Critical Monkey Challenge

A new challenge! Hoorah! This one I’m doing a) because it has a funny name, and b) because the premise is just excellent.

“I, as I assume most people who read this blog are, am somewhat of a book snob. I don’t pretend to read only the ‘classics’ of the Western canon, but there’s a lot of crap out there I go out of my way to avoid. See? Right there, snobbery. Bad monkey! Bad!

So I have decided to launch Critical Monkey, a little contest designed to make us confront our fears, and read those we otherwise actively ignore. These do not have to be authors who are typically derided in literary publications; choices can be books you simply have never wanted to read for whatever reason. Never read a Charles Dickens, but always felt bad? Now’s your chance to try him on for size. Have you avoided Margaret Laurence because a lousy teacher force-fed you The Stone Angel and squeezed everything good out of it (guilty!)? Time to make her acquaintance. Anything you like. Even Harlequin romance novels. I double-dog dare you to try.”

There are several levels of participation to choose from, from shock to denial all the way up to acceptance. I think I’m going to pick the aptly-named Depression and read six of my avoided books over the next year-ish. And hope I like some of them.

Probable challenge list:
The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Actually read:
1. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (Review)
2. Cat Breaking Free, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Review)

2 thoughts on “Critical Monkey Challenge

  1. Alison says:

    -laughs- I know, I know! I was trying to come up with a list, and I said to myself, “What books have I been avoiding, hmmm…” and then I heard your voice in my head saying, “Please read On the Road so that I don't have to come to Cleveland and smack you,” and on the list it went. 🙂

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