Miller's journey in The Year of Reading Dangerously has inspired me to make my own "List of Betterment" which I have dubbed The "I'll Thank Me Later" List. This "I'll Thank Me Later" List is comprised of books I have been meaning to read for years and which I am fairly certain I will love.
The "I'll Thank Me Later" ListLife After Life by Kate Atkinson: Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum was my favorite book to gift to others for years. Anticipating another glorious reading experience, I ordered the hardcover of Life After Life soon after publication but, alas, I have yet to open it.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: Alright, already. I am an Oprah fan but find myself less interested in books that are OBC choices. I read Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer fourteen years ago and still think about coyotes and pesticides because of it.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv: As I write this, my sons are huddled up next to each other watching YouTube videos of stampylongnose. If you don't know who Stampy is, you may not need to read Last Child in the Woods, but I do. Plus, two dear friends have recommended it and I spied my arborist brother-in-law reading it.
Gilead by Maryanne Robinson: Nothing but raves about Robinson's writing from readers I really respect. Time to test the waters with the first installment in a trilogy.
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden: In my mommyblogging days, I had some actual blog readers who sometimes made my day by leaving comments. A mysterious (because blog-less herself and Canadian to boot), witty, and smart commenter named "Mrs. F with Four" recommended this book as one of her all-time favorites. I promptly ordered a copy and six years later ...
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner: When I was an English grad student, living in a garden apartment in Chicago's Lincoln Park (garden = basement and the Brown Line train ran right behind it and spewed rusty El juice upon my leased Honda), my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I walked one street over to have drinks at his colleague/mentor's home. Several things I remember about the evening: 1) They had a wine refrigerator built into their kitchen cabinetry which, at the time, blew my mind. 2) They had no living room furniture yet so the colleague's wife was using the space to host her friends for yoga with a teacher she hired. 3) She thought I could get a job moderating book club meetings, which I did not have the guts to attempt but, in hindsight, would have been a great if not necessarily lucrative career. 4) Her favorite book at the time was Angle of Repose. Fast forward a dozen plus years: My suburban neighbor one street over has a fantastic kitchen and Angle of Repose on one of her bookshelves. A still unread-by-me copy purchased from a Chicago Public Library book sale cart has graced my shelves for ten years. My current kitchen lacks a wine refrigerator but is not too shabby. Yoga pants, but no yoga.
A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary: I read all of the Henry Huggins and most of the Ramona books to my oldest and found them even more wonderful as an adult. I want to know about the woman who created these timeless childhood stories. I've checked this memoir out of the library several times over the years and returned it unread. Found a used copy at a book sale last summer so it seems like fate.
"I'll Thank Me Later" Books stacked in my Kindle...The Green Mile by Stephen King: Still haven't read the "horror" King books and probably won't, but after years of EW columns, 11/22/63, and Joyland, I trust King and want to read The Green Mile.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: This book sounds like one I would hate, but I have to remember that other books I thought I would hate -- Lonesome Dove, Ready Player One, Hunger Games, just to name a few -- were books I loved.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain: Am I an extrovert or an introvert? I always assumed I was the former because in my goody goody way, I thought I was supposed to be. I suspect I am the latter and want to learn more. The recent launch of the Quiet Revolution website has me even more intrigued.
So that's it, my "I'll Thank Me Later" List. It's not a collection of books I think I should read but of books I suspect I will adore. I'll check back in with progress. I'd love to hear about what titles you'd choose for an "I'll Thank Me Later" List.