I have always been a reader — I learned when I was about two and a half, mainly from Mom plunking me in front of Sesame Street a lot. So the goal of reading through the “1001 Books To Read Before You Die” list is actually fairly attainable, and I’m already about 10% of the way through. So you’d think this would be easy.


I’ve not only always been a reader, I’ve always had very definite tastes in my reading. And one of the things that I have always turned up my nose at is silly romances.

…And “silly romances” is a good descriptor for about 60% of the books on the list.

Am struggling through The Tale Of Genji right now – okay, yeah, it’s a classic of the Japanese canon, and some say it’s the first-ever novel or the first novel that analyzes the mindset of the hero or whatever. I can respect that. But all that this “hero” ever seems to be doing is getting into doomed love affairs with delicate beauties and having angst about it, and I keep wondering why I would ever want to read about someone who’s so damn…idly wimpy. “Do something,” I want to tell this guy. “Start a farm, explore a palace, make a sword, build a boat, just do something instead of mooning around writing poetry for ladies of the court.”

But I’m continuing to slog through it, because…it’s part of the goal. At least it’s short.