Walk into our house and you will see books. Lots of them.
We got a crate and Barrel cabinet full of theology books and a big five shelver that holds our fiction books.
We built another bookcase in our living room that holds our history and current events/sociology/politics/etc books. I guess that is one of the dangers when two liberal arts majors from Earlham College get married.
Mostly though all these books just confound people who visit us. Do you really read all of these books? Sorta
I always wanted to live in a house full of books since I discovered them sometime late in high school. Now that that’s the case I hope our kids will think how badass their parents are because they have a couple of Al Franken best sellers (yep, Limbaugh is still a big fat idiot) from the late 1990s and early 2000s, way too many Kurt Vonnegut books, and the penguin classic edition of W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folks. Oh yeah, the kids. We have three of them now. Lorelei, age 4, Phoebe, age 2, Tabitha, age 10 days. They also love books and we do our best to read to them even if it is the same Dora the Explorer book for the millionth time. Ever read Dora and the Crystal Kingdom? It’s weird.
I get excited when the New York Time’s Notable Books list comes out the first week of December. In recent years, I normally am able to get through a few. From the 2011 list I have read, mostly read, flipped through a few page of, or at least own copy of:
IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. By Erik Larson. (Crown, $26.) The experiences of the ambassador William E. Dodd and his lusty daughter, Martha.
AND SO IT GOES. Kurt Vonnegut: A Life. By Charles J. Shields. (Holt, $30.) From Dresden to his mother’s suicide, the early death of a beloved sister, serial unhappy marriages and literary anxiety, Vonnegut earned his status as Man of Sorrows, as this diligent and often heartbreaking biography shows.
JERUSALEM: The Biography. By Simon Sebag Montefiore. (Knopf, $35.) Three thousand years, packed with telling detail, in the life of the holy city.
MALCOLM X: A Life of Reinvention. By Manning Marable. (Viking, $30.) This careful biography presents a more complete and unvarnished version of its subject’s life than the one found in “The Autobiography.”
TO END ALL WARS: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918. By Adam Hochschild. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28.) This stirring account concentrates on the appalling losses in the ranks and on the courage of those who decided the war in Europe was not a just one.
5/100 is not great. But, it is probably pretty good on the curve for my 46112 zip code.
As this past weekend approached and the excitement built up in our house for the new notable books list I had a thought for a blog, and who knows, a potential book deal. Can a normal working guy like me read all 100 books from the list before the next list comes out? 100 books seems like a crazy man’s game but through the wonders of audiobook, kindle, ibooks, the public library, could it get done? I work alot. I have a very active family. I really need to go to the gym. Can I be like the guy that lived biblically for a year or the woman who lived like a biblical woman for a year or like the no impact guy? Probably not. But why not try? At the least I can build off of my 5% score from last year, snag a book deal, and maybe document a bit about what it was like to be alive between the release of the 2012 notable book list and the 2013 list.