The summer after I graduated from high school, I held my own reading boot camp during which I tried to read as many "classic" books as I could because I thought most people read those kinds of books in high school and my education had been deficient. Out of dozens that I tried to get through, the two that I can remember reading and actually enjoying were The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. The one that I can remember absolutely detesting was The Stranger by Albert Camus.
I had this ridiculous romantic notion that when I got to college, I would find a boy who would want to hold my hand, gaze into my eyes as we walked across the moonlit quad as he recited poetry. Yes, I actually did believe that. When I got to college, I briefly found a boyfriend who wanted to hold my hand and gaze into my eyes as we walked across the moonlit quad but the last thing that probably ever crossed his mind was reciting poetry. He might have hummed a Grateful Dead tune once or twice.
It so happened that I didn't have to take any English classes. I might have done so for sheer enjoyment but my college English department was heavily influenced by the southern women writers genre which was not my thing so the only literature classes I ended up taking in college were through the Latin American Studies department.
I lay this long and boring history before you to confess that I have not read any of these books. I haven't read very many classic books at all. And for whatever reason, that has started to bother me. So I downloaded a few different lists of Books that Everyone Should Read and I hit the bookstore tonight. I got these three and three others that quite likely I will never get through. But I'm going to try. I threw one Charlaine Harris vampire book into my pile because, well, I have to keep it real.
Another thing that has been on my mind these last few weeks is the One Little Word for 2009. Ali Edwards links to this idea on her blog and last year I picked the word "Focus." It actually worked! For the first time, I accomplished some of my New Year's resolutions. I ended up focusing on 2 different things than I originally anticipated but that's probably okay. So far, I have decided the essence of the word I want to use for 2009 but not the actual word itself. The ones I've come up with so far seem too related to food and that's not the point at all.