2010-Tinkers by Paul Harding 2009-Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout 2008- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 2007-The Road by Cormac McCarthy 2006- March by Geraldine Brooks
- 2005-Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
- 2004- The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2003-Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- 2002-Empire Falls by Richard Russo
- 2001-The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
When I wrote this goal I knew it would be a challenge. I love reading. An avid reader since I learned, during family road trips I would devour chapter books. Favorites including the Babysitter’s Club series, Newberry Award winners and the Little House on the Prairie books. My family drove everywhere, part of my parents thrift (four kids, cheap gas back in the day) and my dad’s enjoyment of chasing trains. Often, bored with the slow route, I would curl up with a book in the backseat. Hours would pass. My parents frugal in many ways, had no problem supporting my book habit. As I got older I continued reading. I went through a memoir phase, Oprah Book Club book phase, but most of my recommendations came through friends. Books teach me about emotion, people, motive and draw you into situations you never want to find yourself in but fascinate you. Fact, I love Hollywood memoirs/biographies.
The challenge with the 30×30 list was how to add my love of reading without being too easy. I could have said read 10 books a year but that would be easily done because I do that without the list. It may have pushed me to read quickly but it wouldn’t be a challenge. I considered making my challenge to read an author I’ve avoid like Hemingway, Faulkner or the classics. Then I realized I would fail because I’ve tried reading those and without a class discussion environment I fail to get the period representation or symbolism, or social importance. I wanted to be successful, I already had enough challenging parts of the list.
I decided on the Pulitizer fiction list because I had already read one book on it. Middlesex while long and involving a taboo subject(incest) was beautifully written. The plot and characters draw you into a world of confusion and circumstance. It makes you consider what you would do if given the same decisions but it never judges. I wanted to read “The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao” since hearing an NPR interview back when the book was first released. Both are winners and with that I decided to read 10 years worth. Since I’ve read 4 bringing my total to 5 of 10. I’m not reading them in a particular order, mostly just by interest and library availability. I really loved March and Oliver Kitteridge. I made it through The Road. Its haunting and the characters/plot are very basic. All of the books have been good and I can see why they won.
Five down, five more to go.