About twelve years ago I came to the conclusion that regardless of my master’s degree in Education. I was still woefully uneducated. To become more educated and therefore wiser – wisdom was key – I decided to read the classics.
I began with the Barnes & Noble Classics book club for my basics and then veered off into reading lists, suggestions from friends, and reviews of AnyStories.I’m pleased to say that this decision was on point and has given me years of enjoyment.
I’m not an English Literature professional and I certainly still have much to learn, but that is the incredible part of this avocation; it is never over and there are absolutely no boundaries. I don’t read the classics only; I read good modern fiction, biographies, and bestsellers too. However, if it is a bestseller about somebody’s “keeper” or a “women’s detective agency” or some “memory/journey/society,” I’m apt to pass.
The absolute best for me is to come across an obscure classic, usually one that’s out of print, and find that it has been waiting for me to discover it, devour it, and love it. I know, I sound as if I don’t get out much, but you can’t help what you like; room for squares, right?
So I would like to find a book, read it, write down my thoughts and pose some questions for the readers of The Dagger to discuss online. This is going to be fun.
The first book I have chosen is “Jarrettsville” by Cornelia Nixon. The reasons will become obvious and I don’t like to discuss the significance of any book before it is actually read. It is in soft cover at bookstores, and the library has many copies.
A period of approximately two weeks will elapse before this discussion begins. In the meantime, we could chat online a bit about books in general. Here are some questions that can be our starting point:
–Is there a book you have read that had a lot of positive commentary and your expectations were dashed?
–Is life too short to read a poorly written book?
–Being disappointed by people is one thing, you expect that, but to be let down by a book? It’s hard to come back from that. Isn’t it a shame when there exists a decent plotline and characters and it is left in the hands of a poor craftsman?
Ponder these questions and write back, I would love to hear about books that didn’t quite hit the mark for you, and what about the works you thought was lacking.
Just to add a little spice, I’ll share this with you: I love reading Jonathan Franzen.
Susan Kelly lives in Bel Air with her husband and dogs.