metro mama

Monday, June 04, 2007

So Many Books

I love lists, and the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list is a dandy one. I read a lot lately, but there were about five years when I worked in IT and read nothing but boring text books. So though a have a good grounding in the classics, and have read of lot of recent fiction, there’s a lot I haven’t read. This list, though light on Canlit, has some great selections of contemporary fiction. Baby’s Got Books made a handy dandy spreadsheet to keep track of how many you’ve read (check it out!) Inspired by Ragdoll, I’m challenging myself to boost my number--I’m currently at 101 and my goal is to hit 120 by the end of the year and I’ll blog about what I’m reading.

The latest notch on my belt, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is the chilling reconstruction of the brutal murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Adeptly written, empathetic and insightful, Capote recounts the murders, investigation, trial and execution of the murderers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith. By the way, the film Capote, is a very interesting look at the author, taking place during the writing of In Cold Blood.

Last week I had coffee with a friend who is the MA program this year. I was hoping to get some pointers for next year, but she freaked me out a little about how much work it is. This morning I narrowed down the courses I want to do and dropped their reading lists into a spreadsheet. For two of the courses alone, there are 44 titles! It didn’t look so bad in paragraph format. So I’m going to cross-reference the 1001 list with this list and kill two birds with one stone. I’ll start reading these books now, and have a head start for fall. As soon as I finish the new Joyce Carol Oates. Oh, and the Ian McEwan.

I'm also getting a head start on my research hours this summmer. They've kindly been giving me assignments I can do online.

Needless to say, I’m not getting much writing done. I did, however, finish and submit one short story. Have to start somewhere, right!

Less reading, more rock ‘n’ roll!

Oh, and I still have one more book to give away at MBT! And I'll be giving away more books here, later this week.



Blogger hip_ragdoll said...

You know, I can't tell you how much work my MA was, and I was totally unprepared. It's so good to get a head start, you'll be so much the better for it -- that way you can get the primary reading out of the way and devote some time to added-value reading like criticism, etc. Speaking up in class goes a long way to your end of term grades, at least it did at U of T.

And yay for "In Cold Blood." I think the tone of that book is just so PERFECT for setting up THE example of literary nonfiction. It's amazing to think that one book inspired just about every other book that came after it in the genre.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous sam (viable vixen) said...

Um, WOW! 44 books!? That's more then I've read in the past oh 10 years!

Great way to tackle both lists! Smarty pants!

9:22 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Damn, 44 books. You've got your work cut out for you. But something tells me you'll tackle it all with gusto.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Hey, getting a short story completed is no small thing! (Plus, um, the BLOGGING). Way to go, you.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

That's a lot of work - good thing reading is fun (generally.).

6:41 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Funny, after the capote movie and all the talk in newspapers, we had all kinds of little old ladies at the library asking for In Cold Blood and then returning to tell us how horrified they were by it. Um, yeah!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Thanks for the link to the 1001 books. I have read 59, but my husband has read 145 of them. We have a little reading to catch up on I guess.

2:16 PM  

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