Tuesday’s Tutor: 2014 Goal – Read to Write

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

I wish I could remember which local writer once wrote “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. The saying stuck with me (and, for all I know, dozens of writers— local or not— have said the same thing), if the author’s name did not, I’m sorry about that. Nevertheless, I embraced it when I heard it, and I still believe it now. Yet, HOW to find time to accomplish that? I’m always up for a challenge, and one appeared recently on FB: try to read 100 books a year.

Yikes— that’s about two a week!

But I have a lot of “kids” books I need and WANT to read too, so maybe I can make it work. At least I said I’d try. I came up with another idea that should help too: Take a “field trip” once a week to a library (one not far from me has a GREAT and LARGE section for “children’s books.” Just sit there for an hour and read, read, read. How much FUN will THAT be? I’ll love it. But I would feel that was cheating if I read mostly short books like that. What I’m up for is a good variety. What “categories” of books would you want to read? My personal list is going to include some (each, I hope) of the following:

  • YA books
  • Women’s lit‑‑I’ll draw the line at romance unless they’ve got a good dose of history too
  • Historical fiction
  • History (non‑fiction)
  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Plays
  • Steam punk (at LEAST one)
  • Mystery
  • Read again books I’ve loved, like The Eight, Pillars of the Earth, Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Writing books
  • Classics

Already, that’s far fewer than 10 of each, if I chose to divide them up that way. At any rate, it FEELS more do‑able!

If you’ve got categories I left out, please send them to me. I’m probably interested in those categories too and just forgot to list them! Meanwhile, I’ll see if I can come up with examples from various categories. For many of them, I need only look as far as my home library.

I felt woefully inadequate in coming up with names of “classics” until I remembered a list I’d saved YEARS ago from “Oprah,” the magazine. She’d asked various “star” friends for lists of books which had made a big impact on them. I’m not a HUGE fan of Oprah’s choices, but as Classics go, I thought this was a pretty good start. I don’t care to read all of them, and I’ve already read some of them in the past. There are a number of them I’ve felt “guilty” for NOT reading for many years: now’s my chance to hop to it! I’d love to add and share YOUR suggestions for any of these categories. Please leave such comments below. Oprah’s list, 2009:

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  3. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  4. The Waves by Virginia Woolf
  5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  6. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties by Maria Rainer Rilke
  7. The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller
  8. The Iliad by Homer
  9. The Portable Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  10. Night by Elie Wiesel
  11. Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
  12. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  13. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  14. Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels by John Updike
  15. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  16. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  17. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  18. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  19. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  20. Light in August by William Faulkner
  21. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  22. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  23. The Wild Palms by William Faulkner
  24. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  25. The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa
  26. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  27. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
  28. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  29. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  30. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
  31. Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  32. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  33. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  34. Middlemarch by George Eliot

See you day‑after‑tomorrow for Thursday’s Thirteen!

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