Sunday, August 16, 2009

As my 23rd birthday quickly approaches (2 months, write it down, I like presents) I was naturally drawn to a display in a bookstore today labelled '20 books to read before you turn 20'. As I rounded the display the opposite side of the sign said, '20 books you should have already read.' Oh snap Chapters, you better watch your mouth. As a literate as well as university educated person, I was pretty confident I would flip through the piles, nod knowingly, smirk a little as I remembered the first time I read each and what a wonderful impression they made on me.

Sadly, not so.

Of the 20 'must reads' I had read only 2:

Harry Potter - probably more suited to a 'must read before you turn 10' list.
A Fine Balance - this I read for a class, it was horrifying and I hated it and I only finished it because the professor said there would be a question on the exam about the last chapter and I desperately needed the marks.

Of the remaining 18 I had started but not finished 3:

Scar Tissue - This is a perfectly lovely and interesting book for someone who doesn't get debilitatingly anxious when other people do bad things. The fact that I know full well things turn out ok for Anthony Kedis makes absolutely no difference and after his third relapse I put it down and never picked it back up.
The Alchemist - I can't remember why I stopped reading this, but I vaguely remember a fight or a war or something and that was probably enough to make me chuck it in favour of Shopoholic Goes Bananas or something equally embarrassing.
1984: We were supposed to read this in grade 10, and I remember being really into it at first, likely because I heard it was famous and I really wanted to be pretentious, but it straight up gets boring at the end so I just read the cliff notes.

Of the last 15, I had seen 2 movie versions:

The Kite Runner: this was sad, horrifying, awful and all those other adjectives that most people find 'moving' or 'touching' but just leave me overly aware of the pit of my stomach and how it likes to churn.
Into the Wild: While this was also sad, awful, ect., my main problem was actually the sheer stupidity of that dude. You want to run away from the evil modern world? Fine, be my guest, more room for the rest of us, but for the love of lemon sherbet maybe you should you should actually learn how to live in the woods before you take off on your noble mission. Read a book, take a course, maybe something a little more hands on than talking to those hillbillies on the farm because do not go expecting the audience (or maybe just me) to feel sorry for you when you kill a moose too far away from camp and can't smoke it before the bugs set in. DUH.

Then as I rounded the edge of the display I noticed the last suggested book; I recognized it instantly and was completely reaffirmed in all of my literary selections. I'm now sure that whatever I've read or not read before I turned 20 was probably just fine considering that on this list of fine and important works, the final book was Morley and Me. From what I've gathered from the infinite previews that ran last year, this is a book about a couple that gets a puppy to solve their relationship problems or some such complete nonsense that even I, who admits to reading books with things like 'chocolate', 'shopping' or 'stilettos' in the title would never, ever read it at any age.

1 comment:

Stevenson, Kyle said...

The book is called 'Marley and Me' and the dog teaches them what love is.