Dear No One in Particular,
I love to read, and always have. I was a solitary child, and so spent much of my time holed up in my room reading. I would escape to far off places, befriend whole worlds of new people; books are my escapist drug.
I'm also aware that it's somewhat en vogue to pretend to be dumb(er), and to shown disdain for reading. I also think that's incredibly stupid. While I often struggled to fit in -- and honestly, still do -- I never pretended that reading was a chore. So many beautiful things lie buried in those words, waiting for our imaginations to set them free!
As an intense bibliophile, I carry around long lists of "To Read" books. I have a list entered in my BlackBerry, another in the Boy's iPhone, and a Moleskin notebook with a list 4 pages long. I can never visit a bookstore without padding out my beloved lists.
And here's another one: 75 Books Every Woman Should Read, as determined by Jezebel (and Jezebel commentators). A response to Esquire's 75 Books Every Man Should Read, Jezebel created a woman-centric list that provides a yin to Esquire's yang. (I bet they would love to hear that!)
I've become increasingly ... upset, I suppose, by my current preoccupation with what I call "mac-n-cheese" literature. Mostly chick lit, and picked mostly for their nonsensical plots, bad writing, and incomprehensible page-turning addictiveness, I feel I've been rotting my brain with books that, while easy to digest, are not particularly stimulating.
So, I've decided to read all 150 novels (yes, both lists for sake of a well-rounded reading experience). I've already completed 26 of the tomes over the years, and am currently making my way through Flannery O'Conner's A Good Man is Hard To Find, which I am absolutely falling in love with. Granted, I've long been an admirer of the short story (Salinger, holla!), so O'Conner's brutal prose is right up my alley.
I invite you, dear reader(s ?) to join me in this epic quest of required reading. Naturally, I'm not going to limit myself to just these books -- sometimes, you just need some mac-n-cheese to better appreciate the prime rib -- but I would love to form a sort of book club with someone, plowing through these greats of literature. I'm trying to convince the Boy to join me: I bought him Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and Jack London's Call of the Wild, two books that brought me to tears, but he's in the "reading's not for me" camp right now.
What do you think? Interested in joining me in this purely intellectual experiment? Read any of the books and have opinions that burn like the clap? Tell me! I love talking books.