Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The breakdown.

As you may have noticed, An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser has been in the Currently Reading tab for quite some time now. I think about a month. It's seriously taking forever. I'm closing in on it, though -- I have less than 100 pages left! I plan on finishing up tonight, and hopefully posting a response tomorrow.

I've been thinking about the breakdown of books to read that I outlined in my original post. I had planned to read 17 so-called classics, but that now seems ill-suited for this project for a few different reasons.

An American Tragedy, like many classics, takes a long time to read -- as it should. It's not meant to be read in one or two sittings.

The point of the project is to read many books and different types of books. I can't achieve the goal of 100 (which I still really want to hit) if I'm spending weeks with one book at a time.

Thinking about the average person, how many classics do they read in a year?

So I've revised the breakdown as follows:

25 suggestions
I am now still taking suggestions! You can leave a comment on this post or e-mail me. I will read 20 25 books that have been suggested, no matter what. I reserve some veto power, though. If a suggestion really and truly sounds like something I would not enjoy or get anything out of reading, I will strike it from the list. I will limit the vetoing based on the number of suggestions that I receive, and will try to keep it to three. I upped the number of suggestions from 20 because the suggestions that I have received thus far are so varied, and reading more of them will only help me branch out and try new things.

5 "classics"
I realize the term "classic" is subjective. I will be using Time's The Complete List and Random House's Modern Library to base my selections on. I didn't want to do away with this category simply because reading classics can be time-consuming. I tried to decrease the number to something that I thought I could reasonably get through. Fingers crossed!

10 books that have been adapted into movies
This just sounds like fun. I may or may not have seen the movie, but this will be the first time reading each book. No change.

10 biographies and/or autobiographies
I will try to read about a variety of people, but I won't plan ahead so much as to break it down here. No change.

10 other non-fiction
While biographies and autobiographies are non-fiction, I'd like to try and read 10 other non-fiction books as well. Again, varying topics. No change.

5 mysteries
I enjoy mysteries, always have. It's tempting to read the last page of the book first but I will try not to for this challenge! No change.

5 science fiction/fantasy
If you know me at all, you know that I am not a sci fi fan. I'm going to try and give this genre a fair chance, though. I decided to increase the number from 3 to 5 because my sister advised to break this into two categories, science fiction and fantasy. She knows more about these genres, so I'm taking her advice and will try to read a couple of each.

2 graphic novels
I have never read a graphic novel, and figure it's about time. No change.

1 romance
Just because. No change.

1 Oprah's book club pick
I'm not really an Oprah person, and any book club picks that I've read previously weren't on purpose. No change.

1 Colin's pick
Colin gets one pick that I have to read no matter what. I have no idea what he'll come up with, and I can't wait to see. No change. I think I will save his pick, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, for last.

And the remaining 20 25 will be made up of books that I hear about or that catch my eye at the library. Because a lot of books catch my eye.

Yesterday, I was thinking about my list of categories and wondering if there was any other category or type of book that I was interested in adding. I had an idea after seeing a blog post about Banned Books Week -- why not add a category for banned books? As I looked through the list of frequently challenged books, I realized that I already had one! Did you know that An American Tragedy is on the list of frequently challenged classics? Apparently it was burned by the Nazis in Germany (1933) because it "deals with low love affairs."

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