I’ve started this project of self-evaluation in which I keep track of what books I read. Not what books I buy, or what books I try to read, or what books I say I’m going to read…the ones I actually get through from cover to cover. It’s all part of the “does it matter what you like, or what you ARE like” debate raging in my mind. Can you judge people based on what they read? If so, how do I come across? The quarter-year results are pretty darn humbling. In author order…
Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Stephanie Plums 1-13 (all re-reads) and Visions of Sugar Plums and Plum Lovin’ – Janet Evanovich
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down – Anne Fadiman
The Areas of My Expertise – John Hodgman
The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
Killing Yourself to Live & Chuck Klosterman IV – Chuck Klosterman
Freakonomics – Steven Levitt
Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
The Tenth Circle – Jodi Picoult
Barrel Fever – David Sedaris
Love is a Mix Tape – Rob Sheffield
Weirdos From Another Planet!, Yukon Ho!, The Revenge of the Baby-Sat, and Calvin & Hobbes – Bill Watterson (obviously all C&H books…considering how vocabulary-building these puppies are, they totally count)
Maybe it’s slightly impressive that I’ve read 32 books so far this year…but where are the Great Books? Where are the Russian authors? Where’s the snob value? Do I make any choices myself, or do I only listen to mainstream opinion? And then there’s The Spirit Catches You, a 10-year-old book about Hmong culture which I just happened to find in my house, which doesn’t seem to belong on this list at all. Perhaps that is my saving grace.
I miss being smart, or maybe I just miss being treated like I’m smart. There was a time when people deferred to me as the smart girl, and turned to for answers more substantial than “who was in that TV show…” Four years of the “English majors can’t do math” joke almost had me believing it. Bitches, I was a math team medalist. I can count and read. Apparently I just choose not to.