Okay. So in addition to our Nobody Puts Nonfiction in a Corner posts, the consensus seemed to be that we could all benefit from reading and discussing a few more essays. I am very excited about this. I love essays.
Here's what I'm thinking: For the rest of the year, I'm throwing out reading suggestions by the month. When that month arrives, I'll try and do some posts in which I share some thoughts on the essayists and their work, and ask you to share yours. The idea is not only to have a good discussion (which we always seem to do no matter what) but to also start compiling a list of essayists and their works and what readers might particularly enjoy about them.
Are you game? I'm open to suggestions, but here were my thoughts for the rest of 2018.*
May: Nick Hornby's 2004 collection of essays about books and reading, The Polysyllabic Spree. I know, Hornby is not really an essayist. But that book was fun and I thought it would get us in the mood for more reading.
June and July: A twofer, with a triumvirate of essayists named David. David Rakoff's Fraud, David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day. I'm trying to pick either the essayists' best-known works, or works from earlier in their careers, by the way. Does this seem like a solid idea? I thought that tactic would give us the best sense of an essayist's true style.
August: Joan Didion's The White Album. I know, heavy. But come on. It's only 222 pages long and it's a MUST-READ if you want to know your essayists.
September: My favorite month, and it is open for you, dear readers, to pick the essayist and book. Comment below please, and feel free to comment on the comments, we can do that now!
October: Wendell Berry's Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community. Not his earliest, or his best known. I just want to read it again.
November: Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist: Essays, because I really should read it.
December: We'll pause on essayists to have a book group month, discussing Garret Keizer's book Privacy.
So that's what I've got. Not sure how the posting schedule will play out, but we'll play it by ear. I'm also open to guest posts if you'd like to write longer responses to anything you're reading in response to our Nonfiction and Essay posts; send them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post, along with links to anything else you might be writing or want to highlight.
I am BEYOND excited for this. To quote one of the CRjrs' favorite PBS shows ("Bob the Builder"): Can we build it? YES WE CAN!
*I'll put a printable schedule in the sidebar too.