Jul 4, 2011

Literature Reading Plan

First, the word "Plan" really shouldn't be here. In fact, I've chosen the title simply so I could I can write about  how my grand book reading plan is actually an un-plan. I don't want to give the impression that I've created a regime and book reading list based on the great authors. Instead, the plan is an emergent behavior - I read books I've bought by wandering around aimlessly at bookstores without any kind of timetable. I read books which are around me compulsively. This plan is a pattern which has emerged without intention in my life. 

The books aren't all things I have fun reading. In most cases, I would really prefer to be reading about math. There are a number of books on I've acquired by way of recommendation or I've prescribed to myself because I feel like they will be good for me.

I would have never been able to do this in college. Being compelled to read and lie about your views on one novel kills all of the energy needed to really read at least two or three of them. I'm amazed The

Here's a short list of the some of the types I've been reading over the past year:

Kurt Vonnegut
  • TimeQuake
  • Sirens of Titan
Like half of everything David Sedaris has written. "The Kid" by Dan Savage. 

Haruki Murakami
  • Reread Underground
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Women
  • Wind-up bird Chronicle
The Catcher in the Rye

and a bunch of others I've forgotten or didn't feel were worth any comment. Overall, this list is a bit more impressive than I would have thought it would be a year ago. 

I think Murakami and Vonnegut are a specific kind of reading for me. Reading abusrdist literature makes you more creative. It also probably makes you more likely to go insane, but the two are closely linked. 

The other identifiable trend in my reading is clearly gay literature. Savage's work is more centrally about being gay than Sedaris's comedy. Both however are fairly important to me for being gay works.  I feel like I could be easily criticized for being a gay guy reading gay literature for sake of being gay. 

gay gay gay gay gay gay gay 

However it is important to me to see a reflection of my life in literature. Growing up, I never saw people living out gay lives.  I know a number of people who would say that I shouldn't need media like TV, radio, and books to tell me how to live, but those people always had a reflection of their lives available to them wherever they wanted it. Maybe Asian Americans feel the same way to a degree reading Amy Tan. I feel like the need to be represented in literature is kind of universal. People who don't see their own troubles reflected in books likely are not reading.