"So now you read memoirs?" asked a coworker.The week before this conversation, I had tried to fend off a recommendation of Reading Lolita in Tehran. Because I don't read memoirs. I doubt the authors so much that I wonder about what they're not telling me. Because I'm a librarian who teaches people to question information.
"Apparently, I do," I replied.
Looking back at the books I've read this month, there is a surprising amount of nonfiction. I usually stick closely to fiction (though I jump from genre to genre). Now I've got The Ghost Map queued up on iTunes and a copy of Stasiland waiting in my to-read pile. What the hell happened?
|"Young Woman Reading," Cilius Andersen (1903).|
I've mentioned my Nope List a few times recently. Lolita and most of James Joyce and Proust are on that list. So are autobiographies. The Nope List is more a mental Venn diagram circle than anything else, containing things that repel me or just don't appeal. Books rarely come off the Nope List once they're on it. I realize it's contradictory of me to even have a Nope List. I encourage people to read widely and diversely whenever possible.
This is usually the point when I quote Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself":
Do I contradict myself?My sudden fascination with odd memoirs, though, makes me reevaluate the whole notion of a Nope List. Perhaps there will come a time (doubtful) when I will read In Search of Lost Time. A Nope Lost limits me.
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)