I’m still a long way from getting my list of book candidates down to fifty works. I had hoped to question local literature professors and other book experts, picking their brains on how best to make my selections. With college finals season in full swing, and with return phone calls to nonpaying blog writers being way down at the bottom of the priority list for profit-seeking publishing companies, I needed to find another way.
My current plan is to break all of the books into various categories, and then reduce the number of book options found in each group. It’s a bold plan, one that requires me to determine the category for each of the 1,600-plus books.
For nonfiction books and many plays, this process is going swimmingly. Plato’s Ethics into the philosophy category. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into plays/tragedies. But other books take some research. Unfortunately, most great authors write “other” books. Why can’t they stick to one topic? Does Dostoevsky really need to deal with morality, religion, politics, family struggles, and mental illness in every single book?
Even trying to categorize books by the gender of the author can be a time-consuming task. My wife is a big fan of British classics, especially some of the television adaptations made by PBS and others. So I already knew that Middlemarch was penned by George Eliot. But did you know that Eliot’s real name was Mary Anne Evans? And that “Middlemarch” isn’t even in March? Clearly, identifying books by category wasn’t the most straightforward idea, but with just a month and a half remaining before the reading begins, it will have to do.
[Image Credits: Wikipedia]