|Prefrontal cortex curls, 10 reps x 3 sets|
How do people select the books they read? I am curious about this. Is it recommendations from friends? Book club selections? What's at the top (or bottom) of the New York Times bestseller list? An intriguing cover that catches your eye as you browse the bookstore? An Amazon.com "if you liked X, you may also like Z" recommendation? Do you go by author, finding one you like and reading everything she's ever written? Do you go by genre? By price?
I want to read books that are part of a national conversation, that capture a zeitgeist of some sort, and picking prize-winning books is a straightforward way to get there. James McBride's The Good Lord Bird wouldn't have made my to-read list, but once it won the National Book Award, I promptly added it to that list. (I have an actual list of books I intend to read before the year's end. There's very little whim involved. I sound like such a fun person, don't I?)
|Won a Man Booker. Is in my house. |
My God it's long. Am intimidated.
I try to read what my kids are assigned at school. I've recently read Black Boy, Their Eyes are Watching God, The Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and A Raisin in the Sun. I'm not sure I'd have read any of these without prompting. I really enjoy discussing the books with my kids after we're done, and helping them think through the essays they inevitably have to write. (I line edit but resist the urge to do more.)
I've assigned myself two annual tasks: 1. Read a Charles Dickens novel, and 2. Read a Margaret Atwood novel. I very much enjoy both and I'd like to have all their works under my belt before I kick the bucket. Once I'm done with those authors, assuming the bucket is unkicked, I'll probably assign myself others. George Eliot? George Orwell? George Sand? Proust? Not Proust. He's a Marcel.
|Jon Stewart interviews author-teen Malala Yousafzai|
|OK, it won an award. But it's also|
flurffy YA, and a bestseller, so there.
I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to our locally-owned bookstore. For birthdays and other gift-giving occasions, I like to wander in and chat with the staff. The place is so much fun to browse and the staff has excellent suggestions. I'll buy a dozen or so books from them a year, some which I'd never have found on my own.
I realize this outs me as being an even weirder chick than you already thought I was: it's as if Reading Books is my profession. Stupid profession. I make $0.00 an hour, which is even—I looked this up—a bit less than minimum wage. But I attend to my book-reading as seriously as if it were a career: I love my books, and take extreme care in selecting them. Hey, we all have our hobbies.
So what's on your TBR? How did you select those titles? Are you more spontaneous than me?