Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My summer reading plan

Some of you might remember that last summer I kinda sorta kept track of what I reading and what I thought of those books right here on this very blog. It turns out that this idea was pretty much universally reviled by my dozen or so readers. Seriously, I (shockingly) very rarely have anyone ever tell me they didn't like something I wrote on here but a few people told me they never read them because they were "too long" or some other weak ass reason. Too long? Really guys? Most of my posts are stream of consciousness rants with little to no editing but those posts I wrote about books were too long? I decided you just hate reading so I've decided to scrap that for an even better and more obnoxious one....Infinite Summer!

The premise is this: a group of people connected by the internets (and one person I know in real life) will read and discuss David Foster Wallace's masterwork Infinite Jest from around June 21 until September 22. I just got my copy in the mail today and it is huge. Like, almost 1100 pages huge. But, from everything I've read it's still a really, really entertaining read and having some goals should keep me working on it. I'm just finishing up Oblivion, his book of short fiction which I've enjoyed immensely. He really did have an amazing talent for writing in different styles but still managing to create a poignant and entertaining read. I've heard really good things about his non-fiction work like "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (an essay where he describes his experience on a cruise ship and also the title of a collection of his non-fiction works) but Infinite Jest is supposed to be his best piece of all so I'm looking forward to getting into it.

I don't think I'll really be posting my thoughts on the book since no one else will be reading it but I do know that only the highly intelligent peruse fine blogs such as The Basement so I have no problem encouraging you to go ahead and grab a copy and join us.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that you asked for tips on reading Infinite Jest, but here are two anyway:

1) two bookmarks: 1 for the main text, 1 for the footnotes

2) keep moving - at times the text will seem to overwhelm you and wash over you - that is to illustrate a point

I think you'll really enjoy it - DFW is after all a fellow Midwestern geek.

Matt

4:15 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for the tips. I've seen that two bookmarks idea a few different places and flipping through the book I can see how it would be necessary. I'm looking forward to reading it.

11:41 PM  

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