Thursday, April 29, 2010

A New Commandment

btt button

This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks:
God comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre or period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.

What genre do you pick, and why?
Assuming for the sake of BTT argument that "literary fiction" far too broad to meet God's new requirement, I find myself in the position of all sinners -- trying to bargain with God: "If you'll just let me include a few books from other categories -- how about a couple of thrillers here and there? some classics? -- I'll never buy from a chain bookstore again; it's independent booksellers from here on out, I promise."

Assuming God isn't in a bargaining mood, at the risk of eternal damnation I would pick Mid-Century (20th) British Fiction -- novels from the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. That would cover my favorite authors like Anthony Powell, Kingsley Amis, and Graham Greene, as well as a large chunk of the P. G. Wodehouse bibliography.

And I could spend time getting to know authors whose works I am not so familiar with, like Dorothy Sayers (later books), Muriel Spark, and C. P. Snow. I could start with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winners from those three decades to find new authors, and take it from there.

I know I'd be missing out on great British fiction from earlier in the 20th Century, not to mention my American favorites, international authors, and the thousands of books from genres that I never knew existed until I started blogging (time-traveling teen-age shape shifters in love with code-solving werewolves, etc.). But it's not every day God gives a new commandment, so who am I to argue?

23 comments :

Rose City Reader said...

I know I’m going to turn into a pillar of salt, looking over my shoulder at the bookshelves left behind!

bermudaonion said...

I can't believe God would ever do something like that to us!

Carina said...

Aha! You thought through the "too broad" thing, whereas I just went with it.

Michael5000 said...

So, like, God's right there, present in front of me, giving me an awesome tan like he did Moses? Well, duh: I'm saying "Gosh, I'm just going to read the Bible and theological texts." I know when it's time to suck up.

Ewa Munchkin said...

Hi, thank you for the lovely comment! I must admit English lit of the 40s and 50s is not exactly my specialty... I think I should check it out soon!

sadie607 said...

Haha I love it! Bargaining with God. I just went with broad because limiting myself even further seemed so sad. Mid-Century British fiction is such an interesting choice. I don't know if I've ever read anything that can be classified that way. (Thanks for the comment).

Rose City Reader said...

Bermuda -- Let's hope not!

Carina -- I liked your answer too!

Michael -- Good point!

Ewa -- Thanks for visiting. I am glad I found your blog.

Sadie -- I probably could have whittled my choice down to Mid-Century British Novels by Male Dipsomaniacs, but I don't think God would be that exacting. :)

Amused said...

I too love British fiction! I love that you stuck with authors you know will provide you with quality - great answer!

Sa Toya said...

Good choice I think... To be honest it's a choice I don't want to make even though I sorta have it planned just in case :) Glad to have found your bloggy wog.

Josette said...

Whoa! I've not heard of the authors you mentioned. I had better list them down as authors to get to know more of.

Yeah, I'll undoubtedly be one of those bargainers too!

Rose City Reader said...

Amused -- Thanks for visiting. I do tend to favor the Brits.

Sa Toya -- Yes, let's hope we never actually have to chose!

Josette -- As long as we never have to chose one genre, there will always be so many authors to discover!

Ted said...

Super answer! The Powell will keep you busy for a couple of years! You'll get Iris Murdoch and Priestly in there too!

jennysbooks said...

Does God get to decide what counts as part of a genre? Like if I picked mystery as my genre (which I wouldn't), and then I wasn't sure if certain books were mysteries or not, would God make the call? Because I feel like if God's the one making those calls based on cosmic God knowledge, then I would like my genre to be "Books I Would Like", and God can sort it out from there.

*cheating at BTT*

Arielle said...

Good Morning,

My name is Arielle and I work with a small publicity company that partners with Christian authors trying to get their books off the ground. I read through many blogs to find the best possible readers for our authors. I am very eager to add you to my list of reviewers. I'd like to send you a pdf. of our newest releases, if this is something you'd be interested in please let me know. I hope to be hearing from you soon.

Arielle Roper
arielle@bringitoncommunications.com
Bring It On! communications
www.BringItOncommunications.com

jlshall said...

Great choice! If I really, really, really had to make a choice, that would probably be what I'd come up with, too. I love that genre, and era. Hope I never have to make such a decision in the real world, though.

Sayers, Spark, and Snow are three of my favorites. Hope you can try some of their works soon!

Priya Parmar said...

that is a good choice! would very late waugh make it in there?

PeachyTO said...

Why am I not surprised that a lawyer would think to bargain with God? lol

Yvonne said...

One choice really is so unfair! LOL

SocrMom78 said...

I would probably choose History. There's enough drama, romance, action and thrills in actual world events that I don't think I would ever be bored. :)

Amat Libris said...

Well done on narrowing it down so precisely! I made my choice as broad as possible.

Wanda said...

Gee, you'd think with all the people having trouble following the original ten, God would leave us bookworms alone ...

Great job exercising your "power to think and choose".

Thanks for stopping by yesterday! :)

Bybee said...

I'm torn between biographies and American fiction 1900-1960

Marie said...

I think my answer would be "the same as Rose City Reader"!

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