The first challenge (or I suppose one could call it an opportunity) is what to read. My first selection is A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. I loved his other novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and this one looks equally promising. It’s also not too heavy – I’m easing into things. So far so good.
While I don’t want to shy away from serious literature for the sake of the project, I’m hesitant to tackle War and Peace or Anna Karenina, for fear of stalling things. Despite my mild revulsion for Oprah and her book club (“We’re doing Dickens for the holidays!!!!!”) I might revisit Great Expectations next. It’s been a long time and luckily I already own a copy so I don’t need to buy the shiny new Oprah version.
Also on the list for 2011 is a re-read of The Catcher In The Rye. On a recent trip to New York I was stopped by a group of high school students outside the American Museum of Natural History. They doing a project on Catcher and JD Salinger and asked me a number of questions about the book and its impact on me (while videotaping my responses!). With their English teacher looking on, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t answer the questions very articulately. I felt like I was back in high school, this time failing the test. Despite the book making a lasting impression and it being on my life list of favourite books, I can’t really remember the specifics. So a re-read is in the works and hopefully I’ll see those high school students again on my next visit to NYC.