|No book by any author listed on this monument is on my list.|
1. Harry Potter series (just the first book) by J.K. Rowling
2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
4. Twilight series (just the first book) by Stephenie Meyer
5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
6. The Shack by William P. Young
7. The Game of Thrones series (just the first book) by George R.R. Martin
8. The bestselling fiction book at the time I get to number 8 (if it is not one of the above 7) as listed by the Globe and Mail.
I chose these books because they have been bestsellers of the last decade. I decided to stay with fiction rather than nonfiction (though The Shack may be a work of creative nonfiction--the use of fiction techniques in nonfiction, though I won't know until I read it, I guess). I chose eight books because five seemed too few and 10 too many.
I may go to 10 books based on people's suggestions. Right now, however, I plan to read eight.
I plan to cleanse my palate between these books with other reading. Right now I am finishing a book of Anton Chekhov's short novels, and I am on Day Eight of Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron.
I have preconceptions about the interaction of the palate-cleansers and the list. For example, I expect that my Chekhov reading will be enhanced by Hosseini, while I think The Decameron will prepare me for Fifty Shades of Grey.
Some of these eight books I look forward to reading; others I dread. Some I expect I will rather hate; others I think I will like. I will try to be fair to all of them, but I can't hide my own reading habits, which have gotten more particular over time. The more good books I read, the more I lose patience with things such as sentimentality, misogyny, racism, sensational violence, and substandard writing skills. I dislike cliches, but I have more patience with plot cliches than with language cliches. Books that hit one of my negative hot-buttons will likely not get a positive reception from me.
I will start with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.