Wednesday, January 09, 2008

my year of reading dangerously

I saw this reading challenge on Andi's blog, and I immediately fell in love with it. What a fantastic idea, to challenge yourself to read the things that you normally wouldn't give a second glance.

january - great expectations, by charles dickens
february - the bluest eye, by toni morrison
march - cat's eye, by margaret atwood
april - transformations, by anne sexton
may - other voices, other rooms, by truman capote
june - lolita, by vladimir nabokov
july - the chocolate war, by robert cormier
august - maus i and ii, by art spiegelman
september - the secret lives of people in love, by simon van booy
october - the human stain, by philip roth
november - classic short stories, tba
december - the grapes of wrath, by john steinbeck

A couple of the books on this list - such as The Bluest Eye, The Chocolate War, and The Grapes of Wrath - I've already read, but I think I'll reread them, since part of the fun in reading a book is discussing it with others, and I haven't had that opportunity in what feels like forever. Other books - like Lolita - have been on my reading wish list for ages, and now I have a reason to attack. And still, some - I'm talking to you, Great Expectations - terrify me... we had to read GE in AP English in high school, and it was the only book I couldn't finish. I hated it. I'm glad this book is in the first month, though... better to get it out of the way early. I'll probably end up loving it (I hope, I hope!), but it scares the bejeezus out of me just the same.

It's a little strange to have an entire year of reading plotted out when the ball has barely dropped in Times Square... but it's sort of refreshing, too. Lately, I've been averaging finishing about one book a month, and that's just sad. There was a time not too long ago in which I would routinely finish a book every week. I even had a pattern - I'd start a book on Monday, finish on Friday, use the weekend for reading newspapers and magazines, and then start a new one on Monday.

Nerdy? Yes. Fulfilling? Absolutely.

Realistically, with my work schedule as it's been lately, I probably can't go back to that standard. But I can try. Of course, fulfilling this challenge requires me to break my personal Book Buying Ban self-instituted in November... but what the hell. Those B&N gift cards I got for Christmas aren't going to last forever!


Steven said...

Becky - I'm doing something similar!

I'm picking a new book each month that I've never heard of and then having every intention of reading it but never actually getting around to it. This will allow me to ignore whole new genres of literature and feel guilty about books I wouldn't normally read.

My other idea was to just pick a book each month that was turned into a movie, purchase the book and display it prominently, watch the movie and then if people ask about the book just tell them either, "the book was so much better than the movie" or “the movie left out a lot of important character development and sub-plots that were important to the book.”

I figure I can’t lose.


Andi said...

I'm so glad you decided to join us! Looking forward to discussin' with ya!

Sis B said...

this seems like so much fun! i'm not sure i have the time for it, but i would love to do it.

i read GE a few years ago just because i thought i should. if i'm correct, there are two endings to the book. the first one was dickens' idea, the second was because his readership revolted and demanded a different ending. i preferred the first one, myself. make sure you get both!

happy reading!

KiKi said...

I'm down! I love to read. BTW I'm with you on the GE thing - it's a literary masterpiece that absolutely sucks! LOL

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with reading dangerously, but you did mention gift cards....

I went to the mall yesterday to buy a pipe (corn cob, of course) with my mall gift card. Found a great one, ready to buy it..."I can use this gift card here, right?" "Sure." "Well, here it is then." "oh....our card reader is broken."


Evatitude said...

I read a lot, and everything...of all the books you picked i guess Lolita is my favorite...its sad and so true..makes you wonder what beauty really is!!!!

Evatitude said...

i would recommend that you read any of Paulo Cuelho's book, or if you find any of Francoise Sagan...or if that is not your style, then 'the definitive Drucker' can be a good choice...and it just came out....enjoy!!!

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