I'm a reader. Mostly of fiction, but do hit the occasional non-fiction (mostly biographies). I read for pleasure. There's nothing better than a good book; especially on a sunny day at the beach. Of course my definition of "good" is certain to differ than the next persons.
I love a good story and I believe the books I love and/or enjoy the most are not necessarily from great novelists, but from good storytellers. In my opinion good storytellers include: Harper Lee, Stephen King, Pat Conroy, Jack Finney, Maeve Binchy, Dorthea Benton Frank, J.K. Rowling, and Jody Picoult; just to name a few. I also enjoy losing myself in "chick lit" or mindless "fluff." And I'm always looking for suggestions from friends on books and authors that I might enjoy or might challenge me. (Best example of that might be Room by Emma Donaghue; a powerful novel that I might not have read if it weren't for some prodding and I am so glad that I did!)
To that end, and with a new year, I thought I'd try something new that challenge me and I would also (hopefully) enjoy. (You've probably got an inkling of what it might be based on the title of this post.) I found a list of all of the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction (or novels; as the award was originally called) and planned to read as many of them as I could. (If my math is correct that would be 86 novels.)
I am pleased to say that out of the 86 I had already read 9 as well as 4 that had been finalists for the prize. My husband, being the good guy that he is, was able to find 52 books for me electronically. Hopefully I'll be able to find the rest, but if not, the effort has at least been made.
The plan is to start at the beginning (that would be His Family by Ernest Poole which was the first winner in 1918) and work my way chronologically (or as best I can) to present day. (I expect that by the time I finish there will be a 2015 winner and maybe even a 2016 depending on how it all goes.)
I'm sure that there will be some I will love. (My favorite novel of all time is 1961's winner.) There are bound to be some I won't like. (I read 1947's winner because it was required for my senior English class.) And there will be some that will just be "meh" for me, like 2011's winner. I'm going to try to make my way through them all, cover to cover, but if I truly come across something that I find too much of a chore, I may give up. (Reading is not supposed to be a chore!) I don't have any hard and fast rules set for myself; just a goal to try as many of them as I can. (I'd like to try all, but who knows if I will be able to track them all down.) Hopefully I'll come away with new authors to appreciate and perhaps even love.
For now I am off to settle down with a novel that is almost 100 years old by an author I had never heard of prior to starting this "project." Stay tuned to see how this all turns out!