The Cliffs Notes Version

I’ve decided that I will never finish the Modern Library’s Top 100 novels list unless I read a book a week from now until my 40th birthday. Even then, it’s going to be close, squeaking in under the wire.

To start my journey into classic fiction, I started reading “The Sound and the Fury” yesterday.


Talk about a novel for which you NEED the Cliffs notes. I’m using some online web resource instead, but I have to have someone point me in the right direction while I’m reading. As in “What the heck is happening here?” and “When is this happening? He has like sixteen different time periods in ONE STINKING CHAPTER” and a lot of other things which I can’t publish because they’re profane.

I have a love/hate relationship with Faulkner. There is no one finer at baffling you, that’s for sure.

I feel generally good about this challenge. I can read about a page per minute, so a typical novel takes me about 6 hours to read. Stretched over the course of a week, it’s eminently do-able. I just have to have the sand, the steel,  the sheer gumption to stick with it. I can’t hit 40 and have failed this quest. For it is a quest . . . reading each novel is a journey with a dragon to slay. And you never know who you’ll be when you come out at the other end.

Ambiguity intended: sometimes, the dragon eats YOU.

So, this is my sole New Year resolution, my only hope and dream for the year. Of course there’s lots of stuff about the kids and weight loss and fitness and such– those are all long term goals that won’t simply be resolved in a year. These books WILL be finished, by hook or by crook. I want to be able to say that I read them, not because it will impress anyone but because it will make me happy. I will feel a sense of accomplishment that I currently lack. I will feel “freed” of the burden of being an uneducated woman. Sure, I haven’t read everything, I can say, but I HAVE read the Modern Library’s list of the Top 100 novels. Not bad for a trailer trash girl from Arizona.


(Disclaimer: I only lived in a trailer park for a month as a child. It just SOUNDS so good, you know? lol)


About endurancemom

Writer of fantasy and historical fantasy fiction, mother of 6, former nurse, Catholic convert, wife of 25 years, and general all-around geek. Warning: Do not attempt this at home. View all posts by endurancemom

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: