Want to read with me? Follow this link to view the list and pick a book (or a few!) to read along with me. I'd love for this project to be collaborative, and will post anyone's thoughts beside my own.

Friday, April 17, 2015

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

Dear Readers,

Some of my more devoted fans may have noticed that I've had a rather prolonged absence from this blobbety-blob. In point of fact, my last post was almost two months ago! I wish I had a fantastically awe-inspiring reason for this (busy learning to tame lions in the circus, started my own charitable foundation, discovered a ninth planet to replace poor Pluto) but alas, the reasons are a bit more mundane.

Here are some of these reasons, in clear order of relevance/importance:

(1) I have been busy eating an unConscionable amount of cookie butter (thank you, Belgian besties, for re-introducing me to this manna from heaven). I prefer to eat it on oatmeal with raisins in the morning for breakssert (breakfast meets dessert!) which I find marvelously delicious and my sister finds grotesquely obnoxious sounding when I eat it. ;)

(2) I have been sad. Now that I wrote that sentence, it looks sad just sitting there in all of its blatant bluntness. But it is the truth! I have been sad because this project has morphed into something that has defined who I am, and it has given me meaning and purpose and fantastic cocktail conversation. It has helped me to stay engaged with my family, it will always bear a tangible sweetness and sadness in its inextricable link to my grandmother's passing, and it has linked me back to a life of academics and literature that I missed so acutely from Haverford. In a nutshell, this project has given me far more than I ever expected it to.  So the prospect of the 100 books coming to an end, once a delightful thought filled with accomplishment and anticipation, is now a bittersweet one. I also thought I would celebrate finishing this list with some marvelous party, replete with literary-referential baked goods, and liquors, and excellent friends, and I find myself with best friends in four or five metropolises, and no true local collective of bosom friends (yet!) I would wish to celebrate with.

So the honest truth is that I've been dragging my heels, hoping that the idea for how to continue the project would dawn on me, and that simultaneously I might make enough connections here in NH to feel happy and excited about throwing myself a Gatsby-esque 'congrats-you-finished-your-blob-list' party.

(3) Pale Fire is a difficult nut to crack. Has anyone reading this read it? It's a rather esoteric fiction within a fiction, with a Borgesian feel to it. It's a novel about a poem by a fictional poet, with a foreword and annotated notes, which collectively constitutes the 'story'. When I first started it, I was in a bar by myself (again, SAD statement - but at least I was waiting for some coworkers!) and I quickly discovered it was not a casual, read-me-in-a-bar type book. It required full attention, and no distractions. I have since restarted it three times in the comfort and relative silence (mraow Mraow!) of my own home, and have begun to experience its brilliance. That said, I think perhaps this weekend will finally afford me the time and space (both physically and mentally) to tackle it for reAlz.

But do not despair, dear readers, for whether or not you are still reading this blob, I will continue to write it! I have carefully culled a second list of 100 novels, composed of a blend of books that simply missed the first list and I think are widely accepted as 'classics', books by underrepresented or suppressed authors (in particular women, POC, or both), and some newer books that based on awards, recognition, or recommendation may in fact find themselves on a list of classics a few decades down the road. I am still tinkering with it so I'm not ready to share it broadly just yet, but please feel free to send suggestions or leave them as comments on here. The goal is still to read books that could at least loosely be termed a classic, or having classic potential, so not just any great book you've read, but that said, suggest away!

I will leave you with an article I came across this morning while reading the Times headlines. It's about a land library (well, a future land library, $ willing) in Colorado, where two booksellers hope to construct a sort of communal learning, reading, and nature conservancy space. It sounds brilliant and beautiful, and I hope that they pull it off! I, for one, would LOVE to visit.

Thank you for sharing my journey so far, and wish me luck on Dim Blaze! The title of this post is a Lao-Tzu quote, by the way. My old boss (and one of my all time favorite people) was a huge fan of the Daodejing, so it seemed fitting.

Happy Friday, and sending thoughts of purple crocuses just as pretty as the ones in my mother's front yard!


  1. Hooray! We can join in your journey on another quest/list ! More books, please!
    MIght I suggest, off the top of my head,

    All Creatures Great and Small
    The Once and Future King

  2. So glad you're going to keep on blobbing! remember what I told you - always keep that window open! and don't let your arms get tired ;)