Saturday, March 28, 2009

Project Fill-in-the-Gaps

My online crush Moonrat, editatrix extraordinaire, writes at her blog Editorial Ass about a new project she's undertaking.

She writes:

Awhile ago, my friend Andromeda Romano-Lax, the author of the beloved novel The Spanish Bow, told me about a project of hers, which I've decided to totally rip off (sorry, Andromeda).

She collected a list of 100 books that she wants to have read in her life to fill in some of her reading gaps of classics and great contemporary fiction. She knew it was a monumental task ahead of her--we all tend to choose fun things instead of things we should read, right? At least I do--so she gave herself 5 years to try to get through the list, and gave herself 25% accident forgiveness, meaning if she finishes 75 titles in 5 years, she'll consider herself to have been victorious.

If I follow Moonie's rules, my goal will be to finish 75 of these 100 books by New Year 2015.  And if my WIP has not gotten an agent by then, I'm going to get a sex change operation.  Or something else really drastic.  Like becoming a Republican.

My list will be generated by the following criteria (also borrowed from Moonie, and adapted):
-snobby classics I've always wished I could tell people I'd read, but would never read otherwise because I can't imagine enjoying them (these will probably end up making up the 25)
-books that I've bought and owned for a long time, but haven't read for whatever reason
-a book by each of the great Alices (Mattison, McDermott, Munro)
 -select recommendations from friends
-some books I've been curious about and keep forgetting to buy/read
-the gaps filled in with Pulitzer and National Book Award winners

I should have the list completed by the end of the weekend - come back and compare your TBR lists, OR make suggestions of what should be included.

Anyone else want to play? You can obviously vary the rules/books/time frame to fit your circumstances.


  1. I'm so tempted by this! Just don't know if I can add another long-term challenge to my plate at the moment ... I'll look forward to your list, though, and then perhaps I'll be unable to resist!

  2. Mmm tempted too! Although I probably already have over a 100 books in my possession that I have to read eventually.

  3. Steph, I'm not sure college students count for this list - you have so much fill-the-gap (ie, ahem, boring) reading already!

  4. oooo!! can't wait to see your list. yay!!! misery LOVES company!!

  5. Aerin, why are you doing this to me? ;) You know I'm game.

  6. May I oh-so-humbly suggest Watership Down? It's speculative fiction at its most inventive and human. Even though it's all about rabbits.

  7. I second Loren's suggestion. I'm already (slowly) doing the Pulitzer Project, so I'm not sure if I could handle another, but I look forward to seeing your list!

  8. According to Robert's Rules of Orders, now is the time for a vote on Loren's suggestion. Here's my Aye.
    Also Charles Baxter's Feast of Love, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, and James Joyce's Dubliners.
    Feast of Love (Nat. Book Award nominee 2000) is an exploration into the substance and manifestations of Love.
    Gilead (Pulitzer 2005) is a old preacher's journal/letter to his young son, full of advice, warning, love and family history. Phenomenal.
    Dubliners (no awards, but should) is a slim collection of short stories set in. . . wait for it . . . Dublin.



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