New Territory: A Literary Expedition

I am living in my parents’ house. They are living elsewhere (long story), but I have the house. The house with the Books and the Fireplace.
Winter is looking good.
On the other hand, we’re moving in the indeterminate future and the house is on the market, so the bulk of the books are boxed up and shelved with fabric softener (as a deodorant) in the basement.
Winter is looking less good.
The only books that are out are the ones I’ve read so many times I know what’s on the next page, and the next and the next. Now, I like visiting old friends, but to have Poirot and Miss Climpson for house fellows…to never see anyone, Monday through Friday, but your cat, your students, and an imaginary corpse…well, I’m getting paranoid. The fridge cracks, the basement groans, the windows rattle, and I CAN’T SLEEP!

So I have a new plan. As many of you as read this are invited to do this with me. It’s time to meet some new people. To branch out, to fill in gaps in knowledge, to find a new beloved author.

I went to the public library and got 4 new books. Books that people read, books that people should read, books that influence writers. I am going to read these books and tell you, one at a time, what I think. Probably my thoughts won’t be original to mankind, but they will be wildly original to me, and that counts for something because the goal of this exercise is to try something out, and read the words of authors who have formerly had no impact on my thoughts.

I pulled these books nearly randomly from the public library in a small town. I figured checking them out would extend their life on the shelf. I did not pre-judge or select them for any criteria except the reputation of the author and the reach of the influence of either the book or the author. And that I’ve only heard OF these books and not much ABOUT them. Here’s the grapeshot result of my blunderbuss style assault on the A-H row of fiction section.

Brave New World
O Pioneers!
The Plague
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Here we go. Who’s with me?


4 thoughts on “New Territory: A Literary Expedition

  1. I would suggest My Antonia or Shadows on a Rock before O Pioneers! I love Cather, but sometimes her characters a both too close to home and slightly off enough to feel . . . itchy.

    As for the others, I have never read them either! Let me know how they all go!

    I am starting a new Venture as well: a poetry writing group! I have to produce a poem for dissection and discussion every week. I am scared . . .

  2. If you want to scratch your communist itch, you can always pick up some Steinbeck! If you want to plow through short choppy sentences, there is Hemingway. (Is it Brave? Is it True?)

  3. “The house with the Books and the Fireplace.” The two great necessities of any house. I only have the former in mine, but I am making plans to remedy the lack.

    Yay for branching out! I am trying, at present, to read things I have long wanted to read but haven’t gotten to. For many of them, I am so ashamed at not having read them yet, I hesitate to name them. 😛

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