Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Books and Words

I recently decided to myself that I am going to read a lot of books, as many books as I possibly can. Not just any old books though, I am going to read iconic books, books that changed literature, books that caused a sensation, books that caused people to go "whhhhaaaa", you get the idea. I feel like it is a great idea to read them so that I can figure out for myself what makes them so great or popular. Why people respond to them so much. I think doing as much reading as one can, is a great way to try and make oneself a better writer.

My first attempt at this reading list I have in my head was Tom Robbins. I didn't have any particular book in mind, and perhaps this was the downfall of my plan to read Mr. Robbins, but I wanted to find out what the big deal about this guy was. He has achieved cult like status. So I start to read, Skinny Legs and All, and I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I don't consider myself to be dumb, but for the whole time I was reading, I was just thinking to myself, "what the shit is this guy talking about?" So I have stopped reading the book as of now and I will try and continue at some later date. Perhaps if I were drunk while I was reading I would understand more. I really WANT to like Tom Robbins. So badly.

The next book on my list was Valley of the Dolls. This book was HUGE in the 60s, one of the best selling novels of all time. Good lord, I thought the book would never end. It was one of those books where you initially like the characters, but as it goes on, you just think, "nobody can be this dumb", and then you hate them all. It was a book I read really quickly, because I had to find out what was going to happen, but I was quite glad when I actually got to the end. I suppose there is something addictive about the book...perhaps it is the 60s equivalent of The Shopoholic series... but honestly the writing really isn't that great. I definitely don't think it is worthy of the acclaim that it has recieved. Good to say I've read it though.

Next on my list...On the Road. Why have I not read this book before now? I have no friggin idea. I have owned it for several years, but just have never managed to read it. I have a feeling I am going to find Jack Kerouac fascinating...and I may become a bit obsessed.

Other books on "my list":
You Can't Go Home Again
The English Patient
Grapes of Wrath
The Mosquito Coast
plus about 200 more...
and umm, I found a book that R.L Stine wrote for I think I might sneak that in.


Anonymous said...

HAHA, Tom Robbins is definitely messed up. I would start with his book Still Life with Woodpecker. But really, he is a very odd writer.

Have you ever read Chuck Klosterman? He is a great writer and all his books are awesome.

I have started reading a lot because I have an hour bus ride to/from school, so I am attempting to do the same as you. It's also a great way to avoid having weirdos talk to you on the bus, even though they still insist on doing so sometimes anyway. I just finished Breakfast of Champions. I have yet to read On the Road, but I probably should!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and that was me, Kristen.

Meg said...

one day, I'll give Tom Robbins another try...and I will start with Still Life with Woodpecker.

Chuck Klosterman..i don't think I've ever even heard of him! but i will look him up...thanks!

an hour bus ride each way would drive me insane i think.

on the road is pretty good so far!

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