year, for I'm planning to spend a week on each section of Psalm
119. I will also continue my practice of blogging about my church, both
the services and also the Bible studies that I'll attend.
In terms of other aspects of my life, I'm cutting down on the number of daily devotionals that I read. I'm sticking with My Daily Bread,
and also my daily reading of Scripture. My reason for this is
practical: I'll be going to my sister's wedding in Indiana this coming
February, and I don't want to pack too many books!
year, on my Wordpress blog, people clicked "like" on a number of my
posts. I've appreciated that. This is the first year in which that
happened, at least on so considerable a scale. Recently, that has
dropped off significantly, but I'm still happy that people liked my
posts during at least some of 2012! I'm trying to get used to having days in which nobody clicks "like" on my posts, which is hard after I have experienced months in which more than one person each day
clicked "like" on what I wrote! But getting used to this will help me
to prepare for this coming year, for I'm not exactly expecting for a lot
of people to click "like" on my posts about Nixon! I'm doing my Year
(or More) of Nixon for my own edification, since I am fascinated by the
man and feel an affinity for him because he (like me) was an introvert.
Many readers may not be interested in the nuances of Richard Nixon's
life. But, if you actually like those posts, feel free to click
"like"! Moreover, whether people click "like" or not, I still think
that my blog is a helpful source of information, at the very least for
myself. There have been a number of times in which I have conducted
searches on my blog to remind myself of what I read in a book a while
back. My blog is also an indicator of my growth, or lack thereof.
Have a happy 2013!
Book Plunge: Critical Conversations
4 minutes ago