27 May 2011

Reading List, Wherefore Art Thou Created?

Since my toddlerescence, when I spontaneously began reading (according to family lore; of course I don't remember), I have had at least one book on me at all times, in case of emergency, and a pile of them in the spots of my usual be-ness. For years I read pretty much willy-nilly, sauf class-assigned tomes. (More on that later or somewhere else.) Whatever caught my eye or my fancy. I reread a lot in childhood and pre-adolescence (I think it's  a trait of the age; you want to re-capture, or something.) Partial to Judy Blume and Paula Danziger and the ever-satisfying Harriet the Spy and the strangely fascinating Diary of a Young Girl by the posthumous Anne Frank. (Who doesn't try to fall asleep by pretending to be in hiding from the Nazis and therefore lying absolutely still so as not give away one's presence? It doesn't work.)

For years and years I read whatever I damned well felt like. Fortunately my tastes improved over the years. I don't mean that Blume et al. were not worthwhile, they were; I mean that before I knew better I read things like Judith Krantz and James Patterson, not exclusively--there was also Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison and Milan Kundera among many others. 

Then a funny thing happened during my first year in law school: one day I found that I just couldn't read crap writing anymore. Where once I might have turned to Danielle Steel in a fit of desperation, that was no longer an option. I didn't turn to a steady diet of lofty tomes, but even the escapist writing had to be done wellI suppose everyone has mixed feelings about her law school experience, but I can unequivocally say that at the very least it did my reading a favor.

And I was still reading what I damned well pleased. 

In 2007 my life changed forever. I discovered LibraryThing, a reader's dream. If you're a reader,  check it out. I won't go into the ecstasies to be had right now, but I will say that Tim Spalding (founder, developer) is a jeeeeeeeen-yuss of probably the first order, if there are orders of genii. In 2007 I started logging my reading; attempts in the past had been unsuccessful. And I learned of thousands of books that I just had to read. LT has a place to catalog your wish list and I was able to follow the reading of others with the same tastes and interests. There was whole world of authors about whom I knew nothing. No more aimlessly wandering bookstores, wondering if the $15 dollar investment will be worth it. My addiction to LT precipitated a three-year long book-buying spree. A particular delight was finding the best books at the lowest prices (thank you, Amazon, and library book sales everywhere).  And of course I bought the books way faster than I could read them, and newly-acquired books were often read before the older ones. 

Something had to give.

So, I compiled a list (which experiences changes from time to time, being a living list) of books that I had been dying to read or at least add to my literary mental database for a while now. The books are listed in the previous post.

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