Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So Much to Read, So Little Time

Well over a year ago I noticed a headline on Entertainment Weekly indicating a new movie was in production called Winter's Tale. At the time, I believed this was to be a film version of the Shakespeare play, The Winter's Tale . Well, apparently I was fifty shades of wrong. The trailer was released and Shakespeare it is not. Everything about this trailer looks amazingly, stupendously magical - from the cast to the filmography to the costumes. 

And while it's not the work of Bill, turns out the movie is based on a novel of the same name. Which sort of leads me to the point of this post. Mark Helprin published this in 1983. I don't even think my parents had met in 1983, let alone had children, so clearly this book was written and published before I ever set foot on this planet. And certainly before I learned how to read. But the description of Winter's Tale is right up my alley - romance, historical setting, a time traveling magical twist - and I've never even heard of it! There seems to be a period time of from which I've never read. Sure, I've read many American classics taught in high school and college, but apparently the 1980's and 90's are lost on me. 

So now I feel like I have some catching up to do. Until now I'd consider myself relatively well read. At the moment I am reading The Art of Fielding, which was only published two years ago, and I'm still plodding through Anna Karenina. I try to read a variety of genres, but this discovery has me reeling. How can I hope to even make a dent in the world's library? Most of the books are my to-read list are old classics or recent publications. Almost none of the books are from the past thirty years. While I don't honestly entertain the notion that upon my death I will have read every book known to man, I was thinking I could at least make it 50% through, right? That's totally reasonable, isn't it?

Okay, probably not.

It seems I am in need of some education. A quick Google search for"great books from the past 30 years" took me to this site. Funny thing about it - even a quick glance will tell you that many of these books were made in to films (just like Winter's Tale. Does Hollywood produce anything original anymore?) making the titles familiar, but the book a new concept. So don't mind me while I sit here, scouring the internet for not-new new books to read. And if anyone out there has suggestion for good adult literature from say, 1980 to 2000, let 'er rip! I'll just be sitting here adding things to my Goodreads shelf.


  1. You remind me of Rory when she sees the Harvard library for the first time and is blown away by how stupid she must be for not having read more books. Relax! When I start to feel bad about not being better-read, I just remind myself that most of the books ever written are probably junk, and a good portion more are just not my taste. It makes me feel a bit better, at least :-)

  2. That's probably a good way to think about it . . .

    I saw a list once of all the books Rory every mentioned reading on the show, maybe that should be a project too!

  3. There are just so may out there. I used to feel guilty if I didn't finish a book I just wasn't that into. Not anymore. Life is too short to finish a book you really don't enjoy when you could be reading something great!

  4. I agree! Life is too short to spend time finishing bad books or books you just plain dislike. Especially when there are so many others just waiting to be read!