About this blog

I decided, in a moment of shame and disgust combined with dash of insanity, that I wanted to read the 100 greatest books ever written.  There are four primary reasons that I decided to embark on this project and document it in a blog.

  1. I am an avid reader.  Almost always have been.  When I was very young, my mother used to complain to my father that I was staying up til all hours of the night reading . . . and the books weren’t even ones I was supposed to be reading for school.  (Oh, the horror!)  My father said simply, “At least she’s reading.”  That must have been comfort enough in a family of intellectual snobs, because I was left alone to choose my own reading materials as long as I got through the assigned stuff too.  Jump ahead about 30 years.  So this particular summer of 2010, I had just finished getting my MBA during which time I was almost entirely unable to read for pleasure.  My graduation present to myself was a trip to Barnes & Noble to purchase books that I WANTED to read.  Fastforward a bit more to August.  My extended family was enjoying the annual family reunion/bachanal at the beach where I am lucky enough to live all year.  It is no exaggeration to say that in the two weeks we stayed in that beach house, we did not turn on the television once.  Everybody, including my four teenage nieces, preferred reading to watching the boob tube.  I had run out of my own books to read and started borrowing from my extremely bookish family.  I picked one up by a well-known and successful author who focuses his fiction on the lawyer-genre.  I got about one chapter into it, and I put the book down wondering to myself, “Why am I reading this?  It’s trash!  It’s like I’m only reading it to have something to read.  There are so many amazing books out there that I have never read.  Why am I wasting my time with this?”  So, I shamed myself into making a list of wonderful books that need to be read.
  2. I am a classically trained (thanks, Dad) and highly accomplished procrastinator.  I can make this list of novels and have the best of intentions, but end up watching reruns of “Two and a Half Men”.  However, I am also extremely motivated by guilt and shame.  Proceeding on this journey on an open blog, although I can’t imagine who’s going to read it, raises the very real possibility of failing to complete my self-assigned task in a humiliatingly public way.  I am anticipating that my fear of public failure will outweigh my desire to procrastinate.  It’s nice that I recognize such admirable qualities in myself, don’t you think?
  3. I am a writer . . . or at least, I aspire to be.  It’s always tricky to make this assertion as everybody starts to critique anything you put on a page, so let’s just nip that one in the bud right now.  I don’t need stylistic and grammatical critiques on my blog.  I only say this as further explanation of the project.  I’m not going to be trying out excerpts of my novel on you.  I am really only hoping that by reading truly great works of literary art, I can recognize little bits and pieces of what makes them great.  In doing so, I’m also hoping that greatness transfers to me by proximity.  I know that’s not the way it works, really, but a girl can hope.
  4. And the fourth reason, is that I aspire to be a writer.  So I guess it’s really reason #3(b) rather than #4.  I have this amazing ability to NOT write, even though I desperately want to do so.  It’s uncanny.  It’s already taken me 2 days to put the first word on this blog.  Instead, I procrastinated by picking the theme and learning about tools & widgets & whatnot.  I am always preparing to write, but so rarely actually write.  This is the reason for the blog part of the equation.  If I can get in the habit of creative writing on a regular basis . . . writing anything! . . . I believe it will bring me that much closer to writing the great American novel.  Or at least a moderately successful piece of trash that one might read during those summer days on the beach.

And don’t kid yourself . . . I finished reading that trashy lawyer novel first.

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