Do you know about The Big Read?
I’d forgotten about it until it was referenced in an email from the Ohio Historical Society. Two years ago, in Charlottesville VA, the library system there was participating in The Big Read with Dashell Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon, which –by serendipity– I had just finished reading. It was rather like walking into a party to which I had not only been invited but at which I was expected.
As you know, I like guided book reading suggestions and seeing the full title list suggested by The Big Read got me all booky excited again.
The Big Read is a program coordinated by The National Endowment for the Arts. They’ve selected some twenty books or so that ride the fence between literary and popular literature, novels that are approachable by most adult readers. I find their book list to be diverse in topics, ethnicity and human experience. Also, they’re fairly short, The Grapes of Wrath being by far the longest. The intent of the program is to get adults excited about reading again, and if there is a program involved near you, you will find that it involves movies, theater, lectures, audio, etc.
Turns out that I’ve read quite a few of these, so I’m walking around right now with my thumbs in my suspenders strutting my reading druthers. My Big Plan for the The Big Read is to participate by reading the others on this list.
My initial pick — by dint of being the first book I got my grubby hands on — is True Grit by Charles Portis. It has never occurred to me before to read a Western, so already I’ve expanded my reading experience. Also, it’s short and I’ve already finished it.
Which of these have you read? (Below is a screenshot. use the link to find the whole list.) Will you plan to read any of these in the next few months? If you will allow me to, I’d like to extend an encouragement to join me in The Big Read. Pick one, read, talk about the book and The Big Read.