The object is to read 5 books between now and January 30th which you currently own and have been meaning to get to for a while. I have a slight advantage here, seeing as I own literally dozens of books I have been "meaning to get to." So there is much to choose from. Still, I have managed to go into two bookstores recently and come out empty-handed, and while I've eyed both Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, the guilt of unread books at home has been hanging over for me for a while. So perhaps the door has finally opened for me to give the sweet little orphans some precious brain space (in that cozy space right between extension numbers from the place where I worked nine years ago and the names of the 50 states in alphabetical order).
A list of the possible five (certain to be changed with every passing whim and fancy in my dizzy little head):
1. The Road Through The Wall - Shirley Jackson
I spent $5 for this old
Ace Lion Books paperback back in August, and it has been sitting on my bedside table ever since. Shirley Jackson is a sure thing for me lately, so she goes to the top of the list.
2.The Last Thing He Wanted - Joan Didion
I know I'll crack at some point and want to round out my year with a bit of Joan Didion. My ownership of this unread book is the result of my embarrassing habit of falling in love with an author, and acquiring every book he or she ever wrote, whether I am going to read them over the next four weeks or over the next four years.
3. Mrs. Parkington - Louis Bromfield, or Colorado
Revisiting Pleasant Valley made me look up the other Bromfield books I have sitting around the apartment, and Mrs. Parkington - an old leather-bound and gold-stamped copy purchased used, one volume of a set - was staring me down. For further temptation, I'll refer back to the 1944 New York Times review of the movie based on Bromfield's book. It is a little daunting, though, and so I include Colorado as a substitute.
Mason & Dixon - Thomas Pynchon
Hahaha, no I'm totally kidding. Have you seen the size of that thing? (But it is on my bookshelf.)
Instead, I'll leave the 5th slot empty for now. I need some time to go back to my shelves and mull it over.
And speaking of lists of five... Which five comedies would you want to take with you if you were stranded alone on a desert island? (My choices: 1. The Jerk, 2. Shaun of the Dead, 3. This Is Spinal Tap, 4. Annie Hall, 5. The Party)