books and reviews

This post marks the beginning of a new format for the books which I choose to read and the format which my reviews will take.

Books: the “Big Read”

Here’s the deal – you know that list of books the BBC posts every year, where only a small percentage of people have read more than six books on the list? Well, I always do well enough on that list, but I also feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of classic books that many other people seem to highly recommend.

So, on top of reading pop fiction that I love so dearly, I will also be tackling that list (dun, dun, dun). Of course, I don’t want to limit myself to that list (because really – I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish Crime and Punishment if I don’t have a little more light-hearted reading on the side), but I do really want to focus my efforts on educating myself in the literary world.

So. I have created: THE LIST. Meaning, a list of books which have caught my interest. The books will all fall into one of four (clearly marked) categories: the BBC books I have read; the BBC books I have read and will re-read; the BBC books I have not read; and the “other” books I have chosen to read for various personal reasons (recommended by friends, written by an author I love, the book jacket was pretty – jk, I swear). And hey! The formation of this list was a challenge, so that’s two birds with one stone!

If you are interested in seeing the list, visit this googledoc. Hopefully to also be including in a simpler format in a page on this blog.

Granted, I understand that I might not ever get around to reading all of these books – in fact, the chances are incredibly slim, because the last category in that list, at the very least, will always be growing. I’m okay with that, honestly. I just want to have a reference point to look at when I get done with a book and go, “what next?”

PS – my future landlord has another great challenge: read all the Pulitzer-prize-winning books since you were born!

Reviews: a New Format

So, I’ve always known I tend to be wordy, waxing on and on about little minute details about which I have really strong opinions, yet about which most others wouldn’t give a flying f***. As such, I am imposing a limit: my review for each book I read, from here on out, no more than 200 words (ouch).

Here’s the thought process: if you’re an avid reader, you probably already have an idea of what you want to read and what you don’t want to read. The most you’ll look for is a “fantastic” or “avoid at all costs,” and you can get that by skimming the first and last twenty words of each review. The middle is superfluous bullshit where I try (and often fail) to sound intelligent.

On the other hand, if you are not an avid reader, I probably won’t change that with my review. In fact, if my review’s too long, there’s no chance in hell you’re going to spend the time reading it, and even less of a chance that you’re going to read the book. As such, the best shot I have to change your mind is to present a succinct and pointed review clearly indicating “fantastic” or “avoid at all costs.”

The end result is the same. I’ll leave the waxing on and on to critical essays written in high school and pretentious books written by English professors.

PPS — yes, if you look at the google doc, I have a lot of reviews to upload. Blame it on the lack of internet!


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