1,000 Views . . . Break Out the Champagne!

I know, I know. You folks who have been blogging for years must think it’s pretty lame of me to get so giddy about reaching the millennium-mark in terms of blog views . . . but it’s a big deal to me. Especially since I started “The Books That Mattered” just four months ago (October 2013). I was a complete and utter blog virgin before then.

OTR

The verdict so far . . . writing this blog has been an utter blast; so much more involving and interesting and invigorating than I expected.

Books I’ve Covered so Far

  • The James Bond Books — Ian Fleming
  • The Bell Jar — Sylvia Plath
  • On the Road — Jack Kerouac
  • The Catcher in the Rye — J. D. Salinger
  • Love Story — Erich Segal
  • Goodbye, Columbus — Philip Roth
  • One Few Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Ken Kesey
  • Soul on Ice — Eldridge Cleaver
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull — Richard Bach
  • The Mole Family’s Christmas — Russell Hoban
  • Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas — Russell Hoban
  • A Christmas Memory — Truman Capote
  • The Fountainhead — Ayn Rand

Biggest (Positive) Surprise: The Bell Jar. I had thought it was a book strictly for confused coming-of-age girls, but boy was I wrong. So glad I finally got to read it.

Biggest (Negative) Surprise: The Fountainhead. As I mentioned in my post, if it weren’t for the Fifty Shades of Grey-type sex scenes, I don’t think I could have slogged through it. The tawdry politics and lousy prose are a perfect match.

Biggest Let-Down: On the Road. I still found some things to like, but the writing just didn’t hold up. It’s weird to see how differently you can react to a book from one reading (in your early twenties) to the next (in your early sixties).

Best Writing: Goodbye, Columbus. A writer of Philip Roth’s stature and longevity doesn’t get there by accident. He was a master right from the beginning. His prose is so clear and crisp and beautiful. It’s so good, I kind of hate his guts.

Most Fun Post to Write: “The Poop on . . . Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” It’s so much fun to write about a really bad book–you can let loose and have some yuks. (I also loved writing about Love Story — an equally terrible book.)

Best Part About Writing My Blog (#1): Connecting with old friends and making some new ones.

Best Part About Writing My Blog (#2): Revisiting some books that I haven’t read in forever, and getting a chance to read for the first time some terrific Baby Boom-era books.

So thanks to those of you who have been reading along. Please feel free to comment and let me know what’s on your mind — love to get feedback, hear suggestions, or just shoot the breeze.

On to the next 1,000 views!

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20 Comments

Filed under baby boomers, books, literature

20 responses to “1,000 Views . . . Break Out the Champagne!

  1. Congratulations! I love the concept of your blog — The Books That Mattered — it’s so much fun to revisit these books, many of which I haven’t read (or even thought about) in many years. Your take on them is always lively and interesting and fun. Keep blogging, my friend.

  2. marie

    Congratulations Erich on this 1st of many milestones for your delightful venture. I love your style and take on these oldies.

    • Thanks Marie. I appreciate your reading and staying with me on this venture. As I mentioned in my post, keeping up with friends (old and new) is one of the unexpected benefits/pleasures of this whole blogging thing. Keep reading, I’ll keep blogging.

  3. Congratulations! I started my blog in September, and am close to the same milestone, but not quite there, yet. I admit, I watch for it, and feel such gratitude at each new viewing. And, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble owe you a huge thank you, because I have found each of your posts a great incentive to add an old friend back into my library. Good work!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I really enjoy your blog too. Feels like we are pretty much on the same wavelength. (I’ll have to figure out a way to get some payback from Amazon and B&N!) Thanks again for reading & commenting.

  4. Rick Sarkisian

    Hi Erich, Will you only cover baby-boomer books, i.e. those books we read in high school in the 19XX’s? One thing I find interesting, now that I teach SAT prep including the Essay, is how the collection of high school English course books has not changed that much. They still read Gatsby, Scarlet Letter, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, etc. None of them have mentioned Razor’s Edge, Of Human Bondage, or Moby Dick.

    • Hi Rick, I was going to concentrate on the books that spoke specifically to our generation — which means, for the most part, books written in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Most of the books I’ve discussed were chosen because the Baby Boomers I contacted re/ the “books that mattered” had specifically mentioned them.

      But as time goes on, I may widen my net a bit, since there were some mentions of older books such as Gatsby and Huckleberry Finn, as well. (No one mentioned Somerset Maugham. Though, if you think one of his books would make for an interesting discussion, I guess I could cover it in an upcoming post — why the heck not?)

      Thanks, as always, for reading. I always look forward to your comments.

  5. Congrats on your milestone. I still get excited when reaching some blog mark, even though I don’t often say so. You make book review interesting. I just read Jonathan Livingston Seagull not long ago. I realized how much I feel like that sometimes too.

    • Thanks, Donna — you are my role model! I really appreciate your following my blog and providing always interesting comments.

      (For those of you who haven’t visited, check out Donna’s blog “Garden Walk, Garden Talk” — great nature photography and always full of really neat facts about animals, especially birds, and plant life.)

  6. Claire Palma

    Wow!!! I have really enjoyed reading your comments. I look forward to reading and revisiting some of these books myself. Thank you for your candid and honest reflections. Keep blogging……

  7. Congrats. I love to read…both books that matter AND books that don’t matter so much!

    • You’re sooo right. Anybody reading any book these days should be applauded. I guess “The Books That Mattered” does sound a little pretentious, which I hope you see is not my intent. Some of my favorite reads (and movies and music) fall under the “guilty pleasures” category . . . so it’s all good. Thanks for reading & commenting.

  8. Congratulations. Keep up the great blogging.

  9. Yay on your milestone- and 1000 is a big deal. Congratulations!

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