Monday, March 17, 2003

Standard lists of books I should have read by now always make me queasy. At this stage of my life, shouldn't the top three be in my dust by now?

My defense: I once bought a used paperback of Tristram Shandy but have never been all that interested in tackling it. I have, on the other hand, tacked Middlemarch a number of times, and always lose interest by page 98. I could stand to read
Great Expectations
, but the sad fact is no one ever forced it on me in school. I'll probably read it sometime soon. Just this week I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities for the first time. No one ever made me read that either.

Never read any Graham Swift, either. I know and like all the rest on the list. Of these, the one I'd most look forward to reading again -- if only for easy pleasure it affords -- is Waugh's A Handful of Dust, a novel of wicked perfection.

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