Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update: I've selected my choice for the Retro Reading Challenge

So I've finally gotten around to making a choice for my own Retro Reading Challenge, which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. As I mentioned in the original post, I will not be going with Stephen King's 1,000+ page tome, It. Instead I've decided to go with something much shorter, but I book I loved just as much when I read it.

My selection is Still Life with Woodpecker, by Tom Robbins. I read this book for the first and only time in the late spring of 1994, when I was still just 18. I remember being quite bedazzled by Robbins' prose, sense of humour and quirky world view at the time. Having said that, I've been told that Robbins' work doesn't really stand up once you're past the age of about 22. Anyway - we'll see!

But please, pass along this link to your bookish friends and try to get them to play along. I've already had one entry, from Trevor J. Adams (see the comments area of the original post), and there are a couple others in the works, so stay tuned.



  1. You know what? I'm going to read Still Life too. I read it in 1999, and thought it was the greatest book ever written. I thought that if it was the last book left on earth, everything good about literature would still exist. I'm less sure now. After all, I'm older than 22.

  2. Wow, Still Life with Woodpecker. I haven't thought about that book in years. I have also heard that Tom Robbins does not hold up, which makes me sad, because I had the same reaction as Kerry when I first read it. I wonder what it is about poor Tom that stops resonating as we get older?

    Anyway, I want to play! I'm going to read The Mists of Avalon. I chose this for the following reasons:

    1. This was the first book I ever really, truly loved.
    2. I've so often used this as an example of everything I miss about reading ever since I've become a writer myself (the joy, the excitement, the running-home-from-school-to-get-back-to-that-world feeling) that I think it might be a good idea to go back and see if the example is actually apt.
    3. I'm sort of on a fantasy kick these days. And if nothing else, it'll give me some really cool Medieval names for my Sims characters.

    Awesome idea, Mark!

  3. Kerry: Cool! I forward to seeing how similar or different our reactions are on the second time around. I've got a couple books to get through before I read it, but stay tuned.

    Amy: Excellent choice. I haven't read this book myself but I know lots of people who have and loved it, albeit when they were younger. How old were you you read it?

  4. I was 16 when I read it. I can remember breaking dates with my boyfriend to READ. It was like my Twilight. Which, honestly, makes me very worried...

  5. That's hilarious. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing your review of it.