Saturday, October 17, 2009

____Taking the plunge...

Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you’re doing and listen . . .

But this is not a blog. This is an online space to host book reviews which I will be writing in order to meet the requirements of Pajiba's 2nd annual Cannonball Read challenge. I, along with literally dozens of other book and movie loving imaginary internet friends will engage in a quixotic attempt to read 52 books in one year, starting officially on November 1, 2009.

And while I still maintain some personal reservations over Cannonball's emphasis on quantity over quality (as well as some serious doubts about my ability to actually finish 52 of the books that I will start over the next year) I can't resist the opportunity to engage other readers, show off my bookshelf, and maybe turn a few people on to some really good contemporary literature. Plus, the back door opportunity to be a de facto contributor to my favorite film criticism site on the web, well, it's just way too cool to pass up.

So that's the story (and yes, I did start three straight paragraphs with conjunctions. It's the internet; there is no grammar here). I will be laboring under the assumption that no one is actually reading any of this (unless I make the Big Time and get posted on Pajiba!!) but if anyone is out there you can let me know with a comment. I promise that questions will be answered, book recommendations will be considered, and that nice warm feeling of validation will be experience by yours truly. When I show up in the comments section of Pajiba I post under the name Yossarian. Out here in the real world, it's Jon-Paul.


  1. But, ha-HA! Someone IS paying attention.

    I look forward to your reviews and plan to take inspiration from what others read. WHOO! It is ON, ya'll (and yes, I know exactly where that apostrophe is. As you said, it's the internet-not only is there no grammar, there's no punctuation, either. Wait 'til you see my blatant abuse of the semi-colon! Muah ah ha!).

    Also, re: quantity vs. quality, who says it can't be both? Surely you can find 52 books of quality as easily as just finding 52 books.

  2. Thanks, Anna

    I guess that by virtue of being in the Pajiba network I am going to have some outside attention and traffic come my way. Maybe I should revise my assumption; it won't just be members of my immedeate family reading this...

    As for the Quality/Quantity remark, I think the pressure to read at a book per week rate will steer me away from dusting off classics like Hugo or Dostoyevsky. The better the book the slower I tend to read it- so while I can easily knock off a Steven King or Dennis Lehane in a week, it creates an incentive to avoid higher quality/ more challenging stuff.

  3. By virtue of being linked from the Cannonball list, I think you'll be getting some interest from fellow cannonballers! I'm making my way through the list. As for quality v. quantity, there is no requirement that you have to read a book each week, it just so happens that you must read 52 books and there are 52 weeks in a year. Spend two days reading your Stephen King, and then spend two weeks reading your Dostoyevsky, and then read a couple more short books to catch back up. There aren't any rules about making sure you have a review up each week. Good Luck!