Sunday, July 13

Book Club Update

A few of you have asked me what I'll be reading in the future for the Book Club feature. The truth is: it's up to you. Well, within reason.

I usually don't have much of a clue what I'm gonna read next; like most people, I allow luck, my unread stack, and vague longings dictate which book I pick up next. My original idea for 2008 was to read all the famously huge books in one go: Moby Dick, War And Peace, Don Quixote, and at least the first volume of Proust. That plan sorta went out the window after Moby Dick, as I started my Jane Austen and then my Shakespeare regimens. And I'd wouldn't be Johnny if I didn't spend way too much time constructing elaborate self-improvement plans that I immediately abandon. (See also.)

However, like a lot of serious readers, I've had a list of classics that I want to eventually work through over the course of my lifetime. I've gotten a bit more serious about it lately--shades of mortality, perhaps, for our ruthless baby?--and that's one of the reasons I've been doing the Book Club here.

Anyway, the list is too long to put up on the front page, so I've cleverly hidden it in the archives:

Books I Want To Get Around To Reading One Day, so that as the EMTs work on me my last thought in this world will be self-loathing disappointment that I didn't ever finish a fucking Faulkner novel.

My point is, if you see a book on that list you'd like to read, and you'd like to read it along with me and post comments about it here, just email me. I'm pretty much up for anything on the list.

Oh, and since everyone loves to argue about lists, please note that I don't consider those books to be anything like a canon: Anna Karenina isn't on it because I've already read it. Lolita is on it because I want to read it again. And so on.

Oh wait! After I finish the boring and complicated King John, we're going to be starting Dickens' Bleak House. It'll probably early this week. Someone has already told me they'd read it with me--ha ha, I fell for it again--so if you're interested at all, please let me know. Think about how virtuous you'll feel when you finish a 900-page Victorian novel. And, dang, your friends will be jealous.