I have spent the last couple of days doing some crazy list making on the web. You see, I got this wild idea to try and document for posterity some of the books I have read in my lifetime.
So, with the aid of my borrowing record at the public library and a newly acquired Goodreads account I began to jog my memory for the most impactful books I have read.
Why do this- you may ask. Well, firstly I have never kept a reading log and now seeing my kids being encouraged to do so at school prompted me to try the same. Secondly, I wanted to examine my reading habits and thirdly, I wanted to make a list that my kids could use as a resource for their own reading journey.
The list is still a work in progress, but as I do this I am having fun seeing some patterns emerge, namely:
- The ‘classics’ have shaped my reading preferences a lot- Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen and the like in historical fiction have regaled me over and over.
- I like my humor dry with a touch of snark – P.G. Wodehouse and Calvin and Hobbes style!
- I do have a thing for completeness as in devouring an entire series or array of books offered by an author I happen to like- in childhood it was the Enid Blyton era- Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers and so on. Once I got started on comic-books such as Tintin and Amar Chitra Katha, I kept wanting more and more of the same. This was the case too with the Malcolm Gladwell phase and the Jhumpa Lahiri phase not too long ago.
- Crime, mystery and adventure evidently intrigued me as a kid- the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes series speak on that account.
- I sure had a lot of questions about life in the teenage years- some of which Ayn Rand answered, some Robert Pirsig, some the ‘Zen and the art of’ series- the rest I am still grappling with.
- Design magazines and comic books made for a welcome visual relief from the heavy tomes of college and postgrad years.
- Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror are genres I have sadly never explored.
- I like art in books- especially comic books and the genre of illustrated children’s books.I appreciate how it adds to the whole experience of enjoyment of the text.
- And finally, the most striking observation I made- in the last decade I have somehow veered away from fiction and emphatically plunged into non-fiction.
What’s up with that, I wonder- is it a natural progression of my proclivity towards questions about life, a shift in attitude or a reflection of increasing cynicism? I hope it is not the latter, I would prefer to believe that I now examine the realm of possibility in the poetry texts I read- a childhood love I am fondly revisiting.
That’s it for now. You can check out my ever-expanding bookshelves here, feel free to share your book recommendations!