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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Great reader?

What does it say about me that I haven't read any of the books on the NY Times list of great books of the past quarter century?

I thought about reading Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy once. On several occasions I've held Toni Morrison's "Beloved" (the ultimate winner) in my hands, contemplating a purchase. But I've never read Philip Roth, Richard Ford or Don DeLillo and I'm sure I have no other reason other than I wasn't compelled. And I'm still not compelled.

My reading habits, much like my music-listening habits are quite eclectic. I'm a big fan of the little-known authors, the ones who don't create a stir but quietly go about their craft. Currently I'm reading David Guterson's "Our Lady of the Forest."

I recently returned with a collection from Sister Jen's Lending Library, including:

"Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys
"Henry & June" by Anaïs Nin
"The Birth of Venus" by Sarah Dunant
"A Widow for One Year" by John Irving

And I add those to my stack that already includes:

"The Queen's Fool" by Philippa Gregory
"Any Bitter Thing" by Monica Wood

My reading is kicking into overdrive as it does from time to time, typically when I'm thinking about writing something different. Hmmmm...


Lori said...

Hmmm... lots of stuff by Roth and Updike on there. Just can't get into either one. Would be interesting to see what that list would look like if you limited it to one book by each author...

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom Wendy,

I've long since given up on such list since they must, by their very nature, reflect what the lister has read.

Imagine how you might go about compiling the 100 greatest books that I've not read?

That could be fun, but who would believe you?