One might think this would be a fairly brief list. I was knocked out Ali-style with a sinus monster for the last week and a half. It isn't that I thought I would die. . I just sort of hoped I would. Okay, not really, but the hyperbole carries the point. I was low. And in that lowness I could do little but rest and read. I had one day that I was home all by myself for hours, and I willed myself to stay in bed. Guilty pangs of productivity bothered me: "I should vacuum" "I should organize our garage" "I should create a better storage system in our kitchen" NO! I shouted. I will rest and recover! Though I could not sleep, I vowed I would stay in bed--away from computer screens that burned my eyes and ladled away my time.
What did I do? I reintroduced myself to Annie Dillard and pen and paper. And in the throes of infection, I remembered who I was. I was once a reader, a voracious one. I was once a writer, a prolific (unpublished) one. I used to love words. I would mark pages, re-read paragraphs, and tilt my head back as the beauty of the words washed over me. I was a Reader. I decided to be one again.
Where to start? With my MA in English I've read much of the canon, though certainly not all. I queried the Facebook universe but my hook came back with far too many options. It was then that the Pulitzer Mama Project was born. I found a list of all the Pulitzer winners (84!) and pronounced it as my own personal reading list. I aim to read through the list, staggering it at times with excellent non-fiction finds, until I've read them all.
The Guidelines. . .
- I will not read a book I find offensive. I recognize this might undermine the purity of the project, but is is my project and I can do what I want. So there.
- I will read the books in order, re-reading those I have already read. Yes, I recognize this means I must again venture into the mammoth that is Gone With the Wind. I can take it. Bring it on Scarlet.
- I will not put this on a timeline. As a full-time teacher and mother of three, my personal reading windows might be fairly small. This could take years and I'm fine with that.
- I will write as I read. Observations, thoughts, memories, and opinions that the texts stir will fill this blog. This way anyone else who is joining the challenge can find a place to dig deeper and respond as they read along.
First up: His Family by Ernest Holmes.
Away I go.
P.S: In full disclosure, I am fully aware that it will take time for my writing to settle into my own voice. I will have hits of Dillard, Holmes, Wharton, and whomever else I might be reading for some time. I might be too flowery, obtuse, or long-winded for many of my posts. I recognize that, and I am determined to be patient with my writing until it catches up to my ambition. Having been warned, I hope you'll be able to do the same.