Soliloquy of a Book Hoarder

To read, or not to read, that is not the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or to take arms against a shelf of troubles,
and by reading end them.

Before January is completely gone, I must make a resolution for this year. With all the good fortune, yes, books I’ve hoarded over the years at outrageously low prices, like slings and arrows raining down from shelves, many more shooting out from boxes… I must conquer them.

No excuse, but… loots hauled back from the annual Crossroad Market book sale is the Trojan horse of latent guilt. Why, wouldn’t you have fallen into the trap too, 15 books for $30? All in mint condition, some look like they’ve never been opened.

Upon reading two bloggers, Grad and Terri B, resolving to do similar courageous acts, I must start doing something to end the onslaught. I thereby resolve that in 2013 I’ll read from my TBR piles  only  , ok, mostly. Actually, the Bonheoffer and the Proust read-alongs are within this strategic move.

Here are some of the slings and arrows of my good fortune. Any of these in your TBR piles too? Read-along?


Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale

Anne Bronte: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

A. S. Byatt: Possession

Kate Chopin: The Awakening

Kiran Desai: The Inheritance of Loss

Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Jonathan Frantzen: The Corrections, Freedom

Shilpi Somaya Gowda: Secret Daughter

Henry James: The Ambassadors

Nicole Krauss: The History of Love

Ian MacEwan: Enduring Love, Saturday, Amsterdam

Herman Melville: Moby Dick (Will be reading in August with TerriB)

Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall

Claire Messud: The Emperor’s Children

Toni Morrison: Love

Irène Némirovsky: Suite Française

Marilynne Robinson: Home, Housekeeping

Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things

Salman Rushdie: The Enchantress of Florence

John Steinbeck: East of Eden

Zadie Smith: White Teeth

Jane Urquhart: The Underpainter

Winifred Watson: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence



Julia Briggs: Virginia Woolf, An Inner Life

Joseph Campbell: The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Mary Karr: Lit

Marilynne Robinson: Absence of Mind


This Fall: Read the Book Before you See the Film

UPDATE: This list will be updated whenever there’s new info. So, bookmark it if you like. Just added Lincoln (Team of Rivals), The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. CLICK ON THE TITLES to read my book and film reviews. For others, the link will lead you to info of the production.


Some highly anticipated film adaptations from literary sources will be coming out this fall. Released in this latter part of the year, to be premiered at major film festivals, some of them are poised for the Awards Season next spring.

Here’s an update of these great expectations. The Great Gatsby for some reasons has delayed its release until next summer, so one less book to read if you’re to finish them before the movies come out.  These titles also make good selections for book groups:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

To premiere in the UK and at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on the same date, September 7. You still have time to read this masterpiece before the film comes out as a general release in November. You may need to read a bit more than 10 pages a day if you start now. But still doable. Update: The Read-Along has just been completed. The film is now screening in selective cities. Read my book reviews here for first half and here for the last parts.


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

To premiere at TIFF on Sept. 8. Legendary filmmakers Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) join hands to make this ‘unfilmable’ acclaimed literary work. Tom Hank, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent…

Update: The film has been released and has received mixed reviews. 

Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

How about this… The French notorious literary classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, published in 1782, adapted into film in the 21st C. with a setting in 1930’s Shanghai, China, helmed by Korean director Hur Jin-Ho, cast with Chinese and Korean actors. I’ve seen two adaptations in the past, Michelle Pheiffer/John Malkovich’s Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Annette Bening/Colin Firth’s Valmont (1989), but this one strikes me as something totally different.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

In time to mark this bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, a showcase of British talents: screenplay by David Nicholls (Tess of the D’Urbervilles, When Did You Last See Your Father) directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and A Funeral, Harry Potter), Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse)…


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

World premiere Nov. 28, 2012 in New Zealand for Part 1 of the Trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ in Dec. 2013, and ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ in July, 2014. Peter Jackson attempts to reprise his Rings magic with cast from previous Rings Trilogy Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom… Again, we’ll get to see beautiful New Zealand as setting.


Les Misérables by VIctor Hugo

A film version of the stage musical to be released in December. Directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech. If you want to hear them sing, here’s the chance… Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried…  The trailer is mesmerizing. Update: The production has just been shown in industry screenings and received euphoric reception. Major contender for 2013 Oscars.


Life of Pi by Yann Martel

To open the 50th NY Film Festival on Sept. 28 with its world premiere. I’m glad this 2003 Booker Prize winning novel by Canadian author Yann Martel finds its film adaptation in the hands of Oscar winning director Ang Lee. From the trailer, I have the feeling that Lee has masterfully grasped the magical realism of the book. Lee’s versatility ranges from Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility) to martial art (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). I highly anticipate this one, albeit as someone prone to motion sickness, I’m apprehensive about seeing the rough ocean journey in 3D.


Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Film Review

To premiere at the Gala Presentation at TIFF Sept. 9. Salman Rushdie turns his Best of the Booker, epic novel into screenplay, working closely with Canadian director Deepa Mehta on the film production. I’m interested to see how magic realism transposes from the literary to the visual, albeit I know full well the two are different forms of artistic medium. For the few of us who had spent four months reading along, I think the only regret we have might be that we can’t go to see the film together.


Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones

Winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Prize, Lloyd Jones’s character Pop Eye Mr. Watts brings to the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville during the civil war in the 1990s not just Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations, but friendship to a 13 year-old girl Matilda. Film adaptation directed by Chronicles of Narnia‘s Andrew Adamson. And for all you fans of ‘House’, Mr. Pip is none other than Hugh Laurie.


On The Road by Jack Kerouac

First screened at Cannes Film Festival in May and later in Europe, producer Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of this beat generation classic finally comes to North American at TIFF this Sept. Directed by Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) and with a cast including Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst.


The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Published in 2007, the book was included in Guardian‘s list of 50 books that defined the decade and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The story of a young Pakistani working in NYC, graduated top of his class from Princeton, finding love in an American girl, and success on Wall Street, has his world turned upside down after 9/11. The film just opened the 69th Venice Film Festival last night. Directed by the acclaimed, India-born Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake), the film and the book should stimulate lively discussions in your book group. Stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber.

Teams of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Film Review.

It has been noted that Steven Spielberg ensured the film rights to Goodwin’s book even before she wrote it. His film Lincoln is partly based on it, an epic production that reportedly involves more than 140 speaking parts. Acclaimed as a strong Oscar 2013 contender, the film portrays Lincoln’s tenacious fight for the passage of the 13th Amendment.


What Maisie Knew by Henry James

James’s novel published in 1897 has its film adaptation set in modern day New York City. It depicts a family break down from the point of view of a six-year-old girl as she is torn between her parents going through a divorce. Film directed by Bee Season and The Deep End’s Scott McGehee and David Siegel, Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård star.



Posts you may like:

Lincoln (2012): Some Alternative Views

Anna Karenina Read-Along: Parts 1-4, Parts 5-8

Midnight’s Children Read-Along

Midnight’s Children Film Adaptation: Movie Review

Life of Pi by Yann Martel: Read the book Before the 3D Experience

CLICK on the following links to my previous posts for lists of film adaptations from other literary titles in development or with film rights sold:

Great Film Expectations

Upcoming Books Into Movies — List 3

More Upcoming Books Into Movies


Saturday Snapshot: Book Sale 2012

For Paris in Julyclick here to my home page. I’ll be starting to post the first week of July. 

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by At Home With Books.

Every year the gigantic book sale organized by the Servants Anonymous Society in our City kicks off my summer reading stock-up. This weekend begins their tenth annual book sale at the Crossroads Market. Here’s a photo of the books I hauled back yesterday, all in like-new condition, all for $1.50 each since I’ve got 20 of them.

Many of the titles I’ve been watching out for some time. Some of them I came to know when I read their reviews on your blogs. Glad I can find them in the book sale and in such good condition. A few of the books look like they haven’t been opened.

Here’s the list in no particular order:

Travels In The Scriptorium by Paul Auster

England, England by Julian Barnes

Pulse, stories by Julian Barnes

Home by Marilynne Robinson

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips

Lit by Mary Karr

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Lottery by Patricia Wood

Blindness by José Saramago

The Reinvention of Love by Helen Humphreys

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger

Cool Water by Dianne Warren

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

One Summer by David Baldacci

The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi (biography of Lionel Logue)

Changing My Mind by Margaret Trudeau (autobiography)


Any of your favorites here? The Sale lasts for three weekends beginning June 8. If you were me, would you go back in the next two? Know my struggling sentiment?


More Upcoming Books into Movies

Wondering what to read in the fall? Here are some books being adapted into movies at various stages of development. Some may come out later this year, most in 2012, and others may materialize even further. Your book group may be interested to look at the following titles. Some are bound to generate lively discussions. Consider this a sequel to my earlier list which you can find by clicking here.


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Can’t resist mentioning this again. Joe Wright of ‘Atonement’ directing, Tom Stoppard screenplay, and an excellent British cast)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (James Franco directing)

Austenland by Shannon Hale (Keri Russell)

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (Ralph Fiennes directs and stars)

Crooked House by Agatha Christie (Gemma Arterton)

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Kenneth Branagh directing)

The Humbling by Philip Roth

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell (Kenneth Branagh directing Anthony Hopkins)

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

King Lear by William Shakespeare (Al Pacino)

Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Hugh Laurie)

Paradise Lost by John Milton (Bradley Cooper as Lucifer)

Romeo and Juliet by WIlliam Shakespeare (Hailee Steinfeld)

What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Julianne Moore)

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin


I know many book lovers are usually hesitant to see their beloved stories and fictional characters transposed on screen. But just imagine for a moment a best-case scenario, which book would you like to see adapted into a movie? And, who do you have in mind as the ideal cast?


CLICK HERE to read related posts:

“Can a Movie Adaptation Ever be as Good as the Book?”

“Upcoming Books Into Movies — List 3”


Book Sale 2011

If you ask me, I really can’t tell the difference between my summer reading and that of the other seasons. But, in terms of timing, I’d say the annual Book Sale at the Crossroads Market marks the kickoff… and not the summer solstice. It’s a charity book sale in support of the Servants Anonymous Society. I’ve posted my boxes of loot in the past couple of years. Here’s Arti’s annual book haul, 2011.

Again, as a picky screener, I spent hours looking through tons of books under that giant tent and picked out only those that were in mint condition… some I suspect have not even been opened. They were all $1.50 each. That’s the price if you buy in multiples of 10. Short of 10, $2 each. Best of all, it’s for a good cause… great excuse for hoarding. Well, at least I wasn’t tugging a rolling tote or luggage like some did.

Here’s a list of my haul, in no particular order:

  1. Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time by A. S. Byatt
  2. As We Are Now by May Sarton (love her Journal of a Solitude)
  3. Chocolat by Joanne Harris (film is interesting, curious about the book)
  4. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (after Atonement, like to try more of McEwan’s works)
  5. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (for JLC 5)
  6. The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama (another one for JLC 5)
  7. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (great find, book is brand new)
  8. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (the movie is delightful)
  9. The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels (13 years after her Fugitive Pieces, I’m curious)
  10. Up In The Air by Walter Kirn (always like to read the source material of a good movie)
  11. The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre (winner of 2009 Giller Prize)
  12. The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (finalist, 2009 Giller Prize)
  13. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston (numerous Canadian literary prize winner, just can’t resist a title like that)
  14. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud (NYT Book Review Best Book of the Year 2006. I’ve wanted to read it since it first came out)
  15. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann (my own copy finally)
  16. Everything in This Country Must: A Novella and Two Stories by Colum McCann
  17. The Peppered Moth by Margaret Drabble
  18. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields
  19. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Following The Kite Runner, a movie version is coming out)
  20. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (still haven’t read this classic)
Went back another day and more multiples of 10:
  1. Heat And Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1975 Booker Prize Winner, RPJ is the screenwriter of many Merchant Ivory productions, including “Heat And Dust” starring Julie Christie)
  2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Pulitzer Prize winner, 2003)
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (First the book, then the movie, and then the opera, yes, opera)
  4. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (Pulitzer Prize winner, 1999. After the film, I’ve wanted to read this for years. Glad I found a trade paperback edition without Streep/Moore/Kidman on the cover)
  5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize winner, 2008)
  6. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (I’m partial to The Modern Library Classics, so this is a good find)
  7. The City of Yes by Peter Oliva (Found out from the cover that the author is owner of one of the still surviving indie bookstore in our city… a novel on Japan… interesting connections!)
  8. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Other shoppers at the Book Sale urged me to get it, or else I wouldn’t have picked it up… about 2 lbs and 973 pages. But for $1.50… alright.)
  9. The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
  10. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
  11. The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith
  12. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner (Author of In Her Shoes, looks like a breezy summer read)
  13. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young (Have been avoiding this, but my $1.50 curiosity took over)
  14. Limitations by Scott Turow (I used to be a fan of legal thrillers, so let me indulge again… it’s summer)
  15. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Finally, after the dust has settled. The Swedish movie is good, but not sure about the Hollywood version coming out)
  16. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (That’s all, couldn’t find the third one)
  17. False Impression by Jeffrey Archer (Have enjoyed some of his previous books)
  18. The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré
  19. A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carré
  20. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré (The film version is coming out this year with Colin Firth. But this little old paperback is the black sheep of the lot. I found the first 18 pages missing after I came home. But hey, I’m not complaining)

How do I alleviate the burden of so many books? Well, this is how I figure. I don’t see them as a TBR list, but new inventory of my personal library. They’re at a fraction of the cost if I were to buy them new.  Besides, how many people read all the books in a library?


What’s your summer reading plan?


(If you’re interested, here are my finds from the Book Sale of 2010 and 2009.

You may also like to explore the list of “Upcoming books into films”)

Upcoming Books Into Films

Looking for book suggestions for yourself or your book group in the coming year? The following is a list of books being planned for a movie adaptation. Books turning into movies always generate a lot of debates and discussions.  Better still, read the book then watch the movie together… I’m sure more debates will ensue.

Hope the following list can furnish you or your group with some ideas. Do note that these titles are in various stages of development, meaning some may come out in the next year or two, some may take longer if they get started at all.  Click on titles (links) for more details.


1984 by George Orwell

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The Adjustment Team (short story) by Philip K. Dick (Film: The Adjustment Bureau)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Daniel Radcliffe)

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Keira Knightly)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant (short story)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

Middlemarch by George Eliot

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

One Day by David Nicholls

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (A new take: Jane Austen Handheld)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady, Carey Mulligan, Emma Thompson script)

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (A Latina spin: From Prada to Nada)

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Matt Damon, Keira Knightly)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Tiger by John Vaillant

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré (Colin Firth)

Water for Elephant by Sara Gruen

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë


For a more updated list, click here to “More Upcoming Books Into Movies”.

If you know of any other titles, you are welcome to add to this list by leaving the info in the comment section.

CLICK HERE for WordPress Tag: Book Into Film.

Top 100 Books & Summer Reading Lists

Summers come and summers go,  reading lists for students tend to remain a constant, or… no?

According to The Boston Globe, the following are a few titles from high school summer reading lists over the years:

1915-1916 (long list of choices for regular year and summer)

  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  • Works by Stevenson, Twain, and Dickens

1984 (requirements by grade and academic level)

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

2009 (recommendations, not requirements)

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

ah…  the times they are a-changin.

Instead of (or, hopefully, on top of) reading the original Pride and Prejudice, students today are offered the zombies version… optional, of course.  The current view is, students should be enticed to read, not forced to.  Reading is supposed to be fun, after all, it’s summer.  


Around the same time, Newsweek published The Meta-List of Top 100 Books of all time.  The List is a compilation of 10 top book lists, including Modern Library, the New York Public Library, St. John’s College reading list, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Oprah’s, and others.  The Meta-List… the mother of all lists.

Here are the top 30,  just for a taste of the selections.  For the complete list, click on the above link.

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)
  2. 1984 by George Orwell (1949)
  3. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922)
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
  5. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929)
  6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)
  7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927)
  8. The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer (8th Century B.C.)
  9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
  10. Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1321)
  11. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (15th Century)
  12. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)
  13. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1874)
  14. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)
  15. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1951)
  16. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
  17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1967)
  18.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
  19. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  20. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
  21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  22. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
  23. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
  24. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf  (1925)
  25. Native Son by Richard Wright (1940)
  26. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (1835)
  27. On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)
  28. The Histories by Herodotus (440 B.C.)
  29. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762)
  30. Das Kapital by Karl Marx (1867)

… and so on and so forth.  You get the idea.  Nothing on the top 100 list is later than 1987 (Beloved by Morrison) except Pullman (no. 84), and quite a few dating back to Centuries B.C. 

Now, is this literary elitism that has not caught up with the times?  Or, has our younger generation been short changed by not being taught to appreciate some valuable cultural legacy?  How do we reconcile the discrepancy between what’s recommended to our students and what experts think are the best books ever written?  Or, reading tastes vary, people are free to read whatever they like… Any list produced is therefore prescriptive and hegemonic?

Of course, one  could argue summer reading lists are not academic syllabi, give our students a break.  They’ll have the chance to read these great books at school… or, will they ever?

Still another debate would be the all too familiar struggle  even among book lovers: Literary or Popular Fiction, old or contemporary classics?   How do we choose?   Reading widely or reading deeply?  

 And, the very practical question:  How can I extend my 24 hours?