Okay, don't all cheer at once, but I'm back to resurrect the blog from it's long overdue winter slumber.
The reason for this burst of new energy? A lack of direction in my reading matter. I'm willing to admit that I'm a list-a-holic. I make lists for movies to watch on Netflix, lists of holiday destinations to check out, lists of recipes to try, lists lists lists. And of course, lists of books to read. For several years Six to be precise) these consisted of academic reading matter for a literature and history degree. When that finished I frequently had the lists of book award longlists or shortlists on regular order at the library.
I've had various stabs at the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list but the mere size is so overwhelming that you end up having to take a specific approach to the list (reading modern books first i.e. from the back forwards, reading chronologically by date, reading the 20th century list only are all approaches I've tried) but with such a huge challenge you are setting yourself up to fail. And then of course they keep bringing out new versions with revisions of more books. To add them to the list? To remove those from your book that they have removed? Oh, these are the questions that keep me awake at night :)
Well today I have devised a new reading list/challenge for myself based on my birth year (cough, hum 1966 shush I know, I don't look it, you sweet talkers you) and you can tailor it to your own birth year and your own version of the 1001 books.
So this is the new approach and I think it makes it achievable. My first list is solely made up of the books published in 1966 in the 2006 version of 1001 books, and as I finish that I will start on the 1967 list. Each time I complete a year I will have a sense of achievement and can stop at the end of any year and pick up again with a sense of direction.
So, the reading list of books published in 1966 looks like this, a beautifully easy to manage list of just five books:
1. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
2. Giles Goat Boy by John Barth
(-. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys) - already read. Highly recommended if you have not read this.
3. The Vice-Consul by Marguerite Duras
(-. The Magus by John Fowles)-already read. Recommended but don't expect to know what is going on half of the time- this is a very confusing novel.
4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote- I have started this in the past and not finished it. I will give it another go.
5. Trawl by B.S. Johnson