nonstop blather careful consideration and some coin-tossing weighty decision-making, I have finalized (sort of) my Remedial Lit Summer Project list. Here 'tis.
1. Don Quixote
2. Silas Marner
3. Grapes of Wrath (or East of Eden)
4. Moby Dick
5. Jane Eyre
6. Remembrance of Things Past (just Swann's Way)
7. Blood Meridian
8. The Inferno
9. The Good Soldier
10. The House of the Seven Gables
11. Light in August (or The Sound and the Fury)
12. Leaves of Grass
I left myself the last two blank until I see other people's lists. Because I am a follower and will want to copy. Also in case in the middle of the summer I can't take it and need to announce that the latest copy of Us Weekly is a "classic."
Some addenda to the rules, because Jacqui's Room is like my first grade classroom and I want everyone to succeed.
1. I am reading 15 books. You can choose as many as you think you can reasonably do in 15 weeks. You can skip weeks, read the ones on my list that you've missed, however you want to set it up. "Winning" just means making your goal.
2. We all reserve the right to give up on a book, if we've made a valiant effort. Life is too short to read books we hate. I (and your conscience) will be the ultimate judge of whether your effort is valiant. With input, of course, from Kristi.
3. That said, I refer us all to Francine Prose's book Reading Like a Writer, in which she reminds us that classics are classics for a reason, and even if we don't personally connect with them, they have lessons for us as writers (fighting not to add "and as people" too cheesy, but can't stop myself -- help!). Actually, I think I'll keep that book nearby all summer since she reads a lot of the ones on my list.
We start Monday. Or whenever you get here. Post your list and get ready to dive in.
One plea: if you are joining us and plan to purchase your books, please try to use your independent bookstore. As tempting as a giant Amazon order would be, I had to put in a word for your local indie. Find one here. Or at least order from Powell's.
Friday, May 23, 2008