One year ago yesterday, I posted my very first review on Miss Darcy’s Library. To be honest, I would never have thought of starting a blog if a very dear friend had not suggested it and encouraged me throughout the initial tentative, apprehension-filled phases. Neither of us had any idea how to go about it but we had the greatest fun discussing all the options and emails flew back and forth across the Atlantic as we came up with new ideas.
I was very ambitious for my new blog – perhaps overly so. My first goal was to create a book club where I could discuss books with like-minded people the way I had always wanted to. But, inspired by the circle of the French Romantics, I also wished to open up the conversation to artists and musicians, inviting reflection on the many rich connections which exist between words, sounds, and images. Perhaps I did indeed bite off more than I could chew. At any rate, I quickly decided to focus on the written word for the time being.
In this, I hope I have been successful. I have taken great pleasure in sharing my readings with my handful of loyal followers, and writing my reviews has certainly helped to clarify my thoughts and deepen my understanding of the books in question. I have tried to be as varied as possible in my choices while staying true to my natural inclinations, and have reviewed only those books which I deemed well-written and worth passing on. My reading diet has included time-honoured classics as well as forgotten works, prize-winning contemporary works as well as lesser-known titles I have picked up out of curiosity. I hope to have only rarely been pedantic or trite, to have been original sometimes, and to have led my readers to more than one happy discovery!
Though my original project was too vast, I have nonetheless allowed myself to digress occasionally, slipping in a childhood memory, a description of my family home, or an account of an evening out at the opera among the book lists and reviews. All of these digressions have been linked, in some way or another, to the world of books, and so I do not think I need apologize for them. In fact, those who like to be forewarned may already take note that, among other things, I am planning to digress on the subject of tea in the very near future…
While books will remain the main focus of my blog, in the future I am thinking of including more posts on writing, in the hope that I will be inspired to take my novel out of the drawer where it has been languishing and actually get some work done on it. For surely it is only fitting that the words of others should fire one with creative energy oneself?!
There is still a lot of work to put into this blog before it even begins to resemble what I have in mind, but all in all, this year has been an encouraging one, and my interest has by no means waned with the passing of time. On the contrary, the more I think about it, the more enthusiastic I become and the more ideas I have running riot in my head. So a big thank you to my friend for pitching the idea to me in the first place, and to my readers for your comments and support. You all make Miss Darcy’s Library what it is and I look forward to many more exchanges!
© Florence Berlioz 2011