This was quite an adventure for me. I haven’t brought a real book (textbooks don’t count) for quite a while. I believe the last one was The Picture of Dorian Grey when I was endeavouring to read though the ‘classics’. I managed to read through that, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man (a real favourite of mine), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (another favourite), and The Wind in the Willows. The last fiction book I tried to read was Travels with a Donkey, but by that point I had had enough of reading and given the task away.
That was years ago. Year 12 perhaps – a whole of three. Between then and now I had only read parts of The Lord of the Rings, and as far as fiction went, that was it. I didn’t read any Harry Potter out of respect for the fantasy genre (Rings is the pinnacle, anything less is a compromise). I avoided The Da Vinci Code just to buck the trend and not get caught up in the ridiculous hysteria.
Anyway, I’ve now turned back to the fiction world with The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. The book was on display in the Angus and Robertson Top 100 Books (as voted by Australia). I picked it up on the presumption that Australia couldn’t be so far wrong (though there was Harry Potter and Da Vinci in the list …), and then the blurb intrigued me enough to buy it.
If it’s any good, then I’ll buy the book that apparently was bigger by Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie. I saw that in the display as well, but Five People looked to be more interesting. I hope that it’s not a let down purely for the sake of the effort it takes for me to read a book.
I also brought The Catcher In The Rye, one of my most favourite books ever. I read it in high school, didn’t really like it, then re-read it after I had finished and was amazed at how I could not have loved it the first time. Such a deep and meaningful book. It too was in the Top 100 list.
As an aside, I was rather ashamed to only have read 4 of the 100 books on the list. I like to think of myself as a person who has more class and learnings than the average bogan. Thus I plan to read more books on this list. After the two books by Albom, I’ll give Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Godfather a go, hoping that they are both as good as their movies. If I’m not sick of reading things by then, and have actually enjoyed the experience once again, then there’s a lot more to do after that.