This century is not quite 20 years old and yet we’re already seeing a “100 Best Books of the 21st Century” list from The Guardian.
I’m more than okay with that.
Anticipating the Politics and Prose Holiday Member Sale and assorted bookstore sales events across the country this weekend, I thought that—like me—you may enjoy a peak at books others are recommending before you rush out to make your purchases.
I love lists of recommended books. Summer reading lists? Bring ’em on. The “Not Your Summer Reading List” is okay as well. If you are the President of the United States (well, a former one anyway), I want to see what you are reading. The same goes for famous writers. I love these lists because I believe in the power of the written word. I pick up fresh insights from seeing what others are reading. Writer Cheryl Strayed said she was seven years old when she understood that, as Margaret Atwood wrote in her poem Spelling, “a word after a word after a word is power.”
As I look through this list from The Guardian, I note that I’ve read eight of their selections and have four more in my reading pile; a pile that, by the way, reminds me of the always overflowing pasta bowl in Tomie dePaola’s beloved children’s book Strega Nona: it threatens to bury our house, if not the whole village. But I quickly found at least a dozen more in this list that I thought I’d like to add to that pile. And then, of course, a former colleague sent me an email recently and said, “I was thinking of you and wondered if you’ve read this book?” . . . and then proceeded to reference Maryanne Wolf’s 2008 Proust and the Squid, which sounds like another absolutely fascinating work.
Let’s see…will I be able to wait at least until the start of the Politics and Prose sale?!
After taking dePaolo’s cautionary tale of Big Anthony seriously, perhaps I’ll work on being a bit more prudent and only pick up 3-4 new works…at least until that pile is reduced a bit more.
But no matter the size of my reading pile, I’d still be excited to hear about what’s on your “best of” list.
More to come…