I decided a while ago that what I was going to do was read a book by each Nobel Prize winner in literature. This has met with some criticism. Mom says everything I read shouldn’t be determined by some Swedish group I don’t even know. Rosie says the Nobel committee is a bunch of hoity-toities who just read books and see which one has the best-hidden symbolism, and it’s just a nerd-off contest. Well, here’s what I say.
I like to read. However, I’m not that great at picking random books off the shelf. That strategy led me to pay something like twenty-five dollars for, and read all the way through, The Ethical Assassin, which turned out to be not a very good book at all, and a vegetarian manifesto to boot. So a little guidance couldn’t hurt in my selection process. And the Nobel committee is a group I put a good amount of stock in, because it’s composed of such lettered people, and because it’s been doing this for quite a while. Besides, what are my alternatives? The New York Times? Oprah? No thanks. And, I’m not reading only Nobel laureates. For example, I’m currently reading the excellent Walden. The other day at Borders I saw a book on the shelf that I thought would be pretty good, from the summary on the back – Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis. I was considering buying it, and then I read on the back that Sinclair Lewis got a Nobel, so I reasoned that I was going to come around to him eventually anyhow, so I’d buy the book, which I had thought looked good anyhow.
So far, here’s a list of what I’ve read.
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding – read it for class, then found out Golding was a laureate.
- Blindness by José Saramago
- Approximately 2/3 of Independent People by Halldór Laxness. Then I lost the book, so I had to order another from amazon.com. The original was a library book, so I’ll end up paying for that one too.
- The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway- I just now found out Hemingway was a laureate.
- some The Jungle Book stuff – Rudyard Kipling too, huh. I’ll probably read some other stuff by him.
Things I plan to read include The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Cien Años de Soledad por Gabriel García Márquez, Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, and of course Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis.
So there you go. What else has happened? Not much. Pit practice for the musical starts today despite our day off of school. The musical is South Pacific. Micah’s now a level 60 in RunEscape. It’s rained a lot. Rain, a lot of it. Every day, seems like. We’ve got prodigious puddles in our front yard. It’s impossible to walk in Warder without getting your feet wet (unless you stay exclusively on the semi-paved trail, which isn’t an option for me). A weatherman said that if this had all fallen as snow we’d be up to our waists. That’s probably understated. But the fact remains that it didn’t fall as snow. I don’t think we’re even going to have winter this year. Just fall followed by spring. Not my fault but it affects me anyhow. It really burns me. Also worth noting is that my waterproof shoes are no longer waterproof. Whatever.
File under: reading