Once upon a time, I started a reading project.
It didn't last.
Nevertheless, I've tried to modify it.
Ironically, the reason things went array, has given me a chance to finish reading an author's complete volume of work.
Thanks, graduate school!
I realize Flannery O'Connor was "only" able to finish two novels and 32 short stories before she died from complications of lupus. But I'm still determined to read all the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald (my original attempt).
EDIT: I have read all of Laura Zigman's novels (that should count for something because they're fabulous).
And I've even added a more contemporary writer on my list: Richard Bausch. The picture only shows nine books/collections--he has twenty. I've received another since this photograph was taken, which means I now have ten.
It is easy to be inspired to read (and write) when you're surrounded by others who do both.
Case in point, last month my MFA program hosted Julie Marie Wade. She won the 2010 Arts & Letters/Susan Atefat Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Not only did she read her winning essay, she also participated in an enlightening Q&A session.
I was lucky enough to spend a decent amount of time with her (dinners, coffee, and ghost hunting). What do writers talk about when they get together? Sometimes writing, learning, reading, teaching...
And I didn't feel like an Über Nerd. In fact, I felt quite the opposite.
NOW (today) I can say that I've finished her book--Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures as well as one by Bausch These Extremes. They were both so wonderful! It's just slow-going when you're writing scholarly papers and trying to write your own work as well (excuses, excuses).