Monday, May 09, 2011

Well unread

I have been surprised by the strong response to my last poll. Everyone seems quite concerned about which Union Jack may or may not grace the walls of my home.

A previous poll concerned what I should read while in Thailand. Suggestions included:

The New York Singles Regional Mormon Halloween Dance
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Hunger Games
Imperial Life in the Emerald City
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour - Salinger
Moonwalking with Einstein
The Year of Living Biblically
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Why Men Love B*****s
The God of Small Things

It likely surprises none of you that I ignored all your suggestions with reckless abandon. My actual trip reading list was:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Larsson
Invisible Monsters - Chuck Palahniuk
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

My point here isn’t to review these books (they were varying degrees of excellent) but just to point out my lack of faith in democracy. Also, to publically state that I need to read more.

In the past I was a voracious reader. I often blame med school/preparing for med school/recovering from med school as the reason I no longer read recreationally. It is very true that reading so much in a working capacity seems to tarnish the shine of reading recreationally. But it’s also true that I’m focusing too much on alternatives to reading. In an attempt to stay up to date with the cultural zeitgeist, I watch an obscene number of television programs and movies. Less obscene these days with my work schedule, but still, if you ask me about a television program, there is a good chance that I’ve at least previewed an episode or two.

Reading, so say the studies, is good for you. I should do more of it. I’m not going to make a resolution about a book a month. I’m not going to add one of those bars on the side of my page about what I’m currently reading. I’m just going to have a book, in my home, that I’m currently reading. And I’m going to have an actual list of books that are on my to-read list. And the books that are going to start off my to-read list are the following:

The Terror – Dan Simmons
The Wise Man’s Fear – Rothfuss
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Fry: A Memoir
The Blank Slate – Pinker
Catch 22
Gravity’s Rainbow – Pynchon
The Grapes of Wrath
Portnoy’s Complaint – Roth
Ubik – Dick
Catcher in the Rye
Moonwalking with Einstein
The Book of General Ignorance – Mitchinson
More Information Than You Require - Hodgman
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Feel free to keep recommending things, and I’ll at least read the Wikipedia article and call it good.


Ru said...

I hated Invisible Monsters with the passion of a thousand burning suns. No matter how much I may have loved Fight Club, I must say that in my opinion, Chuck Palahniuk is a one-trick pony who should have pulled a Harper Lee.

But I thought Never Let Me Go was awesome, so you should still be friends with me. :)

anna. said...

i absolutely LOVE "catcher in the rye." and "the grapes of wrath" may or may not have been the longest read i've ever attempted. yikes.

i still want to read "never let me go"'s on the list. have you done the hunger games yet?