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Home > 2010 Resolution – The Pulitzer Winners

2010 Resolution – The Pulitzer Winners

September 26th, 2009 - written by Brian Utley

I alluded to this in my last post, the question of how to approach next year. I don’t think there is any doubt that I will continue. As much as this has driven me crazy this year, I think of next year, of not doing it again, and watching the days tick by one after another and not being able to check books off week after week…it would probably drive me more crazy. Checking the books off, as much as I want to tell myself that it’s not important, has been really important. Fifty-Two. 52. LII. I’ve been thinking about that number for the last 268 days. I could easily replace it with a new obsession, but I’m oh-so-cozy with this one.

The problem I’m having is that I can’t just simply “do it again”. There hasn’t been any method, organization, meaningful purpose. Sure, I’ve read a lot of books. That was the goal. That was the only goal. I don’t feel like reading another 52 books in itself is going to be that important. There has to be something in addition. Not more books, that isn’t the answer. The answer lies in what I’m doing to enhance the reading. How am I enhancing, or getting the most of, the book-a-week experience.

My book choices have been all over the place. There is no rhyme or reason to what, or why I’m reading these books other than that magic number. That is the flaw, if there is one. The question that I’m trying to answer is, “What’s in it for you?” How can my reading goals benefit anyone besides myself?

So I’m looking for structure and process. That may sound silly, but if you look at my posts for this year there really isn’t any order. I don’t even stick to the same method of updating. For the last two updates I’ve added large photographs of the covers because I like book covers and I figured that is one thing that might appeal to you as readers, visitors, interested followers. I’m not reviewing these books, Amazon and the masses will always do far better at telling you whether a book is good or not. I don’t burden myself with the need to persuade. My interests aren’t other people’s interests and I have no desire to indoctrinate (half-truth). But I do enjoy sharing my progress publicly and humbly admit to falling prey to vanity.

“One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on. The more you are talked about, the more you will wish to be talked about.”

Bertrand Russell

eek. So true.

So…next year. I’m thinking of reading only Pulitzer Award winning fiction. Surely there are stories behind these books that aren’t common knowledge (at least common knowledge in the blogosphere). So I could then write something interesting about the background of the book and the award. On a side note, there wouldn’t be any wondering if I had chosen a good book, would there? The blog could take a “Pulitzer Winner a Week” approach and research the hell out of these books, these authors, these award juries. That would interest me. Not only would I be very well-read, but I would also become somewhat of a Pulitzer amateur historian. And I’m giggling because yea, that sounds fun, and oh what a big friggen nerd I’ve become to make it so.

So that’s the question I need help with. The question of “what else?”. In addition to the primary goal of this project, what else is there? There are a few things currently that enhance at least my experience that I’m starting to pay attention to.

First, I’m getting more and more interested in writing. Second, I’m learning a crap-load of new words (crap-load not being one of them), and I’m casually collecting them on the Words I Didn’t Know section. Ok, so that’s about it. Just a couple of things.

I need ideas, people.

And That Old Cape Magic is coming along nicely.


2010 Resolution – The Pulitzer Winners

Book Thoughts , ,

  1. David
    September 26th, 2009 at 05:42 | #1

    I think this sounds like a great idea, go for it.

    I have read a few Pulitzer winners and they would all be in my list of top 20 books. I find the Pulitzer much more reliable than the Booker prize.

    The suggestion I left on your recommendations list was for The Road by Cormac McCarthy (also a Pulitzer) so I guess you will now have to wait for that pleasure till next year.

    To make a book qualify as “read” for your list, do you have to read it or can you listen to it? I find I can fit in more books by listening to some of them on the ipod (downloaded from itunes or audible) while I mow the lawn or go for a run etc.

    keep up the good work David

  2. September 26th, 2009 at 08:37 | #2

    Hey David,

    The only book I’ve ever listened to on tape was “Bridget Jones’s Diary” about 10 years ago. I just haven’t gotten into it. All the books this year were read. I may read “The Road” this year, it’s been on my short list. I think the Pulitzer idea will stick.

    Thanks!

  3. Matthew Kruger-Ross
    October 13th, 2009 at 16:51 | #3

    What about choosing a theme? Maybe not even a theme for the year… but reading in seasons? Pick 4 themes for the year and lay out the dates and such. Read books that focus on the life cycle with characters… birth to adolescence to adulthood to the final stages of life. Or some other group of four…

    Or 3′s!

    Just another idea…

  4. October 13th, 2009 at 16:58 | #4

    Hey that’s not a bad idea. My impulsiveness in choosing reading material is half the fun, I’m beginning to realize. It might be another theme-less year of serpentine reading.

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