Part 53, and we’re still nowhere near done with our lists. If you’ve been here a while then I apologise for all the reading I’ve probably been giving you. But of course, I don’t expect you to read them all—If you take away just one or two books from all of these lists, then that’s good enough for me. But, if you’re reading through them, then I honestly say, from the bottom of my heart—Good luck, because it took me forever. No, seriously. It took me over 10 years to read all these books. Anyways, I feel like the next topic that’s coming up is a pretty important one. Today, we’re discussing the importance of reading from an early age.
Oh my, we’ve really come a long way haven’t we? Last time, we talked about what we think the Great American Novel is and why America has such a hard time deciding its representative text. Today, we’re going to look at something slightly different but along the same path. Last week, I told you that the novel England considers the “representative” text in most cases is Middlemarch. To some extent, I agree with this—but I want to show you some other novels that could also represent England in a good and overall, very meaningful light.
I feel like we’re moving quite nicely towards our next milestone, and multiple of thirty, part 60. Now on part 51, I want to thank everyone who stuck around this long once again, and yes, we’re going to say hello to any newcomers. I like to think that some people are getting some good reading material out of this, and that’s why I keep on writing them ultimately. I will probably be here for the rest of my life, but I really don’t know—or I may just stop when I reach 100 or something. In this piece I want to discuss the topic of The Great American Novel. We touched on this a little bit before, but I think I’ve got some new ideas some of you may be interested in.
The seminal folk-rock album and often cited as one of the greatest albums ever recorded, it is this album that holds the most well-known song by Bob Dylan—"Like a Rolling Stone." Since then, he has been shot into the starlight, at the forefront of music everywhere and, has since become known as "The King of Folk Rock" or "The God of Folk", or more simply "The Bard"—taking the honorary title from William Shakespeare.
We have approached a small milestone and, at fifty, I want to talk to you about something very special in my book life, my favourite book of all time ever since I was 11 or 12 years’ old; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The book has always fascinated me, it is spellbinding in its ability to hook the reader in from the very beginning with the poetic language, images of oriental items, and the sounds of London surrounding the studio in which Basil Hallward works. The best thing about this text is that it doesn’t try to overdo itself or overstate itself, nor does it take itself too seriously—I really can’t imagine Oscar Wilde taking himself too seriously, can you? Anyways, the book is basically a satirisation of Victorian High Society, and it works also as a satire of Oscar Wilde’s own belief in aestheticism, that which he states in the famous Preface to the book.
Welcome to Part 49 of the articles series “30 Books to Read Before You Die.” We’re really getting on with these lists so I want to thank you for sticking around this long and I also want to greet any newcomer who has appeared here. You would’ve thought that by now, you could get me to shut up about how much I love different kinds of books, but that is not the case. Last time, we talked about the importance of reading and what reading can do for us. The topic of choice today consists of reading what you feel like reading.