Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Book lists and such

Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. - William Faulkner

In This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions how he makes lists of everything. He wonders if he’s strange. When I read that, I thought “Wow! I’m not the only weirdo out there!” I make lists of many things: to-do lists, lists of people I know, lists of trips I’ve taken (noting next to each one whether it was by car, plane, train, or a combination), lists of cities where I’ve spent the night.

I used to keep lists of all the books I read in a given year. I’d write down the date, the title, and the author. I don’t know why I did this. I didn’t record what I thought about the book. It was simply an accounting sheet. I averaged 30 to 40 books a year. I sometimes wish that I still kept such a list, but I don’t read as much as I used to. So here’s a list of most of the books that I read this year:

The Coast of Chicago, by Stuart Dybek
Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Monkey Wrench, by Primo Levi
The Families Who Made Rome, by Anthony Majanlahti
The Comedians, by Graham Green
Flappers and Philosophers, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of Southern Italy, by Tommaso Astarita
Kavanagh: A Tale, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Writer’s Paris, by Eric Maisel

A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
Harvest Moon, by Carl Sandburg
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving

Boy, that’s barely a book a month! How pathetic. New Years Resolution: stop making lists.

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