Monday, January 03, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Why, yes, I am a little crazy. Thank you for asking :)

I noticed last year that my reading had taken a nosedive. Not only was I not reading anything very good, I wasn't reading very much at all! For someone who, upon seeing a list marked "Favorite Activities", always puts "Reading" first - this was unacceptable.

Obviously, part of the problem is that I have three kids and I homeschool. I do a lot of reading, it's just not reading for me. I read lots of board books, children's books, early readers, and read alouds - but my Grown Up reading has been sadly lacking.

I was browsing a message board I frequent, when I saw a post titled "52 Books in 52 Weeks".

"Ludicrous." I thought. "Who has that kind of time?"

Well, I could probably do it if all I read were Harlequin novels. Or Chick-lit. Or Children's Books. Or magazines. But actual books with actual literary merit? Nope, not a chance. I have laundry to do, you know.

But there was a niggle in the back of my head that was asking, nay, pleading that I take part in this challenge. It had been so long since my intellect was poked or prodded beyond what I was currently teaching my kids and even longer since I dared to step outside my usual reading genres (Chick Lit. Children's Books. Magazines. No, not Harlequin novels.) and it was time to take the leap.

So, off I started on browsing and questioning and list making trying to find good books to read during the coming year. Books that weren't stupid, that made me think, or that were just fantastic representations of their genre. Friends suggested, online lists were consulted, and finally a list was (mostly) completed.

Each month I'll pick out 4 or 5 books from my master list and get them started. While my aim is to read a book a week, some of them are much longer than others and I may have to fudge a little on the time frame - no need drive myself anymore nuts than I already am.

Each week, I'll post a review of the book that I most recently finished and let you know if it was the best thing I've ever read or just crap. I may have to come up with some sort of rating system and you can bet your hind parts that "Total Crap" will be the lowest rating :)

Here are the picks (I'll add them each month and make this a page):


Ella Minnow Pea - Mark Dunn
The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon
The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
The Sun Also Rises - Earnest Hemingway

Wish me luck and let me know of any books you think I would enjoy!


Jennifer said...

Whoa, girl. Good luck. That's some heavy reading, there! I'd love to know about the ones that you positively love, so I can read them too :)

Regena said...

I start school again soon so I can't wait to read vicariously through you! Let's read some great books.;)

Tiffany said...

So excited for your grown-up Book It program to get rolling! (Did I ever tell you that A.J. got me a Book It tee-shirt in honor of the reading list I had to do before my candidate exams?)

I mailed you the requested tomes on Friday. Please let me know when they arrive because I am having torturous visions of three semester's worth of marginalia in /The Sun Also Rises/ getting lost on a mailroom floor and I am slightly freaked out about it. So when said box is delivered safely into your paws, if you could just drop me a line to ease my paranoid mind, I'd really appreciate it!

Oh -- and I remember thinking of another one last night that I knew you'd love but I didn't write it down and now I can't remember. But once I do recall it, I'll let you know in case you need a filler.

Karen Twombly said...

Tiffany hit a nerve in me...there really should be a Book-It for grown ups!! You'd earn alot of pizza my friend! But seriously I'll be cheering for you and hoping you hit that finish line! Karen T. :)

Robin McCormack said...

Welcome to the challenge. I'm so glad you decided to join. The Year of Living Biblically is both educational and hilarious. I love his writing. Great selection. Happy reading!

chereemoore said...

This is my third year to read 52+ books and it is not as hard as it seems {even with a full-time job and a life}.

The Year of Living Biblically was very funny.

Good luck!

Me said...

Whoa! 52 books in 52 weeks, you know that's like, a book a week right?