Wednesday, October 5

What I'm (Not) Reading

Pictured above: William Faulkner,
judging me harshly.
I've been on a really big reading kick lately! This might not sound like a surprise, because I'm an author and a librarian and a general book nerd. But sometimes I get in reading slumps. Not sure if it's just a mood or a series of less-than-inspiring books, but I do sometimes go through periods where I can't get into anything, book-wise. But lately I've been on a tear! In the past few weeks I read some actual grown-up novels (That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo & Jennifer Egan's 'A Visit From the Goon Squad') and some books for younger readers, including two great reads by friends of mine ('The Only Ones' by Aaron Starmer & Steve Brezenoff's 'Brooklyn, Burning'). These books were all great! All very different and all pretty amazing.

And now I'm on a reading roll. So I'm feeling inspired to tackle one of the American classics -- a great work of American literature I've always meant to read, and maybe started, but never actually finished (hence the title of this post). Soooo, even though it's kind of embarrassing to admit I've never read all these, please weigh in to comment and vote which classic I should tackle. Then I PROMISE to finish it. I'll blog about whether or not it stinks. If it does, I hold you highly accountable. Just kidding.

I decided to use this list -- and pick the ones that  (1) I have heard of/have always meant to read (2) haven't read and (3) are by American authors. I'm not sure why I limited it to American novels. OK I do know why and it's because I don't want to have to read a nine thousand page Russian novel or one of those fussy British books about dukes and ladies who wear hats or whatever. Those hat-ladies will kill my reading groove! Haha. Just kidding. Not really. Anyway please vote by commenting for your favorite/whichever you think is the greatest, and NOT which one you think I'll hate the most just because you want to see me suffer/ are a sadist ;)

    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

    As I lay Dying by William Faulkner (I don't think I've ever read any Faulkner except for maybe some short stories?)

    Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

I'm excited! Pick me a winner, friends!


Amanda Ashby said...

Out of that list I've only read The Grapes of Wrath so I'm going to vote for that!!!

david elzey said...

grapes of wrath.

i have to admit, i was forced to read it in high school and HATED it. then i decided to get over the idea of associating the book with high school and give it another try.

loved it. so much that i deprived myself of sleep and wandered the streets oblivious to the world once i got into it.

i have tried to do the same with most of the others, and culd not finish a second read. sister carrie, in particular, halted me almost immediately.

anyway, that's my vote.

Wendy Toliver said...

I second Amanda and david's suggestion for Grapes of Wrath. Loved it.

Julie J. said...

I would say Grapes of Wrath. I've never read it myself but heard a great many thing about it.

Laurena said...

I would say to go with The Grapes of Wrath. I've heard Steinbeck is really good and easy enough to read. I read the Sound and the Fury...and I have to tell you it makes little to no sense if you don't know about the different narrators at the was an embarrasing school assignment, that's for sure.
So, if you're looking for a challenge, go with The Sound and the Fury for sure. But I would still say Grapes of Wrath is better.

Josh Berk said...

It's unanimous! Thanks for the votes. I have really enjoyed the other Steinbeck I've read, so I'm not sure why I never tackled it. I will report back. I hope it's good! I do love grapes, so that's a plus.

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